What if Duke Nukem was created now in 2D and was a Roguelike Game?
|Fury Unleashed (2020)|
|Designer(s)||Andrzej, Marcin||Programmer(s)||Marcin, Bartosz, Mariusz||Publisher||
Awesome Games Studio
|1-2 (local Co-op)||16+||10-20 hours|
|System Availability||PC (Steam/GOG), Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4|
Back in the 90's, I played so much Super C (Super Contra) with friends. It was such a hard game at first, but we kept playing it over and over learning the spawn patterns of enemies. Eventually, we got to a point where we did very well surviving each level, and while we kept playing the game, the thrill did wear off since nothing changed.
Fast forward 20 years, roguelike games have become very popular mixing different genres of games with the traditional roguelike elements of random world generation. Games like Spelunky, Rogue Legacy, The Binding of Isaac, FTL, and many others have made great use of these concepts.
I recently had the opportunity to try out Fury Unleased that is another great roguelike.
Fury Unleashed is a new 2D platformer that mixes classical style run-n-gun gameplay (Contra, Metal Slug) with more recent rougelike platformers (Rouge Legacy). The story is fun, the character reminded me a bit of Duke Nukem, and the gameplay is great. Yes, I realize he is nothing like Duke Nukem, but in my head, that is how I have decided his character is and makes the experience all the better because of it.
Let's dive into each of the areas. I will try to minimize spoilers as much as possible, but it is possible after playing it for 10+ hours, I may say or show a picture of something that could spoil something minor.
The setting of the game is within a comic book. The main character Fury is the lead character within a widely popular Fury comic book series, but in the recent issues, the quality of the story has decreased as well as the confidence of the author. Through clips in each chapter, you get a glimpse of the real world showing the player a bit of the authors mindset and real world issues. You will also encounter enemies that seem out of place when compared to the other enemies and seem very focused on taking out Fury. Fury has to re-build the confidence of the author by overcoming all of the obstacles in each stage.
As stated earlier, the game mixes a number of different genres together to create a great experience.
Drawing from the roguelike genre, each chapter's levels are randomly created meaning no playthrough will ever be the same. When you die (and you will), you will return to the first chapter (initially), but you gain experience points (black ink collected after killing enemies), which will allow you to level up. In this respect, there are some RPG elements. The level up process is essentially a skill tree that provides access to new abilities/buffs that cost skill points earned when you level up. This allows you to increase your health, augment your attacks, expand your grenade carrying capacity, and other unique twists for Fury. This means the next time you enter into a chapter (which will be entirely different layout), your chances of surviving increases, allowing you to get further into the game and discover more of the story.
Fury's moves come from a mix of various platformers and run-n-gun games, which is very reminiscent of classic Super Nintendo and Sega games. Fury is able to:
- Attack using various guns collected throughout the levels such as pistols, sniper rifles, energy weapons, and explosive rounds. In Fury's offhand, you can attack in melee with various blades, axes, and unique melee weapons. You can even attack enemies by stomping on them, which is surprisingly powerful. You also have access to different types of grenades.
- Travel through the levels by running, double jumping, and dashing (both ground and air). Gameplay is fast and constantly keeps the players on their toes; it never feels boring or slow.
- Use unique special powers that can be swapped out with new abilities found throughout the level. These abilities will recharge as you kill enemies. These abilities may be able to freeze enemies or summon a drones/turrets,
- As Fury kills enemies, the combo meter will advance and the music will get louder and more intense. Challenges will pop up during game play expecting certain combo counts and will increase different buffs during gameplay.
Throughout the levels, you will find small comic panes containing the closest thing to NPCs you will find in this game. Some will offer you challenges in exchange for goods while others expect money (gold ink) or health. Typical things you can obtain include weapons, health recovery, special buffs, special abilities, and so on. Most of these disappear during each playthrough so don't get too attached. As mentioned earlier, the main thing you keep is the skill tree perks and your initial weapon load out (which is changeable).
This all mixes together to create a fun experience that is hard to put down.
The art of the game is pretty good, but admittedly, it took a little playing for me to appreciate the character models which was purely out of personal preference. The game allows the player to customize how Fury looks by using character models (human, wolf, skeleton, and more) that can be unlocked by playing the game; colors and hairstyles are also changeable. There will be different types of levels each with a drastically different appearance, and the enemy models have a unique look about them that fit location they are in.
Visually, everything seems to fit together very well; the character models look very good running in front of the level's backdrop. The parallax background compliments the foreground graphics; I never had issues wondering if certain section of the level were transverse-able or not.
The music for the game is very rock sounding and fits the game very well, but it isn't until your get your combo meter really high that it gets your Adrenalin pumping. While I enjoyed it, I don't feel like it will be a soundtrack that will be extremely memorable in future years like many classics, but it is rock solid for enhancing the experience while playing the game.
There are a lot of different enemies in this game each with their own unique fighting styles. Some will stand in a single location and fire on you with various weapons (many of the same types of weapons the player will be able to use), fly around the screen following the player, climb around the walls/ceiling shooting and dropping down on you, and others that follow a specific path (typically the bosses use this movement logic). Fighting the enemies are definitely challenging at times especially when they swarm you, but often you will learn how to deal with many of their patterns. What makes them a little more unique is they change up things like their damage types and some explode after death. You have to be careful not to kill the wrong enemy with a melee weapon only to have it explode in your face. The same is also true of some enemies that have resistance to ranged attacked thanks to shields.
None of the basic enemy battle hold a torch to boss battles. Through the chapters, random rooms will contain bosses (sometimes chapters have multiple bosses). Typically, the bosses are huge characters that have screen wide attacks requiring even more precise timing and evasion. They still follow traditional movement patterns, but their damage is much worse as you would expect. I never get tired of fighting the bosses because it takes a little while to learn their patterns and the payoff in the end is great. At the end of each comic, you will encounter an even greater threat.
I can honestly say I am hooked on this game. I loved playing Rogue Legacy a few years ago, but after beating the game a few times and still having so much to unlock that is just grindy, I have been looking for something to fill that void. I don't feel this game will last as long as Rogue Legacy did for me simply because I think I can 100% this game in maybe 15-25 hours, but I am having a great time. Sometimes, I feel games include too much, and often times the extra content isn't really worth the time to unlock. With what I have seen so far with my 10 hours of playing this game, I feel this is going to be sized just right so I can finish the game and feel good about it without being haunted with hours of grinding. I really have been enjoying this game on my Switch and have encountered no technical issues on the platform so far.
If you are a fan of classic run-n-gun games and enjoy being surprised at what each level has to offer thanks to roguelike mechanics, I highly recommend checking out Fury Unleashed on your platform of choice.
We received the product in order to write an honest review; all reviews reflect the honest opinions of the writer.