When it comes to action-packed, 2D shoot-em-ups, I tend to approach them with a touch of caution, given that the genre is oversaturated with janky replicas failing to reach the heights of Enter the Gungeon or Gunbird. Luckily, Fury Unleashed does a decent job of fulfilling its run-and-gun quota.
Rogue-lite can be a tough nut to crack but the developers behind this gorgeous extravaganza use it to their advantage, with procedurally generated levels that unfold in the form of a comic book. That little quirk is what helps to keep the experience of Fury Unleashed wonderfully fresh, from the nostalgia-rich text boxes to the hand-drawn art style that makes for some stunning backdrops.
Looting can drag down a game or it can serve to make the experience all the more enriching, whether that’s finding a unique chicken-wing-like club in Dark Souls 2 or being bogged down by an unending stream of swords that up the damage by an arbitrary percentage like in The Witcher 3. Luckily for Fury Unleashed, looting is a rewarding part of the fun – each run has a wealth of armor and weapons on display and there are optional challenges from the NPCs to offer a more difficult twist on the ordinary.
As is the case with the genre, you might not always find a nifty tool that serves to storm the gates but that only adds to the challenge which can make a victory rewarding in its own tough-as-nails way. Yet, there’s an odd sense of gratitude that comes with power housing your foes which is only brought to life by the stunning comic-y onomatopoeia and satisfying sound effects.
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Where Fury Unleashed excels in its unbelievable artwork, things seemingly amp up in an artificial fashion. As you plow through the hordes of enemies and bosses which are greatly diverse and refreshingly varied, the rewards are less than rewarding with upgrades boiling down to health increases, ammo increases, and the like. This cheapens the replay value that is otherwise up to scratch.
Final Score: 76%
There’s a charm that glitters in the design of Fury Unleashed as it truly embraces its comic inspirations. It might not be the perfect rogue-lite, nor is it the best that’s just dropped, but it certainly has its place with a refreshing story told by refreshing means and plenty of meat on the bones to make it a worthwhile venture.
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