If you’ve been playing videogames for as long as they’ve been around, you have probably come across some that have some pretty amusing premises, but My Friend Pedro’s might just take that cake, especially if it’s banana flavored. Underneath a healthy coat of bizarre lies a very fast and fun shooter that doesn’t take anything seriously.
Daydreams and hallucinations are a big part of what My Friend Pedro’s all about. It opens with the main character waking up in an unknown factory-like structure to the voice they can’t quite put a face to until they realize it’s coming from a floating banana. Are they going insane? They can’t quite tell. The only thing that makes sense at that point is the need to get the hell out of where they’re at in one piece. For some reason, they are incredibly adept at acrobatics and can shoot a gun like no one’s business. Well, anyone can do that, right? No? They insist. I suggest you just nod your head, it’s not a good idea to make crazy people angry.
Right, I’ll drop the funny storytelling and joking aside so this review moves along. *Ahem* So the game’s actually pretty good at doling out the many possible tricks your friend can pull off, starting out with how many possibilities there are for aiming at and shooting fools, to your ability to slow down time Max Payne-style and be a complete badass dodging bullets left and right. As you progress through the levels that My Friend Pedro is broken up into, you’ll get to set up more complex shots ricocheting them off of walls and even items you throw into the air, pop slow-mo and start shooting at. Like a good Hong Kong action movie, all of the bullets you shoot connect to their targets if you bounce them off the scenery, resulting in blazing fast runs once you get good at finding these setups.
Aside from the positively insane amount of shot possibilities you’ll eventually get the chance to pull off throughout the game, you’ll also have to keep on the move, and like what was mentioned during my bit at the start of the review — you did read that part, right? — the main character is quite nimble, and they’re able to jump off into walls and even backflip up to platforms, as well as swing from chains, roll onto the ground, and most impressively, twirl around like a ballerino in order to dodge shots. There’s even a dedicated button for that particular move, which comes in very handy throughout the game, since you tend to be outnumbered quite often.
The game itself is very generous when it comes to checkpointing, and since the health bar is split into three sections, it tends to give you plenty of leeway when escaping from hairy situations. Even so, you can still bite the dust if you aren’t careful. The main goal of the game is making it through the fastest that you can, though, so being creative with your approach and keeping a kill combo going as high as you can is usually more important. This is another one of those games that I’m really looking forward to watching speed runs of, and how runners will exploit the gunplay system in order to tear through the game as fast as they can.
Devolver’s really good at finding hilariously good games to publish under their banner, and My Friend Pedro is no exception. I had a great time checking it out last year at E3, and the final version does not disappoint. Frankly, I’m still a little overwhelmed at just how much there is to its gameplay, for as simple as it sounds from the get-go. I’ve always been a fan of the Max Payne games, but My Friend Pedro takes things even further, and for as silly as it can be, it’s a really good game that demands some serious skill in order for you to get a decent grade at the end of each level.