E3 2016 – Furi (PS4) Preview – Boss to Boss

Ever play a game and wish all the filler “fluff” levels between boss fights got out of your way? Then it sounds like Furi may be for you. We spent some time with this upcoming boss battle royale at E3, and have our impressions ready for you.

Constant Suffering

The game begins in the first-person perspective. Someone holds you hostage, and begins to beat you senseless, without warning. This captor taunts you with every hit, promising to kill you over and over again until you know no existence other than repeated misery. A random character frees you before long, and you are off to kill your former captor.

With characters designed by the creator of Afro Samurai, Takashi Okazaki, Furi drips with Japanese style. There’s a hyper-stylized look and feel to Furi, which is something of an acquired taste. Don’t expect much realism. This includes the game’s controls. When you press attack, parry, or dodge, your character reacts immediately. This is a requirement of the game’s design, because each boss that you fight only allows for a brief window of opportunity in which you can strike them.

Furi looks and runs fairly well. All action is focused on the fight, in a small area, which doesn’t tax the PlayStation 4 much at all. The game is built on the Unity engine, which is proving to be fairly versatile. I didn’t notice any slowdown, in a game that demands unflinching performance from the player, and thus, the platform on which it is running.

Marathon Fighter

When asked about the length of each fight, our rep for developer The Game Bakers told us that they can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, or possibly even longer. Every battle can be seen as a boss fight, against an enemy who has quick reflexes, an arsenal of moves, and a megaton of health. You have a simpler repertoire of moves, but also a decent amount of health. The game has been designed to include long duels which are drawn-out, require your complete attention, exhausting, and ultimately rewarding.

Most players will lose their first encounters with each new boss. Indeed, during my short time with Furi, I lost against the first boss, though he was down to two life bars by the time he finished me off. According to the developer, testing has revealed that most players improve with each attempt at killing a boss. It reminded me of Dark Souls, in that bosses require your full attention, and only through an improvement of your skills can you defeat your enemies.

Deceptively Simple Combat

Combat consists of a basic slash, a dodge move, and a parry. You can charge both your slash and dodge, with the latter teleporting you across an entire battle area. Parrying is as simple as pressing circle in time to an audio-visual clue from the enemy. The right stick also fires some sort of energy weapon; holding R2 charges up this weapon as well. Furi can almost be played as a twin-stick shooter, which is a surprise if you haven’t seen the game before.

It is already obvious that Furi is not for everyone. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course. A game that tests your reflexes like games made in the ‘90s, built with the sensibilities of today’s games, is just begging to be played by masochists, or those looking to better their reflexes. While it wasn’t revealed how many boss fights Furi will contain, extra game modes were revealed to exist, and will unlock after you beat the game. Furi currently has a target release date of July 2016 for the PlayStation 4 and PC.