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MMOExamined: Be Free With Furi

Time and time again, I’ve done discussion posts about Furi. Yet I’ve never actually sat down and done an in-depth review of the game. I think you all deserve better than that. So without further ado, it’s time to MMOExamine the lovely title that changed the bar for PS Plus. Furi, by the Game Bakers.

This game puts you in the shoes of an unnamed protagonist, as he dives through this fantastically designed prison in his attempt to return to the world. despite his natural inclination to destroy it. Take on a series of guardians hand-picked to keep you in that prison. Each and every one offers a different type of challenge that will push you both at ranged distance and in melee combat.

the-lineThat love of destruction is a recurring theme, as this is no linear experience. Well, it is, but at the same time, it offers an intriguing perspective, and a shift in principles that will make you question everything you know about game design.

For starters, the difficulty of this game is pretty straightforward. It’s not an easy game, but most of the time, it is fair. That being said, there are some fundamental decisions that seem a bit unfair at best, and outright broken at worst. These come into play in the game’s Furier mode, which forces you to avoid an onslaught of fierce bullet-hell attacks as you seek to protect yourself from the boss you’re fighting. The timing of parrying often feels misleading, in that a white light flashes to alert you that you’ll need to parry soon, but the light doesn’t line up with the timing of that protective maneuver, in a way that can cost you an entire fight if you’re not careful. Some would call it a design choice, I’d call it a flaw. It makes for a less cohesive fight, in a game where the cohesion of the fight is everything.

Still, this doesn’t plague the standard difficulty setting, and with that, the fights become not only more cohesive, but some of the most interesting boss battles you could ever expect to experience. The difficulty of each boss seems to be more of a reflection of their place in the narrative, rather than their position in the game. For example, one of the earlier bosses is really old, and has a lot of experience, so naturally, he’s stronger than one of the late-game bosses who happens to be rather young and inexperienced.

Furi’s aesthetic really compliments the nature of its combat and adventure. It’s stylized in a way that, while similar to the likes of Afro Samurai, takes its own approach by being vibrant and colorful.

This aesthetic is heavily complimented by a soundtrack composed by an incredible all-star team of producers and DJs, making for one of the most memorable electronic soundtracks in all of gaming.

Finally, the narrative of Furi is complex, and not spoonfed. You have to do your best to pick up what the narrative is trying to tell you, both directly, and thematically. It makes for a real moral journey, and there are some incredibly gripping moments. The weight of each attack, the look of the world, and the strong cohesive sound makes for a truly fleshed out game world.

Furi is a game that I never would’ve played if it didn’t land on PS Plus, and what a mistake that would’ve been. This game has the potential to really shake the market if it gets enough attention. It shows us how to experience battle in a way that truly makes us think. The violence, while a center-theme is not mindless. It is a game all about waking up and breaking out. It’s truly a brilliant work.

Written by Mustapha R. Price

Mustapha is a young yet spirited university student majoring in Game Art and Development. While he’s but a senior in college, he has an extensive history with the art of gaming journalism. Managing his own game review blog for several years, as well as attending events such as Boston FIG and PAX East has given him extensive experience in covering game news. His knowledge of game design also serves as a tool to develop finite understanding of what makes games work.

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