What does a banana, a man in a mask, skateboards, frying pans, and guns all have in common? It makes for one totally badass video game. When I first saw the trailers of this game, I knew I had to give it a shot. After beating the campaign, I can confirm that the action shown in all the trailers is just as fun to pull off as they are to watch.
The general gameplay of My Friend Pedro is fairly simple. Your Deadpool-like character starts off with a pistol and you shoot people with it. You are also given the ability to dodge bullets, kick enemies, and put the game in bullet time. Different guns are also introduced at later times, and you can dual wield pistols or submachine guns. The neat thing about My Friend Pedro is the ability to shoot two different targets with using just the right stick. Once you start dual wielding, you can lock on a target with the simple press of a button and then still use the right stick to freely aim one of the other guns at a different enemy. As far as the other guns go, you aren’t going to dual wield a shotgun but it is highly effective in close quarters combat. You are also given an assault rifle and sniper, which have their own perks associated with it. It’ll be up to you to decide on which guns to tackle a level with.
You’ll be pleased to know that the action feels fluid and the controls rarely get in the way. They did a great job making sure you never feel like the game is cheating you in any way. Your character will do every animation possible to make sure you make the jump to the next area. The only time I had trouble with the controls was from rolling under an object. It wasn’t anything major, but it could get annoying while going for the highest rating in the game.
The game also introduces environmental tricks to help stylize your takedowns. The best environmental tool in the game is definitely the frying pan. Anytime you see a frying pan, utilize it as much as you can. You can kick the pan up in the air and shoot it to deflect bullets into enemies you wouldn’t normally be able to hit. This not only looks sweet, but it also keeps you from taking damage. There are other environmental elements as well such as barrel that you can kick on enemies heads or even ride, a skateboard to dispose of enemies quickly, or the standard explosives to shoot to for area damage. There’s always plenty of options to attack things.
Even though you will be primarily focused on beating a level for the first time, you may want to keep an eye on your combo meter. The quicker you can dispose of enemies without a pause in the action the better. My Friend Pedro urges you to complete the level at a steady pace and keep your combo going. Once you master the pacing, John Wick will have nothing on you. Sliding down a zipline, using your guns to pummel the enemies on the ground, crashing through a glass window, kill a few more enemies in bullet time, and landing on a skateboard is something I can safely is a unique experience I’ve never had before. This game gives you an absolute mental high when you perform everything exactly the way it was planned.
When it comes to combos, it’s hard to keep things going when the level design is off. Luckily, the level design in My Friend Pedro is absolutely top notch. Each level feels unique and is a constant evolution of the previous level. You can always judge how great a game’s level design is by how it pushes you to constantly get better at the game without upgrading your abilities. This game doesn’t add too much throughout the game, but the levels push your limits and get you to be one hell of an assassin by the end of it. My Friend Pedro doesn’t necessarily change scenery all that much, but the game never looks or feels stale. Honestly, the game changes at the perfect time for you not to feel like you have been here and done that that before.
If you are wanting to play My Friend Pedro for the story, well just don’t even buy it then. It has a basic story pretty much until the end. I enjoyed what they did for the ending, but overall, the story isn’t really anything to pay attention to. There are some occasional funny moments about how every game has a sewer section and such, but the game’s focus is solely on the gameplay and level design.
The trophies in the game are very fair, but also a challenge to get the coveted platinum. You’ll have to get the highest ranking in the game for every single level before you can brag to your virtual friends. Every other trophy involves just beating the game or doing something one time. There isn’t much to it, but you’ll have to put in a lot of time to get S rankings if your skills, or lack of skills, are like mine. It’s one of the better trophy lists in video games, not because it’s super creative, but because of how balanced it all is.
All in all, My Friend Pedro is exactly what I would want from a shoot ‘em up. From explosions to shooting people from a frying pan, you won’t be bored in your 5-6 hour playthrough. You’ll constantly find new ways of taking out enemies and have fun exploring every option you can think of. If you are like me, you’ll want to continue increasing your score for each level until you have mastered them all. I constantly think about this game and I’m excited to go back and challenge myself to get an S ranking on every level. Deadtoast Entertainment and Devolver Digital absolutely knocked it out of the park with My Friend Pedro, and I’m going bananas for more from this developer.