My Friend Pedro is like if Sonic the Hedgehog went on a drug-fueled killing spree. It’s a nonsensical and gleeful mess of acrobatic murder that refuses to take itself seriously. Talking bananas, borderline hallucinatory imagery, and lots of ridiculous violence. My Friend Pedro is a murderous balletic onslaught of physics-defying nonsense that makes John Woo’s Stranglehold look tame. The premise is simple. After Ophelia - the dictator of The Internet - puts a bounty on your head, you embark on a John Wick style massacre and slaughter every poor soul that gets in your way. And there's a lot of poor souls. There’s also a talking banana guiding you on your way and assuring you that you’re definitely doing the right thing. It’s a suitably dumb setup for a game that revels in its own ridiculousness.
Diving, Spinning and Shooting in My Friend PedroYou’ll make your way through brief stages packed with hapless foes, explosives, and bullet-deflecting frying pans. Devastating armed goons with spins, dives, and endless shooting. The action is fairly straightforward, essentially a 2D take on Max Payne’s acrobatic bullet time, but it’s definitely satisfying. The intuitive lock-on lets you focus your fire on one foe while manually aiming at another. Making your shots count becomes much easier and ludicrous trick-shots are a blast to pull off. It’s hardly perfect, though. The action is fun, but it can often feel pretty clumsy. The movement is a little sluggish, with a run animation that feels weirdly slow and is at odds with your agile acrobatics. Your dodge spin looks like some ridiculous moonwalk, you jump in little hops, and your dives turn into effortless twirls. It’s an extremely loose game, with glory often found in the sloppiest moments, but one with a surprising amount of mechanical skill to master. Wall-jumps, slow-mo, balletic dives and twirls. It’s all a lot of fun, and while it’s satisfying to dive into a room and nail four fools with a whirlwind of bullets, I can’t help but wish it was a bit tighter. There’s an inherent floatiness that comes with My Friend Pedro’s focus on diving and spinning, but it can sometimes feel a little too clumsy. While this can occasionally add to the absurdity, with an awkward flip evolving into an unintentionally moment of badass slapstick, it’s more often cumbersome.
Traversal and Level Design In My Friend PedroA handful of traversal gimmicks keep things exciting and ridiculous, like skateboards and zip lines. Slaying dudes while riding on a rolling barrel is about as fun as it sounds. It’s unwieldy, but that only makes it more rewarding to pull off something awesome while doing so. The level design pushes you toward these ridiculous opportunities for chaos in a very blatant way. The developers very much want you to flip that frying pan into the air and bounce bullets off them, and you should. It’s very fun, but there’s not a lot of room for experimentation or creativity. My Friend Pedro is more like being ushered along a linear path of dumb set pieces and ridiculous murder than a sandbox for Max Payne-style slaughter. Levels are short and sweet. Most barely last longer than two minutes and they all tend to blend together. They can leave you wanting more, with many levels abruptly ending when they feel like they’re just getting going. The chapters are reasonably lengthy, often consisting of around a dozen stages. Individual levels often go by too quickly to leave any lasting impact. It's a shame, really, because there are some neat ideas throughout that just don't get very far. Despite the variety of environments, which range from a generic industrial area to a moving train, the levels somehow all look the same. Visually, the game is pretty flat, with a persistent grey-white backdrop that just makes everything blend together. There are some vibrant colors and chaotic foregrounds, but the environments don’t look especially detailed and the character models are a bit iffy.
My Friend Pedro Review | Final ThoughtsIn the end, My Friend Pedro is a fun ol' time. It's hardly groundbreaking, and I don't know how long its silly world and very hit-or-miss writing will stick with me. Still, my three hours diving and blasting my way through goons, ridiculous set pieces, and blurred reality were fun. It's been done before (and better), but My Friend Pedro is a solid option if you're looking for some ridiculous action that's high on thrills and low on realism.
TechRaptor reviewed My Friend Pedro on Steam with a copy provided by the publisher. It is also available on Nintendo Switch.
My Friend Pedro is like if Sonic the Hedgehog went on a drug-fueled killing spree. It's a ridiculous whirlwind of flashy dives, stylish shooting, and accidentally amazing trick shots that refuses to take itself seriously.
- Flashy, Satisfying Combat
- Intuitive Controls and Design
- Downright Ridiculous
- Graphically Unimpressive
- Short Levels Leave No Lasting Impact