Furi Review: Stay Sharp
Kalvin Martinez / Jan 31st, 2018 No Comments
Finding a balance between your influences and your own voice is not always easy, especially when it comes to creating video games. In most cases, the influences of game creators is obvious in the games they make, and it is easy to fall into a trap where the game comes off as a cheap, uninventive clone.
Furi, a stylish action brawler, draws inspiration from a lot of places, but never lets those influences prevent it from being unique. Its combat is technical, with an emphasis on skill, and its battles are intense and ferocious. Success is marked by the failures you’ll experience, but overcoming the challenge is much sweeter because of this.
Time becomes meaningless when you’re imprisoned. All The Stranger knows is that he’s stuck in shackles, forced to endure torture for the rest of his existence. How long has he been there? He doesn’t know. All he can think about is what he’ll do when he gets free.
A mysterious man in a rabbit hood calling himself “The Voice” finds The Stranger and enlists his help. He frees The Stranger from his restraints and gives him a gun and a sword. The Voice has a desire to see the planet below again, and he knows his only way out is through the destructive path of The Stranger.
The prison was designed by The Voice to keep The Stranger from the world beyond. Ten planets with sadistic and powerful jailers separate him from his goal. Luckily, he’s been waiting, thinking and hoping for his freedom so he can kill every last jailer that stands in his way.
Furi is a solid revenge story on its surface, telling an elegant narrative of a person taking retribution on his keepers. It has snappy dialogue that takes hints from westerns, kung fu movies and grindhouse flicks. The characterization of The Stranger, The Voice and the myriad of jailers creates a super cool universe.
When you realize things aren’t quite right, that’s when the story really pulls you in. As a player, you are naturally inclined to take the side of the character you’re put in control. However, Furi makes you doubt whether your loyalty to The Stranger is well placed. Was he suffering injustice or was his imprisonment justified?
Furi creates a fascinating dichotomy between wanting to identify as the hero or the righteous character and subconsciously realizing you’re the villain. This conflict elevates the story.
Escaping the shackles was the easy part, but escaping the jail will take all you have to give. See, the prison was designed to hold you and keep you from the world below, and the jailers were all brought in specifically to stop your escape. Luckily, your skills are second to none.
There have been several boss-rush type games since Shadow of the Colossus, but few have been as demanding skill wise as Furi. Every jailer you encounter has their own unique skills, patterns and weaponry, but each feels like it would be the final boss fight in another game.
In Furi, the tutorial doesn’t give you any quarter. It takes its time to demonstrate the basics to you, including parrying, dodging, slashing, shooting and charged variations. Once you’ve gotten a taste of all Furi has to offer, the fight kicks into gear and demands you use everything you’ve learned to come out victorious. From there, it only gets more difficult.
The beauty of each jailer battle is the way the fight evolves over the course of a battle. You are eased into the fight, allowing you to gain an understanding of the boss’ moveset and patterns. But things get more hectic once you manage to take away your opponent’s first life bar.
Your enemy will change tactics and become more aggressive. This continues until you’ve gotten the boss down to hist final life bar. Then, you’ll have to exercise caution as you don’t want to die and have to restart the battle all over. (FYI you will die, and that’s part of what makes victory so satisfying.)
Fortunately, the environments are as varied as the fights themselves. Although you will fight in a lot of rounded areas, the nature of the environments and how the bosses utilize the surroundings adds variety to the fights. Due to the common area types, the fights that break this mold stand out even more. One of the coolest fights involved squaring off in a side-scrolling dock where you duel with a dude wielding an oar.
From start to finish, the combat is demanding and bosses are unique and exciting. Besting the game requires quick reflexes and patience.
Furi will test every bit of reflexes, concentration and skill you have. It is at times gruelingly difficult, but never unfair. Like the games it draws inspiration from, it only ever asks you to be better and strive to prove your worth.
If you’ve been looking for something challenging and endlessly stylish, Furi is a game you should check out.
Furi was reviewed on Nintendo Switch with a code provided by the publisher
tags: Furi , Furi Review , Nintendo Switch , review , Switch , The Game Bakers