Switch version tested
Review code provided
The Fast and The Fury
Fury Unleashed is a Roguelike shooter by Awesome Games Studio, which sounds like it was named by a 12-year old, but the game certainly lives up to the name. You play as Fury, a comic book character who is far past their prime. Fury’s in-game artistic creator considers laying Fury to rest after failing to create any worthwhile or quality content. The story, and the word “story” is very loose, is that you go from comic panel to panel trying to survive and make your way through to save the unpopular comic book writer from putting Fury in the bin forever. You do this by annihilating Amazonian skeletons, steampunk Nazis and terrifying aliens. It sounds a little much, but it really keeps in fitting with the game. There are lots of varying, creative bosses and many deadly weapons. It’s an excitement extravaganza.
There is a strong focus on gameplay and it’s evident throughout the game. Maybe this review comes across like I’m being a little harsh on the “story”, but that’s not my intention whatsoever. Honestly, It is a little thin on story and I really do love good storytelling; a game’s story can often make or break it. But I would rather have a skinny and interesting story, rather than an unnecessarily convoluted storyline. It’s simple, yet innovative and you can invest how much you want into it.
The story is in the background and it’s the driving force of why you’re fighting, but really it’s not on your mind until your progress through the segments (which may be a while). It’s like a distant parent: it’s nice when you see it, but it mostly leaves you to your own business. Genuinely, they get the tone and pitch in the right place, so you can really enjoy the constant stream of bloody violence. The story is a little shy and it comes out in its own way. When it does come out, it’s intriguing to make you want to keep on playing.
You can customise your character, but the choices are limited until you unlock more. I actually like that there isn’t an overwhelming choice, but each choice is suitable. There are plenty of different loadouts and upgrades along the way, which works with how you grow in the game. Funnily enough, how you change Fury over time lends itself to the meta-narrative of Fury Unleashed. The author of the comic is unhappy with his creation and has doubts, so he constantly recreates, improves and edits the character to try and get them just right for the task at hand. Maybe I’ve read into that too much, but hey, I’ve got to get some use out of my English Literature A-Level somehow. If my interpretation correct, it means that there is some depth and nuance where you would least expect it.
This is predominantly a co-op game and I think it would be best to enjoy in twos. I, however, am a games reviewer; therefore I do not have any friends. Therefore, I played this game solo, and it still felt really fun, as much as I would have if I had a friend.
The game is incredibly fast-paced and you get rewards for killing with speed, with the combo-building mechanic. On top of that, you can only get health if you maintain your combo. You have to be nimble and skilled at this game in order to succeed.
You travel through each level, going through specific doorways to defeat randomly generated enemies with unique and exponentially hardcore weapons (one gun in particular shoots out sawblades and one which shot out souls). You don’t get the same level twice which is cool, but it feels overly familiar to typical Roguelike traits. It is reminiscent to The Binding Of Isaac, but with a Metal Slug aesthetic. Fortunately, Fury Unleashed brings a surplus of personality to establish its own presence in the genre.
The controls on the Switch are initially clunky and take a while to get used to. You do grow out of it and it does become satisfying when you do it right. Even with practice though, some boss fights which requires a lot of moving, the aiming can be tricky and annoying. The Switch is a great console to play Fury Unleashed on, especially that you can drop-in/drop-out aspect. Yet sometimes the Joy-Con controllers don’t allow for precision and finesse, which is needed for the later chapters. Or maybe that’s the excuse I use for why I have died 28 times in a row.
The game is hard, but it’s honest about it. You do die lots, but I never actually ever felt angry when I lost. There wasn’t that usual frustration from failing. That wasn’t for a lack of caring about the game. On the contrary, I think they had managed to create a perfect balance of challenge in the game. It inspires you to play well, but don’t get upset when you die. Every death allows you to upgrade your character and be better next time. Awesome Games describe this as “Soft Permadeath”, which is a massive oxymoron. It’s like saying you are about to have a “gentle swim in a volcano”.
This game makes you feel simultaneously like a badass but teaches you not to be cocky. It lets you know that the game is difficult, but makes you feel like a champion when you overcome. It’s a rare balance which I significantly enjoyed.
This is one hell of a fun game with lots of replay value. It’s consistent, fresh, thrilling and the perfect level of challenge. It’s one of my favourite Roguelike games.
TBG Score: 8.5/10
Platform: PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo
Release Date: 08/05/2020
No. of Players: 1-2
Category: RPG, Action, Platformer
Developer: Awesome Games
Publisher: Awesome Games
Download link: eShop