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My Friend Pedro Preview: Die Free, Kill Hard

/ Sep 10th, 2018 No Comments

My Friend Pedro Preview

My Friend Pedro is a dizzying, mesmerizing experience where death and violence becomes a sonorous lyrical ballad. The imagery is like a John Woo movie took PCP and acid while trying to imitate a Fellini film. It doesn’t defy description, but it sure as hell needs to be seen to be understood.

Bullet Ballet

The My Friend Pedro demo at PAX West gave players a quick tutorial to what you can do in the game, but also quickly threw them into a mission where the player character hunts down The Butcher. If the demo is any indication, levels in My Friend Pedro are structured around two areas and a final confrontation between you and your target. Oh, and there is a talking banana who is your friend, Pedro.

The layout of the level breaks down into two areas, starting with a kitchen warehouse area. You move through the kitchen while killing every gangster and cronie that gets in your way. It gives you plenty of opportunities to get used to the controls and moments to experiment with the systems. While your bread and butter are going to be your guns, the level design provides a lot of flexibility to do cool moves.

It isn’t simply about bullets or explosions to kill your enemies. You can use the focus feature to slow down time and plan your moves. Players can pull off acrobatic flips while focusing their dual wielded tech nines at two bad guys at once or aim a bullet just right to blow up a container of gas to take out a group of bad customers in one giant explosion.

My Friend Pedro Preview

My Friend Pedro banks on creative solutions to taking out your enemies.

You can use all sorts of items and objects to dismember and dismantle your opposition. If you see a knife on a table, you can kick it into the air then kick it into a goon’s head. If body parts fly off enemies after an explosion, you can use those to kill an enemy in the next door. Frying pans can be used to ricochet bullets to kill enemies behind cover for a fat bonus.

The final section of the demo changed things up by letting us fight goons on a motorcycle on the freeway. Gameplay was not terribly different than the prior sections, except there is more depth thanks to being able to move across lanes of traffic. However, your shots still need to be well placed and enemies must be killed. Naturally, since a motorcycle is your vehicle, when you dodge you can do wheelies or when you use focus you’ll do sweet flips to look totally badass killing your pursuers.

My Friend Pedro Preview

The demo ended with a vehicular section that let you do some sick flips!

When you finally come face to face with The Butcher, you need to be smart about your ammo and focus usage because he’ll do a ton of damage if you aren’t careful. Outside of being defensive and hiding most of the time, he’ll often pop out only to throw explosive gas canisters at you as a way to take out out fast. Luckily, you can use your focus to explode them as he throws them. The fight is a hard one, but if you keep your wits about you and make sure to counter his explosive moves, you’ll come out ahead.

At then end of each section, you will receive a grade between god awful and god killer. The rankings have fun names — like Bravissimo — to denote the degree of skill you displayed. By doing cool moves, accruing multipliers and avoiding damage, you can earn high rankings.

The developer also added a dope touch at the end of each section by taking your freshest move or kill and allowing you to post a video or gif of it to social media.

Like Bloody, Bloody Jazz

My Friend Pedro plays smooth as steak knife kicked into a gangster’s skull. The gameplay is fluid, with a lot of room for creativity. While it does share similarities with other games, its unique look and room for improvisation makes it stand on its own.

My Friend Pedro launches next year on Nintendo Switch and PC.
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Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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