Fury Unleashed Review
Fury Unleashed is a 2D-action-platformer-roguelike set in a comic book. That’s a lot of different genres thrown out there, but in reality, the game is similar to others already on the market, most closely resembling games like Enter the Gungeon or Rogue Legacy. Players explore a hand-drawn world, spanning four different procedurally-generated comic worlds, fighting off themed enemies as the titular Fury, and learning more about the comic’s author, who has grown bored with his franchise.
The game plays like most roguelikes where you’ll advance, likely die at some point, and then have the ability to carry over some progress to your next run. In this case, you’ll level up your character by collecting experience points (ink that you gather from fallen enemies) which are cashed in at the end of a run to spend on upgrades. You’ll also unlock new weapon classes throughout your runs, but these generally just open them in the shop’s random inventory. The real upgrades are for your character, which include increased health, stronger criticals, and the ability to extend the time your combo is active.
Throughout your run you’ll also be able to find or purchase a variety of armor pieces, weapons, and upgrades that can increase your maximum health or lengthen the distance that you can collect ink from. These items are only with you for your current run, and can be a bit of a crapshoot. Securing a powerful gun makes a world of difference in how quickly you can move through a level.
If Fury Unleashed has a gimmick that sets it apart from other games in the genre, it’s the combos. Combo strings are tied to a bunch of achievements in the game, leaderboards, and most importantly, an increase in ink drops and protective shields (up to a max of three) for each set of five enemies in a row you dispatch. Honestly, the extra ink was never much of a big deal to me as you collect plenty throughout your runs, and don’t need a maxed out character to be able to finish the game on it’s standard “Hard” difficulty. Being able to take some free hits is great, but the combo system really just pulled at that old-school arcade desire to set a high score.
A small timer in the corner of the screen depletes a progress bar that will end your combo, and this constant reminder to find another enemy to shoot keeps the game much more fast past than it would otherwise be. You could certainly progress slowly through each panel, only facing real active challenges when you run into a boss, but that would be doing the game a disservice. Fury Unleashed plays its best when you’re using all the tools it gives you to move quickly through a stage: double jumping, air dashing, head stomps, etc.
The finesse associated with these acrobatics is where the game gets its variety, because unfortunately, the levels all play pretty much the same. There’s a new coat of paint between each comic book you jump into, but the level design remains pretty consistent and the enemies receive only small tweaks to their behavior throughout. There are achievements to guide your gameplay experience a bit (such as stomping on 30 enemies’ heads in a run or finishing a page in 30 seconds), but for the most part, you’re left to your own creativity in mixing up your approach to a level.
The game isn’t easy by any means, as you can’t take too many hits before dying, but veterans of the genre shouldn’t have too much difficulty getting through the game’s default difficulty. For those same veterans, finishing the game once unlocks a harder difficulty with stronger enemies, and instead of persistent upgrades, you’ll get the option to pick one of three enhancements for your run at the end of each level.
In the end, Fury Unleashed is what you make of it. It’s not a sprawling AAA game, but it’s also $20. Most people will probably spend somewhere around 10 hours with it and move on. Others might be able to dig a bit more value out of it showcasing their skill. It’s a fun game, with responsive controls and satisfying weaponry, but could use some more variety to have lasting appeal.