My Friend Pedro

(DeadToast Entertainment/Devolver Digital, PC and Nintendo Switch)

My Friend Pedro takes shoot ‘em up action and slows it right down, making you feel like a masked, Matrix-esque parkour hero. Taking orders from a sentient banana, you’re tasked with taking out groups of bad guys across forty levels, dishing out slick attacks while trying to achieve an S rank for all your hard work. In addition, you’re encouraged to be creative with your choreography, and can incorporate everyday items in your arsenal of deadly weapons as you twist, skate and motorcycle your way through grimey back streets and sewers.

Armed with two pistols containing unlimited ammo and an extremely agile body, your job is to kill as many enemies as possible while looking stylish in the process. Line up headshots on enemies while avoiding incoming fire by twirling around bullets, jumping off walls and rolling around morph ball-style. Featuring a slowdown meter reminiscent of Max Payne, and the ability to fire at two different enemies on either side of the screen, My Friend Pedro does an amazing job of making the player feel virtually unstoppable.

Twirl like a ballerina, sting like a dude wielding two pistols

Each mission will only take roughly a minute or two to complete however, the real challenge lies in perfecting your run. You are equipped with all the tools needed to achieve the best possible run, though actually managing to accomplish this might be more challenging than it sounds. When you are facing several enemies at once, each equipped with their own weapon pointed directly at you, it can be difficult to avoid bullets while maintaining your combo. You’ll have to practice seamless ‘Air-Splat’ kills and combos, evade enemy attacks and maintain your momentum to smash the time bonus. Attempting to beat your personal best on each level is where you’ll gain a greater understanding of the game’s mechanics, making this title easy to revisit across multiple sessions of play.

My Friend Pedro manages to create high octane action sequences that are rivalled only by high budget Bollywood movies. You can kick a basketball with enough force to kill a man, launch a frying pan into the air with your guns, then use that same frying pan as a bullet mirror to kill enemies who aren’t even in your line of sight. The crazy thing is that all of this mayhem takes place within the span of ten seconds. If you own an Nvidia graphics card, each one of your highlights is automatically saved so you can post your best moments in GIF form online.

One of the most astounding facts about My Friend Pedro is that it was developed almost entirely by one person, Victor Agren. Agren hasn’t let the fact that he is a lone developer stop him from releasing prompt patches. The most recent update to My Friend Pedro on Steam adds support for ultrawide aspect ratios, uncapped frame rates for high refresh rate displays and includes fixes for numerous smaller bugs. Ever wanted to see would happen if Hotline Miami, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and The Matrix had a baby? This is it right here.