The Game Bakers’ Furi is releasing on July 5th for the PS4 and PC, and after spending time with the game at E3 I have to say that fans of Manga and boss fight games won’t be disappointed with what it has to offer.
At its core Furi is a boss fight game from top to bottom, but it will feature a narrative that the player will experience to figure out why the main character woke up in a strange prison and then escaped. With that being said the game’s focus is mainly on providing very tight skill-based gameplay based on Japanese-style combat games. Each boss will have different patterns and stages that will require your constant attention and practice to conquer.
Combat involves the use of a gun, which is controlled using the tried and true twin stick method, as well as the main characters blade. The melee combat requires precise inputs to parry incoming attacks, as well as for executing offensive slashes. All attacks can be charged with the R2 button for added effect, but if you misjudge a charged attack you will leave yourself exposed, so timing is everything in Furi when it comes to its highly refined combat system.
While talking to Emeric Thoa, one of the game’s designers, he relayed to me that while Furi may seem punishing in terms of its challenge, players will always know why they fail. Be it a case of button mashing, or misjudged pattern counters, every defeat should make the player realize why they lost the battle, and not make them feel like the game is being cheap.
I can get behind this, and can confirm that his advice is legit based on my own hands-on experience with the game. First I must say that the art direction is to die for, and fans of Manga will absolutely adore it thanks to the work of Afro Samurai creator, Takashi Okazaki, who provided the visual direction for Furi. The vibrant colors pop, and the characters looks marvelous and very Japanese-like. It’s almost like a living comic book, or at least an anime show that you can take part in, thanks to the crisp and intoxicating bright colors, so it’s very easy on the eyes.
As far as my hands-on experience I took on the game’s first boss, who had more than a few stages and patterns to learn on the fly. At first I would have to wield my gun to stun him, and then I could go in for some heavy damage melee attacks. This worked well for a bit, but once his next pattern kicked in I now had to incorporate dashes and parries for any chance of staying alive before I could attack him again. Throughout the fight his skills would evolve through the use of new patterns, and while I thought I had him figured out, he still managed to take me down before I could strike the final death blow. Now I could lie and say that I died cheaply, but like Emeric told me I knew why I had failed. I had simply resorted to button mashing during the last stage of the fight and didn’t strategically attack the boss, so I was cut down and taken back to the beginning of the fight.
I have to say that I found the combat controls to be spot on and very responsive, and they definitely echo other games that feature Japanese-style skill based melee gameplay. The match felt fast and frenetic, but never out of control or hard to follow due to a poor camera system. Furi just offers precise combat-based gameplay, and I think fans of the genre will adore its challenge.
Furi should provide 6-10 hours of gameplay when it drops, and it will also have a New Game+ mode with entirely new boss patterns, as well as a speed run mode. For $24.99 it feels like a value, so if you like what you read don’t forget that the game drops on July 5th for the PS4 and PC.
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