Furi (PS5) Review – The Jailer Is The Key
Developer: The Game Bakers
Release Date: May 17, 2022
Reviewed On: PS5
Publisher: The Game Bakers
Genre: Single-Player Action
Furi was a masterful boss-rush experience that was initially released almost six years ago, so seeing it brought to current-generation platforms was a delight that provided an appropriate excuse for me to play this game yet again. From its excellent sound design, distinct visuals, and terrific bosses, I had no regrets about going for the Platinum trophy once more.
Throughout Furi, players control a silent protagonist who becomes captured for reasons not immediately evident. However, they eventually break free of their imprisonment and fight off the civilization’s guardians to escape and fulfill their veiled initial objective. The narrative is light in execution, with implied developments having already occurred before the game’s initiation. Story beats and dialogue are delivered when encountering each new boss and throughout the intermittent walking sections that happen when traveling to those aforementioned battles.
Aside from a few bosses briefly expounding on the current circumstances, most of the story and characterization comes from the protagonist’s companion, a curious, bizarre man wearing a cosmetic rabbit head. He’s quite philosophical, with thought-provoking lines correlating to the protagonist’s actions and upcoming bosses. Despite the game’s brevity, amounting to an hour or two depending on your skill level, the narrative genuinely compelled me due to its simultaneous mystique, cast variety, and meticulous writing. Further, if you find yourself remotely engaged by the story, replays and personal reflections of the bosses you faced paint a vast picture of their societal roles.
As for the game’s true appeal, its boss design is consistently stellar. This title’s combat solely comprises linearly encountered boss battles, and each is immaculately designed with excellent telegraphs ranging in subtlety and overtness, terrific accompanying tracks, and character uniqueness. In addition, the playable character’s moveset amplifies the cathartic delight emitted from these battles tenfold, with smooth controls instilling every facet of movement.
While your move pool is limited and fully available from the start, it works because of how brief the game’s length is. It also aids in easing the learning curve since the difficulty of this experience primarily results from having to push those few mechanics to their limits. You can swing your sword and charge it for enhanced efficacy, dash for evasion, and shoot projectiles for ranged safety. They’re all fairly self-explanatory and should be quickly discernible by any action veteran. However, one element players have to keep in mind, especially if they play on the hardest difficulty, Furier, is that the speed is immensely demanding.
Thanks to the swiftness of the main character, bosses usually respond in kind, with audio cues and telegraphs that are fairly portrayed but can be blink and you miss it moments if you’re not careful. As hit-star Zac Efron once said, you have to ‘get your head in the game’ to adequately contend with these foes.
Still, there are moments of leeway. You have multiple health bars, though the current boss phase resets if your current bar is depleted. The health gauges you possess can be seen as extra lives, so to speak. Thankfully, the battles don’t fully reset if your bar runs out once, so there’s ample time to learn these boss’ movesets.
Moreover, you regain a health bar once you manage to deplete a boss of the one they utilize at the time. It’s a continually rewarding system that notices your efforts as a successful underdog overcoming trials you may have initially perceived as impossible. I’d rather not spoil the details of the battles since figuring out how to deal with them is the crux of the experience here, but if you enjoy the addictive process of constantly failing and retrying with the caveat of learning more each attempt, you’ll assuredly fall in love with Furi.
The soundtrack is also fantastic, managing to be a simultaneously fitting series of ambiances and intense thrills. I’d argue that great songs are necessary for video game-related challenges since they act as hype-inducing motivators across each retry. This soundtrack’s excellence can not be overstated, and it deserves as much acclaim as the standout boss design. For players who desire more from the game, the most challenging difficulty is unlocked after completing it once, and the Speedrun and Practice modes offer accessible avenues for those yearning to either push their limits or hone their fundamentals.
Furi is a game that will only appeal to die-hard action veterans who love a good challenge. Yet, thanks to this limited and intentional appeal that is clearly imbued with fervor, Furi cleanly sticks the landing and delivers a sublime boss-rush adventure with remarkable combative polish. I’ve played only a select few titles that have felt as fulfilling as Furi, and I wholeheartedly believe that those willing to give this game a shot and sedate any preemptive pride they possess will feel similarly by the end.
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