Furi by The Game Bakers, previously available on PS4 and PC, blends together the likes of Devil May Cry, Shadow of the Colossus and Afro Samurai. It has now come to Xbox One – here’s the review.
In Furi (yes, dear spellcheck, that’s what it’s called), you play the role of a captured protagonist whose goal is to escape from jail. In order to do this, he has to get past a series of jailers, who present themselves to you in the shape of lengthy boss fights. The story sounds intriguing, but in reality it’s mostly just filler in between the jailer confrontations, which is the real meat of the game. To illustrate this, Furi even has an ‘auto pilot’ mode that allows you to let the sections in between fights play themselves.
The boss fights in Furi are lengthy, and consist of numerous ’rounds’ where you have to defeat each opponent – who will switch up their tactics and weapons over the course of the battle. This keeps the confrontation fresh and dynamic, which is important if you’re looking at a 15 minute struggle. The downside of such lengthy battles is of course the scenario of having to start over in those cases where you’re not successful – in which case the game becomes a bit of a drag. You can turn the difficulty level down to prevent this, but that somehow comes with an extremely drastic drop in the level of challenge you’re offered. This was an issue that appeared in the original PC release and still exists, despite Furi having been updated with a few patches along the way (which are of course present in the Xbox One version).
The combat itself is excellent though – controls are smooth, and instantly likeable if you have experience with the classic Devil May Cry titles (or the recent reboot). A lot of the combat is based around melee, swords, counters and dodging/jumping – but your right thumbstick also fires a mean barrage of bullets your opponent’s way. It’s flashy, smooth – and very rewarding when a jailer finally goes down. The Xbox One version comes with the added bonus of having a few boss encounters that are (at least for now) fully exclusive to the platform. None of these encounters radically change the game (we’ll have to wait for a possible sequel there), but it’s nice to get some extra mileage out of an otherwise relatively short game.
What makes Furi really stand out is its unique visual style, which is partly designed by Takashi Okazaki, the man behind Afro Samurai. If you picture that visual style and then throw a bucket of neon-colored paint over it, then you’ve got a general idea of what Furi is like. It’s style and action over substance, with a relatively lack of story/character development, but it’s fun to play – especially if you’ve been looking for something like the action sequences in Devil May Cry or Bayonetta. Furi takes that, blends it with a unique visual style and a boss-driven structure like Shadow of the Colossus – and comes out as a refreshing newcomer. Despite about half a year passing since the original release, Furi is still a unique experience and a worthwhile addition to the Xbox One library. It has all the bugfixes that were included post-release in the original version, and even comes at a slightly lower price than its Steam/PS4 cousins.