Tough, But Accommodating
HIGH Stringing together a large combo of destruction.
LOW The final boss regenerating health.
WTF The double sawblade being a lame choice for boss battles.
I’m all for difficult games, but as I get older the thought of having to “git gud” to enjoy something is no longer appealing. On its surface, Fury Unleashed, a roguelite action platformer, should not be the thing for me. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how it embraces difficulty, and in doing so, generates broader appeal.
Fury Unleashed is a tough-as-nails run-and-gun platformer with brutal enemies, rare health drops, and frequent deaths. From the beginning, it states via disclaimer that it was designed to be played in hard mode, and players wanting a challenge will find it here. However, the developers also mention they included an easy mode so that everyone, for any reason, can enjoy their work.
In fact, they even take it a step further — beyond the default easy, players can adjust health and enemy stats, and can switch between easy and hard modes at any time without losing in-game progress. The only thing players sacrifice by playing on easy is leaderboard stats and certain in-game achievements. All other content is available no matter which difficulty is selected, and there’s lots of great content to experience.
Players start by taking control of a customizable comic book action hero who will explore the pages of four comics. There’s a deeper story about why the comic’s creator is having difficulties, but it’s sparsely intertwined between levels and honestly, I skimmed over most of it.
Exploring a comic is a fantastic implementation of procedurally generated content as each new room is a panel within the comic book filled with traps or hordes of enemies like skeletons, aliens, and even Nazis that players will mow down with dozens of weapons. There’s standard fare here like shotguns and rifles, but also some absurd inventions like plasma cannons and a twin sawblade gun.
Besides mobs of enemies, players will encounter various minibosses before a showdown with an overpowered behemoth in the final pages of each issue. Boss fights are a highlight of Fury Unleashed – they’re huge, sometimes taking up the majority of the screen, and have a variety of attacks to keep players on their toes. there are dozens to face and most are challenging, even on easy mode, but none ever seem impossible.
While there’s much to enjoy in Fury Unleashed, I did have a few criticisms — mainly in the final chapter. For one, the comic pages near the end of the game are in black and white. While this is a great aesthetic choice and has a story reason behind it, this shift made it difficult to notice and avoid enemy projectiles, especially with multiple adversaries attacking at once.
Also, I had a problem with the final boss. The fight is enjoyable overall and the attack patterns aren’t too difficult to learn. However, I let out an audible sigh the first time its life bar regenerated to full health – it’s not insurmountable, but this is a trope I’ve never enjoyed!
Fury Unleashed can be tough as nails for many reasons, but thanks to developers that embrace the idea that someone should be able to adjust difficulty to their own abilities and tastes, players of all skill levels will find something to enjoy about this roguelite shooter.
Disclosures: This game is developed by and published by Awesome Games Studios. It is currently available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the Switch. Approximately 6 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed multiple times. Zero hours of play were spent in multiplayer modes.
Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated T and contains Blood and Gore and Violence. This is an accurate description as there is plenty of blood, gore, and violence, though often in an over-the-top, cartoon-like way. Blood can be turned off in the options, but enemies still explode when defeated.
Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available in the options
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: In-game story is told completely through text bubbles or panels. Text size cannot be changed. There are no noticeable sound cues for enemy attacks. This game is fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: No, this game’s controls are not remappable. There is no control diagram. Players move with the left control stick while shooting and aiming with the right control stick. The ZR button can also be used to shoot, with an aim assist option available to help. The Y button is used for melee attacks, while the L button is used to throw grenades. Jumping is completed with either the ZL or B button and the R button is used to sprint. Special attacks are launched using the X button.
When he does find time to play, Brian’s preferred games of choice are platformers, beat-‘em-ups, or a good adventure game.He still enjoys the retro gaming scene, could talk about the Nintendo 64 more than he might like to admit, and misses playing in actual arcades. Brian also gets to pass on his love of gaming, as his oldest son is just now starting to join the fun.
As for that GameBoy - it’s sitting in Brian’s nightstand, waiting patiently for four AA batteries.