Full Metal Furies comes from Cellar Door Games, the creators of Rogue Legacy. If one thing can be said about the latter title it’s that CDG implemented a fantastic blend of exciting gameplay mechanics that relied heavily on replay value. I must have plugged over 50 hours into Rogue Legacy and could have easily put much more into after that. Full Metal Furies walks a similar path but houses an entirely different concept. The game is described as a modernized RPG-laden action brawler for up to four players, with a steady emphasis on teamwork. The game supports Xbox Play Anywhere, meaning that you can purchase a copy for Xbox One and play on Windows 10 at no additional cost – and vice versa. Progress and achievements will be shared across those platforms. Cross Play functionality is also included, allowing Xbox One and Windows 10 owners to unite in the game. With the technicalities to the side, how does Full Metal Furies stack up in what can only be described as an overcrowded genre? Extremely well.
The plot is as straight forward as needs be. Players will take on the role of one of four characters (two if you’re playing solo) to defend the world and fight back against a band of tyrannical titans. Full Metal Furies comes with a great deal of dialogue, and whilst it may not be in-depth or particularly necessary at times, it does bolster the story. You can indeed play through the game and pay no attention whatsoever to the plot, but you would be missing out on some hilarious moments, no to mention character personalities. With that in mind, the game offers four distinct characters to choose from, each bringing their own unique skills to the proverbial table. There’s Alex – the fighter, Triss – the tank, Meg – the sniper, and Erin – the engineer.
What sets this game apart from like-minded titles is that each class truly sits alone in the fields of play. Triss offers a melee focused loadout, trading long to mid ranged combat with up-close and personal attacks. She comes equipped with a gigantic shield that doubles up as a means to bash your enemies with. Triss also utilities a shout ability that will fling nearby foes across the screen, as well a dash attack, which can be used to either evade attacks or charge attack towards an unsuspecting enemy. Meg on the other hand is a character that’s best suited for long ranged combat. This class tends to dish out quite a heavy hitting attack but sacrifices speed and fluid movement as a result. Meg cannot move when she is aiming down the scope of her sniper and takes a few seconds to reload her gun per-shot.
Meg can also evade attacks via the use of her hookshot, but again this is not quite as reliant nor as fluid as the other classes. Her special ability allows her to charge an aggressive shot for mass damage, slowing down enemy movement whilst you line-up your target. In contrast to the sniper, Erin will serve you with a much more grounded set of skills. I quite enjoyed using Erin due to her fast-firing pistol and her ability to throw down a turret for added attack coverage. Unlike Triss, Erin has no melee capability. This means that players will be forced to carefully plan when and when not to attack. Erin also comes with a heavy shot and barrel roll that comes in handy for evading large swarms of enemies. Finally, Alex comes with a chunky Thor-like hammer that packs quite a meaty offense capability. Not only can Alex counter attack but she can spin attack too, which proves helpful when you find yourself backed into a corner. The same can be said about her evasion ability, which comes in the form of a high jump.
The evade abilities and power abilities both come with a cooldown, which prevents players from abusing these commands. Full Metal Furies encourages players to try out these different characters. This is made apparent by the quick swap ability in solo play, and the fact that you cant bring two of the same characters to the game in online play. The gameplay itself also promotes utilizing specific traits, such as the barrier system. Certain enemies will come with color-specific barriers that can only be penetrated by a color-specific class. For example, Triss is the blue class, meaning only she will be able to rid an opponent of their blue barrier. Attacking the barrier of an opponent that doesn’t match your class color will yield no results whatsoever. This format of play further emphasizes the importance of teamwork when playing in co-op, and quick thinking when playing in solo.
If you fall in battle a team member can bring you back by standing over your incapacitated character and pressing the corresponding command. When this happens, a percentage bar will appear above a fallen character. The kicker here is that although the bar will gradually climb in percentage independently, it stops at 99 percent. The only way to push it to maximum percentage is via another character. This throws a strategic layer into the mix, seeing as though barrier enemies will still appear regardless as to whether the color-corresponding class is downed or on their feet. Throughout the course of the game you’ll be picking up gold. This can be obtained via defeating enemies, bashing environmental breakables, or through opening end-level chests. Gold is used for purchasing new abilities and upgrades over at the skill tree vendor that is located at your base camp.
