Dec 30 2019

Late My Friend Pedro Review

Run, shoot, dodge and kick. Consider the consequences later. Don’t eat the banana. Euphorise your reaction instinct. Bounce off the walls. Kill your family. Hijack a speeding train. Don’t wake up.

Pedro, your friend in the game, is… how should I put this… is a banana. A fucking banana. A talking, flying, perfectly ripe banana for that fact. A banana that trains you in the most efficient ways of killing gangsters and rednecks. A banana that knows you better than you know yourself.

This little indie gem that I was able to play as part of my £1 Xbox Game Pass trial this Christmas holiday has been a blast, literally. The game is a 3D styled sidescroller, in which you navigate your avatar across levels, as you roll through vents, wall bounce up to platforms, swing off ropes and activate switches for access. Some objects left lying on the floor can be interacted with, usually as an accessory for pulling off skilled kills such as ricocheting bullets off a frying pan.

The game consists of about 5 stages, each broken up into levels that are to be essentially speed ran to earn the most amount of points at the end of the round. The levels will sometimes act as mini tutorials for using skills and new weapons. At the end of the stage, you will face a boss and be engaged in an enthralling high speed gun chase.

Enemies are scattered throughout the levels, some awaiting in ambush behind doors and from the ceiling, opening fire at the smallest glance of the avatar. Your job is to go balls to the wall, jump through glass windows and shoot anything that moves. Depending on the weapon equipped, you can either blast their head off with a sniper rifle or shotgun, or go two-handed with SMGs or pistols as you double up on the number of enemies you can target and become a hurricane of bullets as you spin dodge their bullets by tapping L1.

The game is about fast wits, pulling off the most efficient shots possible in a room full of enemies firing at you whilst dodging shots, but you can find relief in being able to slow down time to assess the situation, line up shots and get to safety. With your character being quite athletic and a bit of a gymnast, he does commit to some egotistical flips whilst scoring headshots.

The art style reminds me of Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate with the 3D scenes and character models. The biomes are well detailed and unique from one another. The game style reminds me of a zany indie game a few years back called Gunpoint, in which you played a detective who broke into buildings by leaping huge distances.

The minimal story is enough to carry the success of the game, engaging you enough to play a few more levels before bed. Narrative is delivered via a few lines at the beginning of a level, with the ending all part of the Banana’s master plan. There are plenty of jokes spread throughout the game that were good enough to raise a giggle from even myself.

Overall, cracking game with fun gameplay mechanics. Just the right length to not lose my attention, and a good revival to what I feel recently has been a dwindling genre. Pedro is a fantastic mascot, and the best part is I don’t need to pay £20 for a POP figurine, when I’ve already got a bunch of merchandise in my fruit basket. Just need to get hold of a marker pen.


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