I'm replacing my therapist with this chaotic FPS game where gunplay is secondary to the act of kicking enemies in the face

Anger Foot demo
(Image credit: Devolver Digital)

I didn't think I'd find solace in a high-octane FPS game that turns booting down doors and sending ragdoll enemies flying into each other into a fine art, but Anger Foot proved me wrong. Underscored by the head-pounding bass of what can only be described as thunderous, unrelenting rave music, developer Freelives really does the most to take the one-hit-kill, one-hit-death machinations of hack n' slashers like Ghostrunner to maniacal new heights.

You play as a shoe-crazed vigilante of sorts on a simple mission: clear the aptly titled Shit City of its thuggish hordes, ever in hot pursuit of your beloved Preemo Sneakers – as well as the rest of your stolen stash of sweet kicks. 'Kicks' is the operative word here, since your left foot is the star of Anger Foot's frenetic show as you smash up destructible environments, score new guns, and earn stars to unlock new ass-kicking footwear and the requisite buffs they can grant you. Sometimes they're just cool to look at, though, and other pairs are downright offensive. But I'll save the socks and sandals debate for another time.

Fleet of foot

Anger Foot demo

(Image credit: Devolver Digital)

The first thing I noticed about Anger Foot is the effortlessly celebratory nature of its world. The Apartments comprise the first of two playable zones, besieged by the Violence Gang and its shady boss Goo Cop. Gaudy bright colors and thumping bass turns the slum into a technicolor playground to race through, and chugging a beer here or an energy drink there only adds to the sense of its all-out party vibes.

Gameplay-wise, Anger Foot couldn't be simpler or more technical for it. A timer in the upper-left corner of the screen ticks down as I maneuver each level as fast as possible, booting enemies in melee range with the left controller trigger or shooting them from afar with the right. There's no way to dodge, so I find myself hugging a lot of walls to take cover and break line-of-sight. I'll admit that I absolutely did cheese it against hordes of pistol-wielding foes on multiple occasions by hiding behind door frames, baiting enemies over, and spam-kicking until the music goes muffled to indicate that I'd cleared the room.

Even with my sneaky strats, I'm awarded a number of stars for my efforts upon clearing each level. The game guarantees that I'll always get at least one to mark my victory, with two others earned by meeting certain conditions. The tactical kick-only requirement is perhaps the easiest to meet, but I did run into one that challenged me to beat the level in five seconds flat. I tried a couple of times to do so, killing the first enemy and grabbing a pistol off him to shatter the glass window separating my starting room from the stairway goalpost on the other side of it, but could not for the life of me work out how to jump through. 

Anger Foot demo

(Image credit: Devolver Digital)

Your left foot is the star of Anger Foot's frenetic show.

These stars are all-important because they're the only way to unlock new shoes to equip between each level, much as you would a gun loadout. Hitting the Y button on my controller grants access to a shoe store of sorts, with every set of five stars exchanged for a cool new pair of fancy footwear, unlocked in sequential order. My favorite pair is still the trusty Scavengers, an ugly yet useful accessory that replenishes bullets after each melee kill. No more looting, all the booting.

Things quickly get hectic in Anger Foot, and as I moved up through the levels, death was coming for me as swiftly as I was delivering it unto the Violence Gang. That is when the assisted settings came in handy for me; I am unashamed to admit that I tried out Never Die mode for some worry-free footwork. The toggles on offer include docking enemies' health pools, give your own a boost (though there are no on-screen HP bars for either right now), or you can go for total imperviousness as I did. Never Die mode gave me a feeling of unparalleled power fantasy, running amok across rooftops and leaping through building windows as fast as my Birkenstock-shod feet could carry me. By the time I found myself in the Pollution Gang's sewers, I was literally unstoppable.

This is but a taste of what is to come in Anger Foot as Freelives works toward its as-yet unconfirmed 2024 release date. It's already an intensely satisfying, jubilantly chaotic FPS game that had my teeth rattling and my brain blissfully numbed out, and if you're looking for a similar dose of mental novocaine, I think it's time to lace up.

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Jasmine Gould-Wilson
Staff Writer, GamesRadar+

Jasmine is a staff writer at GamesRadar+. Raised in Hong Kong and having graduated with an English Literature degree from Queen Mary, University of London in 2017, her passion for entertainment writing has taken her from reviewing underground concerts to blogging about the intersection between horror movies and browser games. Having made the career jump from TV broadcast operations to video games journalism during the pandemic, she cut her teeth as a freelance writer with TheGamer, Gamezo, and Tech Radar Gaming before accepting a full-time role here at GamesRadar. Whether Jasmine is researching the latest in gaming litigation for a news piece, writing how-to guides for The Sims 4, or extolling the necessity of a Resident Evil: CODE Veronica remake, you'll probably find her listening to metalcore at the same time.