Developers The Game Bakers burst onto the console scene with style thanks to their latest effort, Furi. Focussing entirely on boss fights, Furi blends insane twin stick shooter action with in your face close range combat that will constantly have you saying “one more try”. More than a few times I turned off the game in need of a break after having my ass handed to me by a boss only to return minutes later determined to take them down. The action is addicting.
Furi’s premise is a simple one where players assume the role of a red caped warrior. Trapped in a fantastical prison for reasons unknown, you must fight your way through a series of increasingly challenging Guardians in the hopes of breaking out. The story is told by your guide, a mysterious man in a rabbit mask but these expositional scenes between each fight overstay their welcome with painfully slow walking sections. Just being able to run through these moments to cut the time in half would have gone a long way. Once you get into the ring with each of the unique bosses though, Furi unleashes hell on you in a most exhilarating way.
“Furi blends insane twin stick shooter action with in your face close range combat that will constantly have you saying “one more try”
Furi blends a few common gameplay mechanics into one seamless experience. At times you’re frantically running, dodging and shooting your way through a gauntlet of projectiles, whereas others you’re engaged in relentless close-range sword combat with nowhere to run. These two styles of combat flip on the fly seamlessly as you chip away at an enemy’s health. Slash, shoot, dodge and parry. That’s all you have at your disposal but the way you use these tools and adapt as each boss shifts through their 4 to 6 varied phases keeps you constantly on your toes. It’s high action with almost no room for a breather and feels like a wonderful mashup of Smash -TV, Strider and Pokken Tournament (Dual Phases) rolled into one.
Whether it’s gaining a little health with a perfectly timed series of parries or stunning your opponent with a charged up blaster shot, which will open a moment to collect yourself, knowing when to attack and when to defend is key. Furi rewards patience with calculated movements needed to succeed as you battle back and forth with each Guardian in an epic tug-of-war.
Even when the screen is bombarded with enemy attacks demanding quick reflexes, Furi never comes off as cheap. You’ll always feel you have a chance thanks to the tight controls. Like Dark Souls, when you do finally take down a threat, you’ll jump for joy. With great challenge, comes great satisfaction and you’ll get both from Furi.
Visually, Furi features bright neon colors mixed with painterly-like backdrops to create an appealing world to do battle in. Animations are fast and over the top and the unique bosses ooze with style thanks to the talents and designs of Afro Samurai creator Takashi Okazaki. If I had one complaint in the animation department it would simply be a lack of variety with the flashy auto combos you can unleash. A few more per fight would be appreciated to ease the repetitiveness.
“Furi shines where it counts with relentlessly fast-paced fun and satisfying action.”
Your thumbs won’t be the only thing racing as you master your twitch reflexes with Furi. Your heart will be bursting out of your chest as well thanks to some fantastic electro beats from artists such as Carpenter Brut, The Toxic Avenger and more. Put on some good headphones and crank the sound. Pulsing waves of bass and synth will pump you up as the bosses light you up. Some of the bosses have repetitive dialogue throughout the fights but you may not notice in the heat of things – it definitely didn’t bother or distract me.
Centered around intense boss fights and bursting with style, Furi offers those players looking for an arcade-like challenge a unique, and at times exhilarating experience. The expositional scenes could use a hefty trim but Furi shines where it counts with relentlessly fast-paced fun and satisfying action.
*** PS4 code provided by the publisher ***
- Nice art style
- Precise controls
- Great soundtrack
- Challenging but rewarding
- Exposition moments are boring
- Some repetitiveness