My Friend Pedro is an arcade-style shoot-em-up, which has you maintaining kill combos, while avoiding being shot and looking cool while doing it. Think the bridge scene from Deadpool, and you have an idea. You kill droves of enemies, and when it clicks, you feel absolutely badass!
You wake up in the basement of a mobster hideout with your friend Pedro, a talking banana… As you wake up and find yourself with a severe case of amnesia, and Pedro – your floating banana friend – explains that you need to kill your way out of the building.
No more motivation. No more plot. Just kill or be killed. It’s fantastic!
The real hook of this game is the combat. Facilitated by a generous bullet time meter, in just a few short seconds, you can jump through a window and kick your skateboard at an enemy’s head, ricochet bullets off signs and frying pans, dodge majestically as you use two uzis to kill multiple enemies at opposite sides of the room. The game encourages you to kill quickly, with style and makes you feel fucking badass when you put a set-piece rampage together.
Better still, your talking banana friend, Pedro, appears on the side of the screen to show his appreciation for your murderous creation. Once you’ve completed the level, you’re given a rating on the basis of speed, kill types and combo size.
With that in mind, the controls are actually very straightforward. The split kill, which I initially assumed would look great but actually be a pain to execute is very easy. It looks great as well. Likewise, kicking environmental debris, or victims’ heads, at enemies is very straightforward. I played with an Xbox One controller and found no real issue in precision. I think it would, therefore, be safe to assume that the same is true of keyboard and mouse. This is also made easy with bullet time, which is engaged simply by pressing the left analogue stick.
The actual level structure ranges from phenomenal to frustrating. Make no mistake, My Friend Pedro is a challenging experience, but the frustration lies in some later level design. I felt that the final level, The Internet, doesn’t particularly play to the strengths of the physics and combat system. They require a bit more precision than the system is really capable of and actually slows the game down considerably.
However, for the most part, the levels are fun and challenging, set up in a way to make you think about how to proceed while encouraging explosive murder sprees! They’re also short enough that you don’t mind repeating them to improve your rating and please Pedro. What I do like about level completion, is that you’re given a little gif of your best kill to share with friends.
Overall, I find this a no-brainer to recommend, especially now that it can be found on Xbox Game Pass! It’s mindless fun expertly executed, save for a few moments in the final chapter that could be somewhat rage-inducing. However, I feel comfortable saying that this is easily one of the most cathartic and fun experiences I’ve had this year. The perfect game to play after Death Stranding. I look forward to DeadToast Entertainment’s next game!
- Overall - 9/109/10
+ Superb game play
+ Great level design that complements the game play
+ A nice variety of weapons and environmental projectiles to keep the fun going
+ Short enough to play through in one sitting, addictive enough to keep you coming back
+ Challenging but not punishing
– Some frustrating later levels that kind of undermine the flow of the game