Fury Unleashed
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Fury Unleashed doesn’t do anything radically different for a platform shooter, but the rogue-lite elements and combo-heavy gameplay make it a blast to play. It’s also very addictive and offers a lot more replay value than typical 2D platform shooters. We would have liked to see more variety in the environments, but the impressive number of bosses and enemies make up for this. Overall, this is a great game that shouldn’t be missed if you are a fan of the genre.

Gameplay: Fast-paced and very addictive.

Graphics: The comic book art style looks great.

Sound: The music and soundtrack are fantastic

Summary 8.3 Outstanding
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Fury Unleashed

Developer: Awesome Games Studio | Publisher: Awesome Games Studio | Release Date: 2020 | Genre: Action / Platformer / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Fury Unleashed is not the story of the protagonist, Fury, but his creator, John Kawalsky. You see, Fury is a comic book character, but lately, John has been feeling a bit burned out creatively, which shows in his work. Initially, this doesn’t matter much to Fury, who continues to rip and tear through enemies in the comic books, but it soon becomes apparent that more sinister forces are at play. It’s a pretty neat backstory, but it can also be entirely ignored by players who want to storm through levels, blasting everything in sight.

Fury Unleashed takes the form of a rogue-lite action platformer where every kill increases your combo. Losing health resets your combo, so you don’t want to rush in with reckless abandon but waste too much time, and your combo will also drop. The result is a game where you try to kill enemies as quickly as possible instead of hanging back and taking potshots, but you also have to pay attention to your surroundings. It’s an entertaining and addictive mix that had us going back again and again.

The rogue-lite elements come into play when Fury inevitably succumbs to a hail of enemy bullets or runs into one trap too many. The game features soft permadeath, so while you lose everything from your last run, you retain all the “ink” you collected from killed enemies. The ink serves as experience points, which allows Fury to level up. Players can then unlock permanent upgrades that hopefully make subsequent runs a little easier. Speaking of difficulty, the default for Fury Unleashed is “Hard,” and while you can drop this down to “Easy,” you will miss out on some achievements. We like this approach as it still allows players who might not be as good with 2D platformers to have fun, but more experienced players who want the achievements face a bigger challenge. Also, players can team up for local co-op when playing the game, but the planned online co-op has not yet been implemented in the version that we played.

Like the Sega classic Comix Zone, Fury Unleashed is set within the pages of comic books, but Fury doesn’t interact with enemies beyond killing them. There are three different comic books for Fury to battle through, beginning with an evil undead Aztec infested jungle before moving on to some Nazi blasting and eventually aliens.

Clearing all three comics opens up a pencil-sketched Viking-inspired comic where the final boss resides. You only get one life, and if Fury dies, it usually means having to start from scratch, but the game does give some concessions in this regard. Not only will you hopefully have earned enough ink to upgrade some skills, but if you manage to beat the three main bosses of a comic, you can skip the previous comics if you want. However, we found this to be a bad idea as skipping previous comics means you miss out on all the loot and guns they contain, which can make things much harder. Ultimately, it’s a choice between taking the longer road and being better prepared or taking the shortcut and dealing with the tougher challenge.

Apart from the three main bosses per comic, Fury Unleashed also has a ton of sub-bosses. In fact, there are 40 bosses to beat in the game, and these fights really brought back some nostalgic memories of old-school classics such as Metal Slug. The bog-standard enemies are no walk in the park either, especially when you enter a panel that is swarming with them. Along with having to dodge enemy projectiles, you typically also have to keep an eye out for traps like spike pits, saw blades, and lasers. It can sometimes be a little overwhelming to dodge all of these perils while still shooting and jumping, but it becomes easier with practice.

Visually, Fury Unleashed is a great-looking game that quickly dispels any notion that 2D is dead. The comic book style artwork is a perfect match for the game and you can even customize the look of Fury. The game has Steam Workshop support along with the preset hair, body, and color options. So, if you want Fury to be Barack Obama, you can simply download his head from the Workshop straight from the game. There are already plenty of great designs on offer, along with the usual assortment of low-tier efforts, so we typically start each run with a new look. For a 2D title, there’s also a surprising amount of graphical options, so in addition to changing the resolution, you can enable or disable features like dynamic lights, foreground decorations, distortion effects, and even your crosshair size and color. The inclusion of a bloodless mode means that younger players can also enjoy the game.

We played Fury Unleashed with a mouse and keyboard combo, which is also perfectly playable using an analog controller. Both methods allow you to shoot in 360 degrees, which is vital as enemies come at you from all sides. You don’t have to worry about bullets in the game, but reload speed is important, especially when chasing big combos. Thankfully, guns are not your only weapons, as you can also stomp on enemy heads to kill them, lob one of your finite grenades at them, or run in close for a melee attack. Each has pros and cons, so you’ll have to figure out which enemies are immune to stomping or which explode if you stab them. There will be a bit of a learning curve for players unfamiliar with the genre, as Fury is quite nimble for an action hero. You can perform double jumps, air dashes, sprint, and activate special attacks along with running and gunning. There are even potions you can pick up for temporary buffs, like freezing enemies you attack or setting them on fire.

Fury Unleashed doesn’t disappoint when it comes to audio, either. While there is no speech, the sound effects are solid, and the soundtrack is pretty great, too. It actually made us check who was responsible for the music, and it turns out that Adam Skorupa and Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz were the composers. They were responsible for the music of Shadow Warrior 2, Bulletstorm, and The Witcher, so it’s no surprise that Fury Unleashed sounds so good.

The rogue-lite elements of Fury Unleashed give it a lot of replay value, so while three themed worlds with three levels each don’t sound like much, the layouts are randomized each time. You can also choose how many or how few of these panels you want to complete on your way to the “exit” panel. Doing more than necessary comes with the risk of losing more health, which can be hard to replenish but also means more opportunities for loot. Since players can often choose to go up, down, left, or right from one panel to the next, you have a lot more freedom than a linear platform shooter. The fact that you can fast-travel between previously reached panels also helps when you hit dead ends and want to avoid backtracking through empty panels while your combo resets.

Overall, we really enjoyed Fury Unleashed, and attempting each new run with fresh weapons or upgraded stats kept it feeling fresh. Sometimes, the odds feel way more stacked against you than others due to the loot drops you get, but that’s just the nature of the genre. Little touches, like the optional side quests that task you with killing a certain amount of enemies with melee attacks or increasing your combo by a certain amount without it dropping, also spice things up. There’s a big incentive to keep your combo as high as possible at all times, as things like faster reloading or shields are tied to your combo meter. Of course, players who do not enjoy repetition might struggle with this game, and we would have liked to see more types of environments. However, even though it took hours and multiple tries to finally reach the end and beat the final boss, we were still rearing to go back for more and do it all one more time.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7/8/10
  • Processor: Dual Core 2Ghz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX 9 compatible
  • Storage: 1600 MB available space
  • OS: macOS Sierra 10.12 or newer
  • Processor: 2.7 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (Dual-Core)
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GT 640M / Radeon HD 6970M
  • Storage: 1600 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: iMac Mid 2011, MacBook 2014 or comparable
  • OS: Ubuntu 18.04 or newer
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 3.0GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 / Radeon HD 7510
  • Storage: 1600 MB available space

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