App Reviewed on: iPad Pro
User Interface Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Over the years, video games have primarily focused on granting power fantasies to players by putting them in the shoes of ultra-powerful killing machines. With all of that practice and iteration, games have gotten increasingly refined in their ability to make players feel good about creating various forms of wanton death and destruction. Fury Unleashed is a game practically obsessed with delivering a very straightforward version of shooting action that positively reinforces ripping through enemies as quickly as possible, and it does a really great job at it, especially in adapting its gameplay to touch screens.
Comic book action
Fury Unleashed is a 2D side-scrolling shooter that is built around the aesthetics and design of comic books. You play as the book's protagonist, Fury, and wander between different comic panels, laying waste to skeletons, aliens, nazis, and more. Fury is a super-soldier of sorts who is well versed in all manner of firearms while also having melee weapons, grenades, and super powers at their disposal.
As you make your way through the pages of various comic issues, a light story unfolds, though it's focused more on the fictional creator of these comic books rather than Fury themselves. Rest assured, though, the focus here really is on the moment-to-moment action of unloading bullets in rooms full of enemies, gathering gear along the way, and seeing how far you can make it before you die.
The action in Fury Unleashed feels like the gameplay of classic 2D side-scrolling arcade games like Contra and Metal Slug, though with some key differences like independent control of movement and aiming via two virtual joysticks. There's also a gear system in place here that has you discovering and equipping various forms of armor, grenades, power ups, and up two gun options you can swap between on the fly.
This sounds like a lot to handle via a touch screen, but Fury Unleashed's mobile version is surprisingly pretty easy to wrangle (not to mention it also has perfect bluetooth controller support). There aren't a ton of control customization options, but the granular auto-aim settings can really help you fine-tune the degree of compensation you might need when using virtual buttons. If even then things seem too difficult, Fury Unleashed grants you upgrade points after every run that you can use to give yourself bonuses and increased stats on subsequent play sessions, and there's even somewhat of a "checkpointing" system that lets you skip to later levels provided you've cleared the previous ones enough times.
I can't stress enough how well Fury Unleashed's touch controls work. For the purposes of this review I was able to complete every section of the game on its default "hard" difficulty without touching a controller. Everything from jumping to tossing grenades feels easy to master with perhaps a little bit of practice, and my only consistent hiccups during play mostly came from accidentally opening the the quick-access map, which unfortunately isn't moveable or able to be toggled on/off despite having some customization options for those that play with controllers.
Otherwise, the only thing that might make Fury Unleashed's action feel a little divisive is the game's combo system. Although you can absolutely play this game by cautiously and methodically working your way through levels, it heavily encourages you to string kills together as quickly as possible while avoiding damage. Currencies that help you during runs and generate ability points between them drop more plentifully from enemies the higher your combo meter is. Some ability upgrades are also specifically tied to granting bonuses based on your combo. I don't necessarily mind this gameplay model--especially as it adds some additional challenge to a game that at times can feel a little easy for a roguelite--but it can lead to some frustrating runs where the flow of enemies doesn't quite work your way or a slip of the finger results in dropping a huge combo string that you can't help might have been avoidable playing on a different platform.
The bottom line
Fury Unleashed does a fantastic job of delivering quick, high-octane roguelite action that feels varied, deep, and manageable on a touch screen. It may not be the most original kind of game out there, nor will it necessarily push your skills to their limits, but it is a bloody good time nonetheless.