Furi Review

Fast-paced, difficult and stylish, Furi will keep you on your toes from beginning to end.

By Woozie, Posted 14 Jul 2016

The jailer is the key. That sentence will be uttered to you as you trek through the prison you’re in. Your companion wears a giant rabbit head and keeps feeding words to you as you both move from area to area. Stoicly, you dispatch your opponents wondering, the further you go, if all is exactly what it seems. Furi’s story starts shrouded in mystery and manages to maintain a strong dose until the very end. You play a silent protagonist, which is used in an efficient enough manner by the developers. However, while the story remains an important part of the overall package, it is not where the focus of the game lies. Furi is a boss rush game, essentially meaning that all you do is fight bosses. The story is given to the player in cutscenes in between fights which involve your character walking from one arena to the next.

Furi, Screenshot, Review

What goes on in these arenas? Well, the largest chunk of the game: the very boss battles a boss rush is supposed to have. These boss battles are interestingly built, basing themselves around a fairly limited set of mechanics, at least on your character’s part. You can slash with your sword, dash to avoid damage or cover long distances and fire your gun. Holding down the assigned buttons makes your character do a charged version of these actions which deals more damage or makes you dash over a larger distance. These are all the skills given to you and really all you need to defeat the bosses, and, it just so happens that The Game Bakers have used them in such a way that the combat rarely feels dull.

Apart from being mildly important to the story, the boss design in Furi was done by Afro Samurai’s Takashi Okazaki. Visually, the bosses present themselves very well, being different and distinguishable while coming forth with varied personalities. This seeps into the gameplay and voice acting, all of which were given enough attention to provide a nice package. The actual boss fights are made up of a number of phases. Usually, on the standard difficulty, it’ll be six (with a few exceptions). You have to get through every one of these phases to defeat the boss. The phases themselves are separated into two segments: the first one allows for a freer movement around the arena and ranged attacks, while the second one is more melee focused with the camera panning closer to the action. Every time you beat a phase, your health is replenished and you receive an extra life, should you have lost one. On standard difficulty you get three lives. Losing one means returning to the beginning of the phase you’re in. Losing all three involves restarting the boss fight from the very beginning.

Furi, Screenshot, Review

The attacks thrown at you may become familiar, at least in type, after a while. However, they are crafted in such a way that turns the combat into the best thing that Furi has to offer. This is because every fight has a different rhythm to it than the previous or the next one. Attack patterns shift from boss to boss, projectile trajectories are different, often times becoming tricky to predict. The timing of melee attacks remains the same within a sequence but some bosses might pause a bit longer before an attack or might move faster than others. At times, they might just vary it with an extra melee attack that you’re not quite expecting.

The great thing about Furi is that The Game Bakers have nailed down difficulty quite well. Melee attacks are preceded by a quick gleam that, while making clear what’s about to happen, still requires you to be on your toes at all time. The difference between a successful parry and taking a hit often lies within a fraction of a second. A very interesting addition (and one that significantly increases the level of adrenaline the fights bring with them) is that of bullet time elements. The screen will be swarmed with projectiles which you’ll have to carefully navigate or counter with shots of your own.

Furi, Screenshot, Review

Using a gamepad is recommended by the developers; however, a keyboard and mouse will also do the job. It does take a while to get used to the movement and the speed of the character but beating the game with the keyboard and mouse is very much possible. One gripe I had with the controls, however, was with the targeting reticule. Dashes always take you in the direction of said reticule. In a handful of scenarios, especially when the camera was further away from the action, noticing it becomes nigh on impossible. On top of that, it’s tied to the arena floor which, for me at least, felt really wonky. There were a good number of times I got hit despite pressing the dodge button on time, solely due to losing track of the reticule among tons of projectiles and dashing in the wrong direction.

If you expect Furi to be a walk in the park, it can be just that. The game has three difficulty settings, out of which the first one, Promenade, is centered around enjoying the story. This overly-simplifies combat to the point where there’s little satisfaction to be gained from it and this is why I would not recommend Promenade for a first playthrough. Furi’s story is alright, but it’s nothing that stands too well on its own. The thrill of the boss fights and the feeling you get after finally beating the boss whose attacks you’ve been learning for an hour is instrumental in fully enjoying the story – and, by extension, the game. Yes, Furi is another one of those games that borrows, from you-know-who, the notion of repeating boss fights over and over again in order to learn attack patterns and their counters. However, as I’ve mentioned before, due to there being a decent number of visual prompts, failure will mostly come from the player’s lack of attention. That is what the standard mode is based around and, once you’ve completed it, you can go for an even more difficult mode of play on Furier difficulty.

Furi, Screenshot, Review

The soundtrack is comprised of electronic music and does a good job of complementing both the fast-paced fights and the more relaxed moments in between the fights. However, at times these moments drag on for too long, the fixed camera impeding, on a couple of occasions, the process of taking in the landscape. Visually, the game has a very colorful, varied and consistent style that has something of its own that’s difficult to put into words. It’s definitely a pleasure to look at. The locations are varied enough so as not to allow boredom to settle in, with a few being especially cool. Length-wise, the game will most likely keep you tied to it for at least 6-8 hours in a standard difficulty playthrough. Sure, beating every boss on the first try reduces the game time to 2 hours or so, however something tells me that there won’t be that many people who’ll have that experience. On top of that, there’s, of course, the third difficulty level which kicks things up a notch.

Furi is a delight to play through. Its fast-paced combat and reliance on both good reflexes and getting a feel of every fight’s rhythm, alongside a very genuine sense of satisfaction when you beat a boss make for a very good action game. Should you be looking for difficult, varied boss fights complemented by a great soundtrack and colorful visuals, Furi should definetly be on your radar.

Bogdan Robert, NoobFeed
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General Information

Furi

82/100

Platform(s): PS4, PC
Publisher(s): The Game Bakers
Developer(s): The Game Bakers
Genres: Action
Themes: Sci-Fi
Release Date: 2016-07-05

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