Fury Unleashed is a game that combines a lot of elements I love but leaves me a bit wanting. It’s gameplay reminds me of arcade classics like Metal Slug, it’s art style brings back memories of the best flash games of the Newgrounds days, and it’s music ties the whole package up nicely, but the execution is just a bit off.
First, let’s talk meat. Gameplay is frantic and fast-paced. It takes all the best tools out of the bullet-hell toolbox and brings back memories of the aforementioned Metal Slug and classics such as Contra. Controls are tight, shots go where you aim them, and when you get hit by something you usually feel it was your own fault for not dodging in the right direction at the right time. Getting new weapons feels awesome as they unlock new ways for you to destroy your enemies. The game also contains a progression system that allows you to unlock weapons and other customizations and start with them on later playthroughs.
This game looks good. Its animations are smooth, its character design is interesting, and the special effects boom and blast with proper flash. As mentioned before, the art style reminds me of some hybrid of Metal Slug and a Newgrounds flash game back from when I was in high school. The fact you can customize your character to fit any look or style you want is a big plus. The sound design is equally good, with the music fitting the pace perfectly and the sound effects having the proper punch to make pulling the trigger satisfying.
The upgrade and persistence system is fairly robust. You gain levels and with those levels unlock points on a tree. These points can do stuff like increase your health, make your combo meter last longer, and make you reload faster. The game also catalogues all the items you find and the enemies you kill. You are going to need to level up to beat this game as it becomes punishing the further you go and the upgrades help to mitigate that. This is a game meant to be played repeatedly and grinded, so if you’re not into rogue-likes or rogue-lites, this may be a turn off. I wouldn’t mind if trees like this had a bit more interesting options than just “increase health by X”, but it’s a common trope in these types of games so I forgive it.
Now the rub; with no online multiplayer, this game really missed an easy layup. Steam’s remote play co-op did not have a good enough connection to play a game this fast and this precise and these days not a lot of people are sitting side-by-side to play games, pandemic or otherwise. This game could have some serious legs if it put some online connectivity into it, but as is it feels like a dead feature.
Fury Unleashed is a great game that could have been an even better game, but it’s still worth your time if you’re a fan of bullet-hell action games.
~~S. W. Jackson~~