Furi is one of those rare games that are built entirely around boss fights. Very few games do this, as it’s hard to properly keep the player engaged with such a distilled game. With a challenging system and characters designed by the creator of Afro Samurai, this is one game that held my attention.
The story is that you are a mysterious warrior who has been put in the most elaborate prison ever. Guarded by powerful and insane individuals, you are freed from your cell one day and now must fight your way out while a stranger follows you.
Having a creator of one of the most action-packed animes around certainly gives Furi a leg up in the aesthetic department. The game looks amazing with some of the most stylized visuals from an indie developer yet.
After each fight, you’re treated to watching the surreal visuals as you move to the next challenge. The soundtrack also deserves praise, and fits the action and high-paced gameplay perfectly.
Furi is all about the boss fights, and it has some of the most varied fights seen in a long time.
Furi is not a deep game in the sense that the controls or gameplay are complex. You have a gun and a sword that you can charge their attacks up. For defense, you can dodge and parry attacks, and successful parries will restore health. The rules are pretty simple.
Each fight is with a unique boss who is made up of multiple stages and health bars. Most fights have you going through a long-range and then melee part before moving on to the next stage.
As the stages go on, the boss will change up their attack pattern, forcing you to react. You have three lives per stage; running out of health will reset the stage of the fight. Lose all three lives and you have to fight the boss from square one again, but winning a stage will restore your lives.
The boss design is really something else in Furi. You’re never going to run into two fights that are anywhere similar to each other. The fact that they change within each fight really elevates the bosses to a completely different level compared to other action games.
Despite the basic gameplay not changing, the different fights force you to handle different situations and make use of your hopefully growing skill to survive. The final part of every fight is a massive shump section and puts you on the defense.
The controls are very responsive, which is required, as the bosses are going to test you. The best thing to shoot for is to counter the enemy after they perform one of their many attacks. This is one of those games where I can’t talk more about the bosses, as any mention will spoil things.
The game comes with three difficulty levels with the hardest one locked until you win on medium. All in all, Furi may not have a lot of gameplay, but it’s one of the most refined games of the genre I’ve seen. There are just a few minor problems that I want to talk about.
Furi is a visual and technical treat, but the visuals do get in the way sometimes. It’s very easy to lose your character when the enemy shots start filling the screen. In turn, it makes it difficult to properly dodge sometimes or perform parries.
The game features a QTE where you have to move the analog sticks in a certain way, and for the life of me, I couldn’t get it to go off reliably. This becomes all the more annoying when bosses attack with QTE-based attacks that you can’t avoid; forcing you to succeed or take extra damage. I found out later that you’re supposed to push them in at the same time, but it was hard to tell that because of the visual effects.
The camera stays mostly locked to a single perspective for the majority of the fights. There were times where the perspective added to the difficulty, such as during the bullet hell segments.
The problem is that the camera is at an angle that makes it hard to gauge distance of shots or where they’re coming in relation to the player’s position.
I think the biggest problem that Furi has in terms of appeal is the fact that this is a game entirely built around boss fights. If you’re looking for additional things to do, side-quests, upgrades etc, there aren’t any. Also, this is 100% a skill-focused progression model. If you get stuck at a fight, you will not be able to move on until you get it right.
You can lower it down to easy, but then you’re missing out on unlocks and content. While this isn’t a big problem for expert players, it can be frustrating to learn through failure in a game of this type.
Furi is an excellent game and is a style of game that I would like to see more of. If you’re a fan of a lean, action-filled experience, definitely check the game out. For more on the game, check out my spotlight video up on the YouTube channel. And if you need help with the bosses, I also have a survival guide playlist.
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