Skills and upgrades don’t tend to cost too much at first, but soon demand one hell of an asking price as you make it deeper into the game. The gold that you earn isn’t independent per-class, which means that you’ll once again have to adopt some forward thinking to ensure that you’re evenly upgrading your characters. Skills include the likes of health-up, strength-up, tec-up, and so on and so forth. Some of these can be upgraded several times, with each upgrade becoming more and more expensive as you chase each tree. Each class also comes with unique skills that be obtained and unlocked once you meet the level-up requirements, though these tend to cost quite a pretty penny. It’s precisely here that I immediately thought of Rogue Legacy’s replay value. Full Metal Furies is an addictive game that never really feels dull or repetitive, despite the constant need to revisit older levels to earn more gold. You can feel each and every upgrade as and when you purchase them, and it’s massively satisfying to go back and kick the living shit out of a boss that once posed quite a challenge.
It’s worth pointing out that you wont lose your gold if you die halfway through a level, in fact you get to keep each and every piece that you have picked up. It shaves away some of the grief that comes with losing a fight, as you constantly feel like you’re earning something regardless as to your performance. Alongside the skill tree system you will also obtain blueprints for new weapon abilities that can purchased once unlocked. These blueprints are rarely in plain sight and often require that you seek out hidden pathways in many of the levels within. Furthermore there’s a collection of secret puzzles that you can try to suss out, one of which is sneakily tucked away in world 1. I would love to be able to tell you that I have cracked the code but sadly I have yet to best it. I wont spoil its location or puzzle mechanic, but what I will say is that it will pay off to explore not just the levels, but the world map too.
Rounding up the already impressive skill-sets is the inclusion of mastering each weapon ability. You’re able to see the parameters for each of these via your base camp, all of which will need to be leveled up three times in total before achieving master status. This mastery will shower you with passive abilities such as increased health percentage, increased tec percentage, increased gold gain, and so on. Your base camp serves as your safe haven. You can equip weapon abilities here, purchase the aforementioned upgrades, practice your combat, and more. Full Metal Furies will gift you with trophies as you make your way through the game. These will also be presented to you at base-camp, and unlocks new vendors, rewards you with discounts, and other neat additions that will aid you on your quest against the titans.
Gameplay typically consists of moving from screen to screen and clearing out the enemies that persist. The enemy variations are plentiful and the game does a great job at constantly throwing new and interesting foes at you. Boss battles take center stage as far as the combat and enemy variations are concerned. Each boss utilizes unique attack patterns and can be very challenging to overcome. There’s no denying that the game is tough, more so when you’re moving from world 2 to world 3, but it never becomes irritating. The combat across each class remains fluid and responds well with the intuitive controls. The game takes you through some diverse locations, all of which are well designed and are gorgeously presented. What I especially enjoyed in Full Metal Furies is that it swaps that senseless button mashing gameplay that’s traditionally tethered to this genre, and replaces it with a more structured and tactical affair.
The enemies remain engaging throughout and will cleverly respond to how you are playing. Grouping this with the pros and cons of each class along with the enemy barrier system, makes Full Metal Furies stand tall. You can also chain combos together regardless as to whether you’re playing co-op (online or locally) or solo. I never grew tired of using Triss’ shout ability, to then bashing enemies in the air before they hit the ground and finally quick swapping to Meg to pull off a charged sniper shot as they fell to the floor. These combos are not exhaustive and can be strung together by a party of four to achieve mass damage. The only issue I have with the game is that the audio can often fall out of sync or slow down to a halt. This is hardly a game breaker but it can be somewhat distracting when you’re in the middle of a fight. With that to the side there’s very little to complain about. CDG have clearly put a lot of effort into ensuring that Full Metal Furies is as satisfying as it is addictive.
Despite some audio sync issues, Full Metal Furies is every bit as satisfying as it is addictive. It’s a game that constantly rewards you for your effort, win or lose, and never quite manages to become stale or repetitive in the process. The characters, locations, and enemy variants remain diverse and interesting throughout. The same can indeed be said about the progression system, which only further promotes the already massively fun experience.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.