My Friend Pedro
Gameplay 8
Graphics 9
Sound 9

My Friend Pedro is a violent platform shooter with an emphasis on stylish action. Taking down enemies in slow motion is a lot of fun and the game has no shortage of props like frying pans, skateboards, glass panes, zip-lines and more to make it look even more impressive. The last half of the game skews perhaps a bit too much towards puzzles and platforming instead of stylish mayhem, but apart from this the game is a blast to play.

Gameplay: Violent, over the top and lots of fun.

Graphics: A few wonky animations and generic backgrounds, but overall good.

Sound: Decent sound effects and a great soundtrack

Summary 8.7 Outstanding
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My Friend Pedro

Developer: DeadToast Entertainment | Publisher: Devolver Digital | Release Date: 2019 | Genre: Action / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Waking up in the basement of a butcher shop is probably pretty traumatizing at the best of times, especially if you have no memory and no idea how you got there in the first place. However, things are even worse for the unnamed protagonist in My Friend Pedro. Not only is he in the grimy basement and clueless about who he is and why he is there, but there is also a floating, talking banana talking to him. Thankfully, the banana appears to be friendly and helpful. Unfortunately, most of its help appears to be centered around directing you how to kill everyone around you. According to Pedro, they all had it coming and you shouldn’t feel bad about the mountain of corpses you leave in your wake. Of course, there is still the nagging suspicion that listening to talking fruit might not be a good idea.

If this story of a man going on a murderous rampage at the behest of a talking banana sounds vaguely familiar, then you have probably played the Flash version of the game that was released a few years. Since then, the developer has been hard at work on a commercial release that features better visuals, sounds and gameplay, but retains the offbeat style of the original. For anyone not familiar with the Flash game, My Friend Pedro is basically a 2.5D platform game where the emphasis is on taking out enemies as stylishly as possible. Everyone knows that the most stylish way to kill people is in slow motion, so you’ll find plenty of that in My Friend Pedro. The game is also not as stingy with its slow motion, which is called “Focus” in this game, so you can really go on a rampage.

After waking up, Pedro informs you that Mitch the butcher is the villain who placed you in your current predicament. This means you have to blast your way through his army of aging mobsters before putting Mitch out of his misery. However, this is just the start of your adventure as your actions result in a large bounty being put on your head. The result is a mob of Christmas sweater wearing bounty hunters being out for your blood and things only become more surreal from there. Eventually you’ll be trekking through the sewers while killing gamers and LARPers before fighting ISPs on a train and heading into the internet yourself. Along the way there is also a short trip to Pedro’s world, which is even more bizarre than you would imagine for a talking banana. There is some attempt at a story to tie all of this madness together, but don’t expect any answers that make sense. The plot was clearly just an afterthought for My Friend Pedro, but the game is just so much fun that this hardly matters.

My Friend Pedro supplies players with levels that are packed full of opportunities for slow-motion mayhem. Initial levels features enemies who are just standing around waiting for the mask wearing protagonist to burst in and riddle them with bullets from an assortment of weapons. Thanks to the slow motion, copious amounts of blood and rag-doll physics, it’s not hard to pull off stylish kills. The game also cranks things up a notch by providing you with all kinds of other goodies to make your kills look even more awesome. These range from barrels that can be dropped on enemies’ heads, various volatile objects that can be shot so that they explode and even a skateboard, because why not. In addition, there is plenty of glass to burst through and ropes as well as ziplines to swing from as you blast away. As soon as you pick up weapons like the pistols and uzis duel wielding also becomes a thing, which means you can fall down into a room in slow motion while shooting enemies on either side of your character. However, one of our favorite moves in the game is kicking a pan up into the air and then shooting at it to kill all the surrounding enemies with the ricocheting bullets. There are so many moments in the game that look awesome, which is why the developer has kindly included the option to generate a GIF from your most awesome looking kill sequences. These GIFs can also be shared straight to social media from within the game if you want to show off.

