Publisher: The Game Breakers
Developer: The Game Breakers
Platform: PC via Steam [Reviewed], PlayStation 4
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Disclaimer: a copy of the game was provided by the developers for this review.
If there’s one thing that I enjoy the most from action titles such as Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, it’s the various boss fights that we have to conquer. Sure, the journey to these battles are fun, but the real thrill is in eliminating the hulking threat that stands in our way before the end of a level. Furi, a new action title from The Game Bakers, brings us back to the days of menacing and difficult boss battles. We play as an unnamed and silent protagonist who has been jailed for a crime that we don’t know about. Freedom can be achieved, but in order to do this, a group of increasingly difficult jailers must be defeated.
Each of these jailers are the game’s bosses and, interestingly enough, these enemies are the levels in the Furi as well Furi is all about boss battles and intense action. Each jailer has a different style and gimmick that will continually keep gamers on their toes. Even seasoned action game players will have a tough time with Furi. Every battle is unpredictable – relentless, tense, and unforgettable. There wasn’t a single jailer that felt like any other?. This kind of mystery surrounding the bosses made the whole experience really engaging and always kept me wanting more.
In terms of gameplay, Furi truly stands out among other action games on the market. There are only a few button prompts. The “A” button dodges, “X” swings a sword, “B” parries, “Right Trigger” charges a gun shot, and “Right stick” fires the gun. When you are in close quarters combat, holding down “X” will charge your sword, while moving the right stick will charge your movement. These are all the button commands in Furi and that’s all we ever learn. There aren’t any new abilities or upgrades and our health stays the same from beginning to end. This does make Furi harder as the player gets further into the game, but the developers were clearly aiming for an old-school feel, so these creative decisions make sense.
Furi is really difficult. Some fights are simple, but others are just brutal. As a fan of challenging video games, the title was right up my alley. For others, the difficulty may be off-putting. Some battles can last 5 minutes – others may end up being 30 minutes. The thing with these fights is that they can end in the blink of an eye. One moment you have the advantage over your opponent, but then one false move can result in death.
Once you have been defeated, you must start from the beginning of that particular fight. There are no checkpoints and there is no room for failure. Every boss in the game changes their attacks and tactics as they get closer to death. One moment can feel simple; the next impossible. Death in Furi is inevitable, but in the end, the game comes down to memorization and timing. After a while, I was able to anticipate every attack pattern that the bosses were going to throw my way.
From a visual and audio aspect, Furi excels completely. The characters were designed by acclaimed Afro Samurai creator Takashi Okazaki and the soundtrack features various licensed tracks from electronic artists. The jailers all look unique and have a wonderful visual flair. During each battle and each transition between fights, the soundtrack is often pulsing and entertaining to listen to.
While most of Furi is phenomenal, my biggest complaint comes in the form of the transition scenes between each jailer. After a boss has been defeated, our character walks to the next arena. During this time, we learn a little more about the story and the opposition he will have to face. In theory, these moments should be cool, but in practice they tend to drag a bit. This doesn’t mean that the story is terrible; it’s just that these downtimes can feel out of place. Another minor issue also involves the camera. While it was often manageable, there was one fight in particular where the camera angle was obscured and made it difficult to see the enemy despite it being right in front of me.
Furi is one of the biggest surprises so far in 2016. It’s an old-school styled game with some massive flair. The characters look great, the music is infectious, the boss battles are innovative, the controls are intuitive, and the overall package is stellar. Those who don’t like challenges may want to stay away from the game, but those who enjoy difficult action games will find a lot to love about Furi.