A run in Fury Unleashed often ends with you or a boss falling. This epic fight often boils down to both sides having just a little bit of health. The spoils of victory are obviously greater than defeat, but even death can be rewarding, as each run potentially unlocks a new weapon, and perhaps enough experience points to level up and improve abilities. Developer Awesome Games Studio has created a balanced roguelike that offers fun action and challenging battles that get a little less painful each time you attempt them. True to the Contra and Metal Slug games from which Fury Unleashed is inspired, you navigate scenes filled with enemies, rotating the analog stick in all directions to open fire. The controls are responsive and smooth, letting you quickly rush to new positions and alternate between guns and melee if enemies get too close. You can even bounce off enemy heads to detonate them, fire grenades at walls, and use special attacks to freeze enemies in place. All of this well-done action is even better when playing with a friend, which unfortunately is only offered in co-op on the couch. If the game seems too difficult, you can always reduce the difficulty. The game is easy to access and even easier to lose given how fun and rewarding it can be. If you chain kills, you hit combined thresholds that activate abilities that give you an advantage, such as various damage resistances and healing. The entire game takes place in comic book panels in which you battle a random assortment of creatures, humans, and machines (most dying in just a few hits, but rare variations of enemies in a red hue play the mini-boss role). The variety of enemies is a bit light, but I like the way some panels explode unexpectedly, whether it’s Venus fly traps or turrets emerging from walls to join other enemies. If you die along the way, you’re sent back to the first panel in the comic, but it’s different, and each subsequent panel is also revamped, sometimes bringing better rewards and other times more deadly enemies. There’s a giant boss waiting for you on the last page, and if you’re able to remove it, you move on to a new comic with an entirely different theme with its own set of opponents. This setup works well for lightning fast games, which is fantastic as you often want to level up or change gears after a race. The comics are linked and arranged in a random fashion, so you don’t have to complete a race when you find the last panel; you can always spend more time in a book by coming back to see what’s in each missed panel. Since weapon and armor drops are everywhere, random levels almost always provide satisfying loot. I might not find the exact weapon I want in every race, but I never find myself sticking around for long with something I don’t like and I’m also able to pick up a lot of armor in the process. road. The real challenge is risking everything by taking on a side task given to you by an NPC. They ask you for a lot of things, like only using melee strikes to kill specific enemies or launching you through a dangerous glove of obstacles, all for an unknown reward. These challenges create variety in the levels and make each race a little more interesting. The story of Fury Unleashed is her biggest surprise, as it focuses on the comic book creator, who is depressed and creatively feels lost. His story unfolds through text messages and social media posts that show how he and others feel about his work. When the first moment in the story is revealed it’s a bit of a zero-record moment, but once you figure out what’s going on, the story is fascinating to watch as it unfolds. It’s not what you expect from something that looks and plays like Contra. Like Dead Cells before him, Fury Unleashed is one of those hard-to-suppress roguelikes, because you know the next run will only give you a better shot as you make more progress to unlock new comics, gear, and, ultimately, a better chance of taking the final boss. It’s great fun whether you’re playing solo or co-op.