During PAX East 2019, we had a chance to get some hands on time with Streets of Rage 4 and were taken back to our childhood. The original Streets of Rage was released in 1990 and was developed and published by Sega. The most current iteration in the series is being developed by Lizardcube and published by Dotemu. We talked with some of the artists and developers about the project and they let us know that Sega is still greatly involved in the project. The team has a certain set of guidelines to follow while developing this game since it is an actual sequel to the previous titles.
Overall the game felt really good to play. When comparing Streets of Rage 4 to some of the earlier games, it plays like a more solid and polished version. The controls are really responsive and accurate. There was never a feeling of sluggishness that was present in similar side scrolling ‘beat em ups’ from years prior. The team over at Lizardcube did a really good job of creating a classic feel but also improving the original mechanics. The player abilities look great and work very well. You do have to be careful because you can hurt the people playing with you. With it being an old-school style game, we are excited to see couch co-op being a part of this game. There will be more information on other game modes coming as Streets of Rage 4 gets closer to release.
This time around, the team decided to go with a hand drawn at style. This was a great middle ground without going full 3D. The art style gives you an old school feeling but with a more updated look. We spoke with some of the artists that worked on the project and they let us know that they drew a lot of inspiration from the old games and from street art in various locations around the world. During our hands on, we had a chance to play as both Axel and Blaze and we were informed that there will be other playable characters as well.
I believe that this is will be an all around good game when it releases. The team that is working on the game has made sure to stick close to the source material and worked closely with Sega. At this moment, there are no platforms, release date, or price announced. We are definitely excited to get our hands on the game once all information is confirmed and when it is ready for release. It is always good to get a title that gives players a feeling of nostalgia while also making innovations in gameplay.