By Josh Speer / September 1st, 2018
Back when I was at E3, I marveled at the spectacle of a strange little game called My Friend Pedro. I wasn’t able to play it, but rather sat spellbound as the trailer played before my rapt eyes. This crazy game, about a man and his talking banana friend Pedro, was utterly unlike almost anything I had ever seen before. Certainly, I hadn’t seen many games with a premise this completely insane. But all that matters little if the game isn’t fun, so let’s discuss my time with the demo at PAX West 2018.
The first thing you need to realize is that, had I not been Press, I likely wouldn’t have even gotten a chance to play My Friend Pedro. The line was constantly full, and only my credentials allowed me to bypass the lengthy wait. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but it was a good sign. Once I had a controller in hand (it also supports mouse and keyboard), I quickly started grinning from ear to ear. Not only is My Friend Pedro crazy, it’s utterly bonkers. But in the very best way.
All the narration is seemingly from you (imaginary?) friend, Pedro. He encourages you on your bloody rampage, as well as teaching you how to play. The physics of the game aren’t exactly realistic, but more like a Kung Fu movie. Or as I started calling it, bullet ballet. You can flip off walls, roll through narrow apertures and shoot. Oh god, how you can shoot. You’re able to aim both arms in different directions, blasting foes to smithereens. But since your foes have guns, that wouldn’t mean much unless you had a way to avoid getting turned into a bloody mess yourself. That’s where the delightful Focus mechanic comes into play.
Essentially, by holding a trigger button you’re able to slow down time until the meter runs out. It automatically replenishes itself once you stop using Focus, so you’ll constantly be juggling your actions. You can run into a room, turn on Focus, blast foes to a pulp, reload, then turn it back off to speed through. It’s important to keep in mind your inertia and speed is also affected by Focus, so you’ll need to use it carefully. But once you get the hang of things, you’ll be bouncing around like Jackie Chan on meth. It’s the best sort of insane spectacle, and the closest approximation I can find is the videogame equivalent of playing as Deadpool. Sure, you don’t have a sword, but other than that it seems very similar.
It’s not all run and gun though, the game spices things up with action sequences, such as racing on a motorcycle and blasting away at foes. And there are also challenging boss fights. Put simply, My Friend Pedro is incredibly fun, and a game I can easily recommend to fans of action games in 2019, when it releases on PC and Switch. I have a lot of respect for Deadtoast for developing such a crazy title, and Devolver Digital for publishing it. Easily some of the best fun I’ve had thus far at PAX West.
2019DeadtoastDevolver DigitalhumorMy Friend PedrooprainfallPAX West 2018violent