Review: My Friend Pedro (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • 4K HDR

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: My Friend Pedro
Format: PSN (7.79 GB)
Release Date: April 2, 2020
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: DeadToast Entertainment
Original MSRP: $19.99 (USD)
ESRB Rating: M
A code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Blood. Bullets. Bananas.

That’s what it says. That’s what My Friend Pedro’s promotional artwork says. And it’s absolutely that. A game about blood, bullets, and a talking banana.

It’s also an absolutely badass shoot-em-up, side-scrolling, adventure-esque game that takes that Matrix slowdown action (also seen in games like Superhot and Max Payne) and brings it into a 2D universe. It does so with grace, and after getting accustomed to what each button does, and how to best deploy your nameless character’s skills, your controller will become an extension of your violent tendencies.

There is method to the madness, and despite there being a talking banana accompanying you on your path of destruction, My Friend Pedro does have a pretty intriguing storyline.

That’s refreshing because this game could have gotten along fine with just being a wave platformer.

It’s absolutely not.

Getting across each level initially starts with you blasting enemies in your way. But if you want to earn a good score, and have fun doing it, then you really want to take advantage of your ability to spin, dodge, roll and do so while slowing down time. You dual wield your weapons, so by tapping the left trigger, you can lock onto one enemy while manually aiming at another. Slow down the action and you experience some serious euphoria.

As you progress through the story, you will unlock various weapons that enhance your ability to kick ass and experiment with different killing methods.

Even after playing it for hours, I did not tire of the experience.

If I had one minor complaint, it’s that the controls often felt a little floaty, particularly when you jump and leap against walls. Perhaps it’s the trade off to being able to slow down time, but I often felt that the animation didn’t always reflect what the character was often doing because he was leaping off a wall, but his body was still rolled up into a crouch. But this is all aesthetic and did not detract from the awesome gameplay in any way.

Visuals:
My Friend Pedro (the banana) is presented in that 2D/3D combination that is somewhat underutilized, but when done correctly, makes for some amazing visuals. Pedro’s visual strength comes from its explosive particle effects and blood platter. Sometimes you can’t totally see what’s going on behind the smoke, but then you see that red and you know you’ve made contact with the enemy.

Lighting is a serious contributor to the atmosphere, with dimly lit hallways and alleyways, and foggy exteriors lit by nearby neon. Despite being a two-dimensional game, Pedro is beautiful in its own element.

Audio:
Accompanied by a brilliant soundtrack, Pedro is a treat for the auditory sensors. It’s a loud game with destruction represented by each bullet and impact.

Play this game with the volume down and you only experience half the game.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single-player only, with no online component.

Conclusion:
Every time Devolver publishes something, I look up from my cup of coffee and raise an eyebrow. There’s almost always something special that comes from them and My Friend Pedro is not only not an exception, it’s yet another testament. It’s brilliant and violent while giving you plenty of unlockables to come back for more. And hell, it even has a pretty awesome story if you stick around until the end.

Score:

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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