My Friend Pedro caught the attention of many streamers and content creators when it was released in June of 2019 because of its fast-paced and satisfying shoot ‘em up gameplay.
Developed by DeadToast Entertainment and published by Devolver Digital, My Friend Pedro has a pretty minimal storyline, which makes sense considering most of the focus is on its gameplay. The beginning of the game has you waking up in the basement of a butcher shop with a talking, floating banana named Pedro that gives you instructions on how to escape and kill anyone that gets in your way.
The game’s greatest selling point is its smooth and stylish gameplay. It makes you feel like you’re Keanu Reeves in the high-octane “John Wick” and in the slow-motion spectacle of “The Matrix” at the same time. Though there’s only a limited arsenal of roughly five different weapons, the game’s central mechanics help you maximize the potential of each weapon. Being a 2D side scroller, you can use the game’s split aim and slow motion mechanics to create stunning, cinematic action sequences. For example, rappelling down a wire and split aiming to kill enemies on either side of you, or jumping over an exploding car in a speedy motorcycle chase. My Friend Pedro is littered with awesome moments like these, as well as goofier ones like killing enemies while riding on a skateboard or using a frying pan to ricochet bullets and clear out an entire room.
Though a fun ride most of the way through, My Friend Pedro gets a little less-fun in the second half of the game. Instead of being a fast-paced shooter, enemies start to absorb and deal more damage, and many more stage hazards are introduced, turning the game into more of a platformer with action elements. There ends up being so many stage hazards that there’s even a level solely dedicated to evading stage hazards, which takes away from some of the action.
Aside from this, my first playthrough of the game only took me three hours to complete, a really short run-time for a $20 game. Still though, the arcade-like gameplay can keep you entertained for many more hours as you run through the game on higher difficulties and chase a higher level score each time. Apart from that, there’s not much else to My Friend Pedro that will keep you playing past the first few times you beat it.
The first time you play through My Friend Pedro will be a learning experience as you test the different parkour and shooting mechanics and learn the layout of each level. After you beat the game the first time, you’ll want to run through it at least one more time to see how quickly you can expertly breeze through levels. A great way the developers keep the game fresh, especially for the first time through, is by adding new elements to the game on each successive level. Maybe it’ll be a new weapon, a new enemy or a new puzzle mechanic needed to traverse through the level, like hitting a switch or lever to move you from one end of the room to another.
My Friend Pedro is a fantastic experience from start to finish. Though it could stand to be longer and include more to extend the game’s lifespan, it definitely makes up for some of these shortcomings with its stylish, over-the-top gameplay and a great soundtrack to keep the adrenaline pumping for every second.
Thumbnail photo courtesy of @devolverdigital on Instagram.