PAX East 2019: My Friend Pedro – First Impressions

Murder ballet. What images does that evoke when you hear those two words together? What if I added the word “banana”? I suspect immense confusion will become even greater, and yet, by the time we’re done telling you about My Friend Pedro, we’re sure you’ll understand. Or at least want to play the game. Or have a craving for fruit salad, honestly, anything goes when it comes to this game.

The PAX East demo for My Friend Pedro featured the first level of this indie title, where the main character wakes up from his nap by a sentient banana named Pedro. Pedro is, perhaps surprisingly, an excellent teacher, and he instructs you in the basics of rolling, jumping, wall running, and so forth. He’ll also teach you how to fire both guns whilst flying through the air, but all things in good time, my friend.

In a practice area, which Pedro conveniently transports the character, there’s an opportunity to practice the real mechanics of combat: slowing down time, shooting both pistols in opposite directions, a graceful dance-like spin to avoid incoming bullets, and so forth. Once you’ve successfully executed these primary movements, it’s into the real business of dealing out death.

The dialogue between Pedro and your character is hysterical. The humor is bleak and dark and utterly captivating, adding a humanizing element that allows your experience with dealing out incredible violence to go beyond just shooting dudes in the face. Plus, the ballet dodges are beautiful, and when you time your attack up just right, or execute a particularly impressive combo with both movement and fire, there’s a sense of deep satisfaction. In fact, the more graceful the kill, the higher the score.

That said, the controls were challenging to get used to at first. The aiming in the demo seemed somewhat misaligned and moving the character around was wonky—it’s a dual-stick control scheme, which is fine, except that turning your character’s facing and aiming are on the same stick, which gets a little confusing at times. If this is the setup the final version contains, there’ll be a bit of a learning curve when the game gets going—not a deal-breaker, just something to be aware of.

But really, that’s minor compared to the entertainment value of this particular title. Just the short demo was enough to pull us in and get excited about the game’s release on Switch. Devolver Digital will be landing this title on the console in June later this year.


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Author: Dave View all posts by
Dave will tell you that he likes to play video games, this is in fact a lie. What he really likes to do is buy games, and leaving them sitting unopened on his shelf. He is a monster.

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