Lizardcube, DotEmu and Guard Crush Games almost looked to be putting Streets of Rage back on the map in a right proper when they first reintroduced gamers to Streets of Rage 4. The art-style was different but characters like Blaze looked smoking hot, and had upskirt panty shots galore, making it look like a true throwback to the kind of gaming we all knew and loved. They also announced that Yūzō Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima were back to score the soundtrack, and that the game would appear on home consoles and PC. It was like dream news come true for fans of the classic beat-’em-up… but then they introduced the very unappealing Cherry Hunter.
Cherry Hunter is the typical “diversity” replacement for Adam and Skate, sporting fuzzy dreadlocks and a guitar as a weapon. She’s been ill-received by everybody who is a longtime fan of the series, and nobody wants her in the game.
It’s a surefire sign that the French developers are converged.
Nevertheless, there is seven and a half minutes worth of raw gameplay footage that was captured courtesy of IGN at this year’s GamesCom event in Cologne, Germany. If you’re interested in seeing what the fighting, animations, AI, and background art is like, you can check out the video below.
The fight takes place on what looks like Chinatown streets. The two players make quick work of some of the returning foes, such as Y. Signal, Raven and Donovan. New enemies such as Kevin make an appearance, along with toxic-throwing enemies such as Elizabeth, and the scantily clad Pyrop.
Players can also still beat up one another if they aren’t careful.
Almost all of Axel’s moves have returned, including his combos, his grabs, his specials, and his combos.
Many of the weapons return as well, including the lead pipe, and the knife. New weapons make an appearance in the game, too, including the meat cleaver and the guan dao, famously wielded by Guan Yu.
The combat is okay, the artwork is quite nice, and the animations are doable. There’s nothing particularly new here that you haven’t already played in Streets of Rage Remake, which still seems to be the better option for enthusiast of the series. Of course, some people will probably want to reserve judgment until they find out who the last two playable characters are. My fingers are crossed that we get to play Shiva again, because that would be pretty cool.