Fighting for Freedom in Furi: Game Review | 9Lives
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Furi is a vibrant and stylish science-fiction action game with a fast and frenzied fusion of hack-and-slash and bullet-hell inspired twin-stick shooter gameplay, with close-combat swordplay and brutal barrages of energy bullets. Developed by indie studio, The Game Bakers, Furi centers entirely around its ten boss battles in which The Stranger must fight for his freedom and unlock his past.

The Interstellar Prisoner

Furi begins with a mysterious man enduring endless torture within a floating prison fortress high above the surface of an unknown world. This Stranger is met by the enigmatic masked prisoner known as The Voice who releases him, arms him with an energy pistol and a sword, and explains: “The jailer is the key. Kill him, and you’ll be free.”

Fight for Freedom

In Furi, The Stranger must navigate through the ten islands of the floating prison fortress, each defended by a powerful Guardian with the single-minded purpose of preventing The Stranger from escaping captivity. With character design by Takashi Okazaki, creator of the legendary Afro Samurai, each Guardian is captivatingly crafted with a unique appearance and personality which is present in their fiendish fighting styles.

The Guardians

Braving Furi’s boss battles you’ll go up against The Chain, a sadistic staff-wielding jailor clad in heavy armour and a collection of Japanese Noh masks that make for a terrifyingly theatrical trial. You’ll face The Strap, a mad scythe-wielding prisoner of cryptic origins armed with a head-mounted laser cannon that unleashes torrents of energy beams.

Requiring a more methodical approach, you’ll battle The Line, a wise old man and master manipulator of time who wields a dwarfing two-handed great sword. Upon deeper exploration you’ll enter the dark lair of The Scale, a vengeful amphibious Guardian armed with twin harpoons that induce hallucinations with every strike.

Next you’ll face The Hand, a noble warrior and commander of the legion of one hundred men charged with capturing The Stranger, and The Song, an angelic woman whose mercy is found at the end of twin crossbows. With unwavering will you’ll battle The Burst, a tactical genius and master of long-range weaponry with every move informed by a swarm of drones that serve as her eyes, and The Edge, an oar-wielding warrior possibly based on the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi who defeated the famed Sasaki Kojiro with a sword carved from a wooden oar.

Lastly, you’ll face The Beat, a brave and determined young woman that despite her lack of combat experience strives to guard the final door with the help of a myriad of machines and a devastatingly dangerous trump card.

Elegant Simplicity

Furi boldly discards traditional conventions like items, levels, combos and unlockable skills to bring you the most remarkable and relentless battles fought with just four basic actions: slash, shoot, dodge, and parry. Every battle becomes a delicate dance of precise button presses as you master each Guardian’s unique attack patterns, revealing when to strike in what at times closely resembles a rhythm game.

High Energy Neon Action

Furi’s multi-stage boss battles bounce between blazing top-down arena action and furious flurries of close-up combat, with each new phase triggered by besting the Guardian’s challenges.

When encountering an enemy Guardian, you enter an arena-shooter phase in which you dodge a deluge of enemy projectiles including waves of non-parryable energy orbs, beams of light and colossal arcs of electricity.

Whittling down the Guardian’s defenses as you advance through the initial arena-based stage, a new phase of combat is triggered as you enter an all-out, melee-only duel in which The Stranger unleashes a storm of swift sword strikes against a staggering Guardian to claim his victory and his freedom.

Surging Soundscapes

Accompanied by gritty blasts of 80’s synthesizers in an electronic soundtrack featuring artists like Carpenter Brut and The Toxic Avenger, Furi’s soundscapes compliment its striking neon action and fuels your fighting spirit, whether you’re on the brink of victory or the verge of defeat.


Furi leaves an unforgettable impression, felt in The Stranger’s fight for freedom against visually extraordinary and memorable characters as he traverses a strange wilderness of neon landscapes. The heart of Furi lies in mastering its precision-based combat and overcoming its hyper-challenging boss battles as you’re forged into a master swordsman. Furi is a truly thrilling game which I recommend to all lovers of the genre.

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