One of the most intense, challenging, and fun games I’ve tried recently is The Game Bakers’ Furi. The entire game is based around going through several fights with a single opponent in an arena, similar to a boss rush.
You do not gain any experience, abilities, or levels for winning a fight – and with no way to change the difficulty, Furi makes itself out to be a fair but unforgiving and challenging game.
When I first played the demo I couldn’t help but become absorbed into the gameplay. My first opponent started off the fight in long range combat mode, a phase of combat in which you’re forced to quickly understand the pattern of bullets your opponent is creating and figure out the right time to either dodge or attack.
The bullet pattern varies and can be anything from a small wave of bullets coming at you to nearly the entire arena with only a tiny section of safe ground.
If you can manage to get to a safe spot you might be able to fire off a few rounds of your own in what can only be described as a twin stick shooting.
The attacks can be held and a stronger blast can be utilized, but the time it takes to fire off one of these charged attacks can often be deadly. It is not all bad news though, as there are green bullets that you can shoot to regain a bit of health.
This long-range contest goes on for roughly half the enemy’s life bar, which takes about 2 or 3 minutes depending on how good you are, and ends dramatically as the main character unleashes a series of blows that force the enemy into a close range fight.
In close range combat the game becomes even more devious as you’re forced to watch for subtle hints as to when the enemy will strike. In addition, if you get hit you’ll lose considerably more health than you would have in long range. However, through counterattacking and parrying, you can regain small amounts of health.
Both the long range and close range combat modes are equal to one round of fighting with each round having different patterns of attack, and each enemy opponent having multiple rounds.
The demo had me facing off an enemy with 8 different rounds that I had work through. Suffice to say, I didn’t last through all the rounds as I first lost all my health on the third round of fight. It was in losing that I found out I had multiple life bars myself.
My abilities didn’t change, and I didn’t gain the benefits the enemy had, but I did gain the knowledge of what I did wrong and how to get better. This is the spirit of the game, learn from your mistakes to get stronger.
As I played, each death honed my skills and brought me one step closer to victory. The controls were spot on, and simple too. All that I could do was run, dodge, parry and attack with either close combat, or long range combat.
It was simple pattern recognition and understanding of tells, yet it still tripped me up enough times that I ended up losing all of my health bars before I managed to defeat the enemy.
I felt like I had to get back in and try again – that if I just played one more round I would have understood exactly what I did wrong and gotten past it. I honestly didn’t want my time to have ended just because I missed a dodge or block.
This is exactly what the The Game Bakers wanted. I specifically asked them if there would be a difficulty setting so that players that weren’t as good could be able to experience the story.
I was told with a straight face that this game is meant to be difficult, that challenges were meant to be overcome, and the spoils of victory will only come to those that dust themselves off and try again.
I was incredibly impressed by the demo. While it didn’t provide much insight into the games story, this is one game that I’m willing to fight through to figure out.
Furi is set for a tentative release window sometime this year for PC and PlayStation 4.