By: Jeff Cater
Have you ever been playing a twin-stick shooter and just as you’ve cleared the umpteenth wave you’re presented with an absolutely whack and game-changing boss fight? Once you’re done it’s usually another slog through a sea of simple enemies until you’re back at it against another boss, right?
Well, The Game Bakers have latched onto the intensity of calculated and intense boss fights and have given gamers a title purely about thrashing (or being thrashed by) insane, unique boss-style enemies in the form of Furi.
As a nameless warrior, jailed for reasons beyond, you’re set to escape your unique prison and dispatch the powerful guards that lie between you and freedom.
Your nameless warrior is quite agile, and the controls complement that feature rather well as the inputs are immediate and the aiming/shooting is very tight. Furi is not a hack n’ slash game, and ultimately it rewards practice.
Its controls aren’t too daunting; though mastering the timing of your parry with your counter-slashes will take some time. Dashing is done with “X” and is invaluable when avoiding certain attack patterns and repositioning after a counter-slash. You’ll also fire your gun by pushing the right stick in the desired direction with no need to reload.
Every now and then you’ll also be faced with QTE mash-offs, but those inputs are always displayed and generally involve the buttons you’re already resting your thumbs on.
Furi is full of neat visual effects like your sword drawing lightning from the ground around you and the wonderfully animated enemy super moves. Balls of energy of every color cause a vibrant glow to follow them and melee weapons leave streaky trails behind them. Guards have brilliant combat animations, and you can tell the same amount of dedication was put into to them as the main character.
Each guard’s attitude is also clearly displayed in their animation sets as well, like the twitching shakes of Schizophrenic-Laser-Bondage-Segway-Girl as she taunts you while not really realizing that she’s speaking aloud. Overall, the visual package of Furi is pretty sweet, even if some of the textures feel lifeless and flat.
The game’s Voice work is wonderful, as each boss has a piece of mind to impart upon you, but the voice of the bunny-masked crazy man (who also features some pretty nifty fur-shading on his mask) is the real highlight of this section. He’s there every step of the way, watching, instigating and encouraging in his own foreboding way.
Meanwhile, the soundtrack fits the pace of the fighting incredibly well, though sometimes it’ll go unnoticed because it meshes seamlessly with the gameplay.
First and foremost, Furi isn’t a game where you can mindlessly mash buttons and win. Each and every battle has a unique set of patterns, challenges, and boss abilities to contend with, and the challenge is real.
As a warrior jailed long ago to keep around for being killed (yep, grim), it’s time for you to escape and exact your revenge upon your captors. With the aid of a crazed man wearing a bunny mask, you seek out and assassinate those responsible. And it’s damn hard.
At its default difficulty, Furi is no walk in the park, and there are plenty of moments where a boss will completely and utterly destroy you. In a weird sort of Dark Souls way, the game never truly feels unfair because of the unique abilities you possess, so even if you get completely dunked and discouraged keep in mind that there is always a way to victory.
If you really decide you can’t hack it, you can turn down the difficulty to a setting called “Promenade,” which makes the game laughably easy to the point where there’s literally zero gratification for beating a stage.
Perhaps there should’ve been a difficulty setting between the default and the “Promenade” because some people are not going to be able to beat certain places, but they shouldn’t be made to feel inferior because of it.
In between stages you’re fed bits and pieces of the story while you walk from Point A to Point B, or you can press X to auto-walk and just soak in the scenery and backstory.
There are also a few modes besides the story, such as a practice and a speed run mode, and believe me you’d do well to go into practice mode for some stress-free sessions against any of the bosses you’ve unlocked so far.
Furi is a unique little ball of violence. If you enjoy the twin-stick shooter genre and are eager to get your hands on something wholly different than anything you’ve ever played, Furi is going to provide an intense challenge.