2016’s Hidden Gem

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Donovan Brooks, Staff Writer

While 2016 was considered a train wreck by people around the world, it wasn’t so dismal in the world of Gaming. Last year saw a lot of great games, as well as the rise of VR technology. So, naturally, the “Top Games of 2016” lists that filled YouTube were filled with great, innovative games. Upon watching these lists, I was disappointed at the absence of the real best action game of the year, Furi.

Furi was independently developed by a small studio known as the Game Bakers. The studio, based in Montpellier, France, describes themselves as “a studio in the sky”, working with people around the world. They did not have a large budget, made evident by the fact that the characters in Furi don’t have very detailed hair animations. However, they were still able to make a game that was more fun than most AAA games despite their low budget.

The game focuses entirely on one-on-one boss battles, and takes after the Japanese style of action games. Gameplay depends very much on reaction time and speed; it’s half bullet hell and half sword duel. You can get an understanding for the game’s unique style by watching the launch trailer. The bullet hell aspect of this game is very clearly felt, as the game is very difficult. One reviewer on Steam says the game “Makes Dark Souls look easy”.

Besides the challenge that masochistic gamers enjoy, Furi has many other positive attributes. Using only vague dialogue and narration, the game manages to build a large and mysterious world, and a compelling story behind the main character of the game. This dialogue plays during walking segments that occur between boss battles, in which the art is masterfully done. The environments that you walk through are creative and absolutely gorgeous. Furi’s soundtrack is amazing as well. Constructed by seven different artists, the music takes influences from the ’80s, and sets up a retro feeling to the game.

Furi is easy to ignore due to its low budget and small team, but it really stands out among the other games of 2016. Though it was overshadowed by larger titles like Doom, The Division, and Titanfall 2, Furi was an amazing game, and should be recognized as one of the best action games of 2016.