Satisfying KBM Shooting Action: My Friend Pedro (Impressions)
written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
PAX West has come and gone, one of the games I had the pleasure to demo on the show floor was My Friend Pedro at the Devolver Digital booth. Developed by DeadToast entertainment, this is just the type of project I expect from the crazy cats at Devolver Digital.
Typically, when one thinks of KBM shooters, you expect an FPS like Call of Duty or Battlefield. Instead, with My Friend Pedro, this shooter is a side-scroller with one of the most interesting control schemes I've ever had the privilege to get my grubby mitts on.
As our hero, you follow the directions of a sentient banana/imaginary friend/magical fruit as you make your way through waves of baddies. The game's shooting mechanic is incredibly satisfying, basically move your mouse and click on heads to dispatch your foes. Eventually, the game gives you the ability to jump into a Max Payne-esque bullet time, maximizing your reactions and allows you to pull off some impressive moves. Some of my favorite moments were assassinating a group of baddies while flipping around in slo-mo. Unlike other games that seem to lock this ability behind a lengthy refresh timer or antiquated mana/ability point system, My Friend Pedro refreshes the ability so quickly that the next time you need it you don't have to worry whether or not it was still on cool-down.
Dodging in a 2D plane can be difficult to implement but in a game like this it is absolutely needed. At the press of a button, your character spins around and dodges incoming fire with the grace of a prima ballerina on opening night. Going into bullet time while performing a pirouette is one of the most absurdly satisfying bits of this game, something I will perform ad nauseam when the game is released.
Gunplay feels more akin to a puzzle than a run-and-gun experience. You can just jump in, but the beauty of My Friend Pedro comes in how stylishly you can kills your targets. It feels so rewarding when you employ outside-the-box thinking like kicking a frying pan up to make your bullets ricochet off it.
I played through two levels, one was running around a standard level with the other was a vehicular segment. While the game can be played with a controller, it felt far more intuitive on KBM. While I was pleased to hear it coming to Nintendo Switch, I know most likely I'd be playing this on my PC.
Hands down this was my favorite demo of the entire show. I played everything from interesting indie titles to the big AAA titles, but this one takes the blood-soaked-bullet-ridden cake. Look to sometime in 2019 to get your fix.