PAX East Preview: Streets of Rage 4

One of the cooler indie reveals from last decade has to be Streets of Rage 4. After years without an official follow-up from Sega, it took the combination of DotEmu, Lizardcube, and Guard Crush Games to revive this classic series. With beat-em-ups sort of back in vogue thanks to the indie scene, what better time than now to take to the streets and unleash some rage?

At PAX East last year, DotEmu was on the floor with an exceptionally early build of the game. Still utilizing Streets of Rage 2 music and sound effects, we only really got an idea of what the team was going for with this sequel. Smooth gameplay that was very reminiscent of the Genesis titles with an absolutely gorgeous art style. Did I mention this is all hand-drawn pixel art? Yeah, Streets of Rage 4 is a looker.

There was a lot of cool stuff to take from that demo, though. The combo system was beefed up a bit to allow for air juggles and even tag attacks. If you landed hits after performing your health draining special attack, you could regain health and keep battling. There were even Punch-Out flavored star moves that unleashed super attacks. It was the kind of subtle upgrades you’d expect for a game trying to recapture past glories.

What will be new this year? Well, more characters have been added to the game. The original demo had series mainstays Axel and Blaze, but the duo has been joined by original hero Adam Hunter and his daughter Cherry. In fact, DotEmu announced this morning that a fifth character would be joining alongside four-player co-op. We also know that the soundtrack will be reuniting original composer Yuzo Koshiro with a ton of great chiptune composers. We may even see some classic bosses get reintroduced.

Along with that, we’re bound to finally get a concrete release date. With platforms all set in stone and the game being confirmed to launch on Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, it can’t be much longer until we’re duking it out in the streets again. Seeing as how this classic series was long overdue for a comeback, all eyes will be on DotEmu’s booth at PAX East for whatever info we can learn.

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