My Friend Pedro is not just all about running from left to right killing everyone on your way to the exit either. To break up all the platforming, there are also a few sections that are a little different. These include a short ride on a motorcycle while you shoot at other baddies on the road as well as a free-fall from a high-rise while shooting other enemies who come tumbling after you. Then there is the level that is set in Pedro’s world, which can only be described as surreal. Let’s just say that it involves bounce pads, disappearing platforms and even a propeller hat. The game does have a bit of a change towards the end when levels become more maze-like instead of straightforward and killing enemies begin to take a backseat to solving physics based puzzles. This can be a bit jarring for players who simply want to shoot everything in sight and instead have to deal with electrical barriers, homing mines, and switches. Enemies also start wielding deadlier weapons and shielding themselves, which means that diving headfirst into a room without a plan can quickly result in death. Luckily, MFP is quite forgiving when it comes to death, so you rarely restart far from where you died and there are also multiple difficulty levels, so you can challenge yourself as much or as little as you want.

Visually, My Friend Pedro is not exactly cutting edge, but it is miles ahead of the Flash game and quite impressive for an indie title. The levels generally look good, but there’s nothing here that we haven’t seen a million times before. The game even acknowledges this with its justification for the sewer levels and the gamers that inhabit them, but there are so many other more interesting backdrops that could have been used. The depiction of the internet, which serves as the final set of levels for the game, also fell somewhat short of our expectations. Lastly, watching your character pull off all kinds of acrobatic moves in slow motion looks very neat, but there are spots where the animations end up a little odd depending on where you land. The design for the protagonist is definitely a step up from the Flash game, but on the other hand, the enemies end up looking a bit bland.

My Friend Pedro doesn’t feature any speech, which is the pity as we quite liked the voice of Pedro in the animated launch trailer. Instead, all of the speech in the game is handled via speech bubbles. It doesn’t matter that much, though, as the game doesn’t feature that much talking in any case. Levels usually open up with a few quips by Pedro and then it is on to the action. You’ll also occasionally see speech bubble exclamations by enemies, such as the gamers complaining about lag when they get shot. We don’t have any complaints about the sound effects as everything sounds as they should. Likewise, the soundtrack, which consists of electronic music and synth tunes definitely fit the surreal atmosphere of the game.

We played My Friend Pedro using the mouse/keyboard combination and while there is a bit of a learning curve involved, it didn’t take long to master all of the moves at our disposal. Your character can run right and left as well as duck, roll, jump and wall-jumps. Shooting is easy, but you have to pay attention to where you are aiming and what your character is doing. For example, your character will fire in the direction his gun is facing, which might not always be where you are pointing your cursor if he is in the middle of a spin or another move. In addition to shooting, he can also perform a kick and twirl around to dodge bullets. Chaining together moves and kills will build up your combo, which impacts what type of score you get at the end of each level as well as your ranking. This provides players with more of an incentive to go back and challenge their best rankings. Levels are also generally short enough that they don’t overstay their welcome, but there is only one path through each one, which means things can become repetitive after your first run. It’s also a pity that the game is a bit on the short side and can be completed in about five to six hours depending on your skill level.

Despite the issues that we have mentioned, My Friend Pedro is a lot of fun to play, especially the early levels where the focus is on causing mayhem instead of solving puzzles or dodging traps. The boss battles in the game are also quite fun, but perhaps not as epic as we would have expected, apart from the final boss. If you miss the era of slow motion shooters and want to play something entertaining that doesn’t take itself too seriously, then My Friend Pedro should be on your wishlist.

System Requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 x64
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-530 (2 * 2930) or equivalent
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce GT 440 (1024 MB)
  • Storage: 4 GB available space
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 x64
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-4160 (2 * 3600) or equivalent
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce GTX 760 (2048 MB)
  • Storage: 4 GB available space

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