The best way to describe Fury Unleashed, the new release from developer Awesome Game Studio that has just hit the Nintendo Switch,would be as an amalgamation of Comix Zone and Metal Slug, with rogue-lite and old-school elements thrown into the mix for good measure. If that’s not enough to pique gamer’s interest, I don’t know what will…
Whilst action-packed gameplay is at the forefront of Fury Unleashed, it does have a very clever narrative that focuses on a comic artist’s struggles to remain motivated to work. With writing ideas at a low and his own personal problems to deal with, he expresses his feelings in a way that suits him best: by filling his blank pages with an over-the-top romp that players will blast through. It’s a great premise and one that brings its own little twists into the experience too, so it’s easy to find yourself completely invested in the artist’s plight.
Fury Unleashed’s gameplay sees you running-and-gunning through a myriad of rooms that are based around one of four in-game comics, with each bringing with them different environment styles and enemies to face off against. Each level is procedurally-generated so you won’t see the same things across subsequent playthroughs, but they’re always full to the brim with deadly enemies, platforming challenges, and vicious hazards and traps that can send you to an early grave.
Luckily, the game casts you as a battle-hardened warrior, so you’re able to shoot at foes from multiple directions, unleash up-close melee kills, dash through the air to get out of harm’s way, and utilise an assortment of power-ups that’ll beef up your manoeuvrability and killing skills. The controls are also accessible and fluid, so the art of killing feels both thrilling and intuitive on the Nintendo Switch. There’s a cracking arsenal of weapons for players to use during their adventure too, with the basic varieties of pistols, machine guns, and shotguns joined by more zany and creative weaponry that offer all sorts of spectacular ways to kill enemies. I mean, everyone loves blasting enemies with lasers or rockets, right? Well, Fury Unleashed gets much crazier than that… it’s best for players to discover the cool weapons they’ll use themselves, though.
All of Fury Unleashed’s action is tied to a combo multiplier that ramps up with each subsequent kill you make, with higher combos not only earning you more of the in-game currencies but also seeing enemies drop more health pickups. These can prove pretty essential given the game’s tough difficulty, so a heavy emphasis is placed on getting quick-kills on a regular basis – the game’s soundtrack ramps up with your successes too, so you’ll know where you’re doing a good job.
As mentioned, you’ll earn two different types of currencies as you kill foes: gold and ink. The gold can be spent to unlock new and improved gear, whilst the ink is spent to improve your character’s capabilities on a skill-tree. Some of these skills are stat-based and it’s a good idea to improve things like your health or damage output early on, though some of the more ability-orientated skills will make your life easier too – especially when it comes to making your way through levels or ensuring that your combo meter remains high. Investing in the right skills can be imperative to your success in Fury Unleashed, which just goes to show how important pulling off high combos and earning ink really is.
Fury Unleashed is a punishing game, so you can probably expect to die… a lot. There are permadeath aspects in place too, so your demise will see you having to start your playthrough all over again from the start.
Whilst the enemies themselves and the countless hazards will be your main source of death, the randomised nature of each playthrough could work against you at times too. It’s possible to start the game and not come across powerful weapons that suit your playstyle immediately for example, whilst some level layouts can certainly be a lot tougher than others. It’s all procedurally-generated so there’s no way to predict what you’ll face, but it can lack consistency at times.
Fortunately, the upgrades to your gear and your skill-tree remain consistent between playthroughs, so it all balances out over time. Whilst the difficulty that Fury Unleashed imposes can be a little overwhelming early on, it doesn’t take long before you fight fire-with-fire and become an unstoppable and destructive killing machine yourself. Still, those who aren’t used to such a harsh difficulty curve may find themselves put off in their early runs.
Between its frantic gunplay, the rewarding combo system, and the brutal nature of gameplay, there’s a hell of a lot to enjoy in Fury Unleashed. Each successful encounter you have with enemies will encourage you to push that bit further through a level, whilst the satisfying emphasis on platforming, avoiding danger, and picking your moment to strike never stops feeling thrilling.
The over-the-top boss encounters add to the excitement, as did the seemingly endless supply of weapons at your disposal that always seemed to become more destructive in design. There are neat challenges to be found across playthroughs that add some variety to the experience too, with some focusing on action-orientated objectives and others on quick manoeuvres from the player – they can be tricky to complete, but the reward makes them worthwhile. You can also go through the game in local co-op with a friend, which isn’t only a BLAST to play but also makes the tricky difficulty a bit easier to cope with.
Fury Unleashed offers a brutal and action-orientated romp that’s a blast to play both solo or with a friend, with the destructive gunplay and over-the-top showdowns with enemies proving to be mighty satisfying throughout. Admittedly, the tricky difficulty can be a bit off-putting early on, but there’s a rewarding sense of progress to the experience as you earn more skills and gear.
Fury Unleashed is simply a really fun game to play and one that’s easy to recommend to all old-school action-packed shooting fans.
Developer: Awesome Game Studio
Publisher: Awesome Game Studio
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC