What do you get when you mix the hitman-esque feel of John Wick with the mind-bending physics of The Matrix? You get Devolver Digital’s newest side-scrolling shooter, My Friend Pedro. If you haven’t seen the crazy trailer for the game, click here to see what you’re getting into.
That’s right, in the spirit of Keanu Reeves showing up out of nowhere, that’s exactly the spirit we’re taking with this review.
My Friend Pedro is weird. At first, you’re just sort of placed in this post-apocalyptic world with no recollection of your memory. You have no name and with no backstory, the action immediately begins.
The weirdness kicks right off by introducing you to a sentient banana named Pedro, reminding me immediately of Sparx from Spyro The Dragon. No explanation, you wake up and he is there. Is he your conscious? Is he a hallucination?
Serving as your tutorial and guide throughout, Pedro begins to run you through the gauntlet that lies ahead. Instantaneous, you’re run through a wide array of increasingly difficult levels. Encountering newer and stronger enemies and unraveling the main bosses, one by one.
One thing to note that will be loved by most is the games want for style. Sure, a focus bar where things slow down is not a new thing. But where the game really excels is the variety of ways to target and take out your opponents.
In every instance possible, the game really gets fun when you drop in unexpectedly on enemies, throw on the focus and unleash a wildfire. The ability to slow time to a crawl allows you to build up multipliers and just create endless replayability.
At the end of each level, a rating is issued based on points gained to things like time, enemies killed and the number of points gained with the additional multipliers. The quicker you are and the transition from one grunt to the next matter more and more.
Throw in a world leaderboard and you have an additional level of challenge to be the best.
Scenery wise, there is a massive amount of depth and fun animation within each level. Levels are linearly and vertically challenging, creating different opportunities for true bloodshed. Some parts are a little more puzzling, which adds a new dynamic besides just a run and gun experience.
Each level is beautifully created, showcasing the overarching theme of that boss, especially when things take a weird turn in the middle of the game. Even with that, the levels are fun, engaging and artistic.
The environment is everything within this game. Obstacles like walls and boxes do hold you up at times, but creates endless potential to enact your next act of vengeance. Kick up a frying pan and fire off a couple rounds and suddenly you’re ricocheting bullets. Kick up a down enemies head and take them out for all you care.
Sound wise, dialogue is limited to simple text boxes, but what really captured me was the nu-metal type soundtrack consistently playing. Its fast, rhythmic beat pushes the narrative of keeping the game moving at a fast-paced nature.
The music is encouraging enough to push the limit and clear the level as quickly and efficiently as possible. But when the action escalates to a new boss, the music slows to a dramatic and suspenseful techno beat.
The game does have some slight flaws that definitely put me through the wringer a bit. While the action of the game is designed to be fluid in nature and feel very parkour-y, but sometimes the action did feel a bit like a rag doll. The issue is very minor and I’ll chalk some of it up to user error, but it felt like the movement had a bit of a mind of its own.
Additionally, the game’s autosave seemed to kick in at random points, finding yourself spawning right in the middle of the action or at tougher times. Whether it’s a minor bug or not, having to restart the level a number of times was a little frustrating, but still doesn’t damage the fun of it all.
The end of the game throws some twists at you, and the respect that this game deserves and get the acclaim for is definitely there.
Traversing through this game was definitely a fun challenge with how the environment and you interact being a key part. This is definitely a game to take a second crack at, trying for harder difficulties, bigger multipliers and the chance to lead all your friends and even the world.
Alright, this game is up my alley, where can I get it?
My Friend Pedro drops today on PC and also for the Nintendo Switch. Click here to download from the Steam store and jump in on the action!
What are your thoughts on Devolver Digital’s latest title? Comment below!