It came as a complete surprise when Streets of Rage 4 was announced back in August. 24 years have passed since the last installment in the series was released, so it looked as though the franchise had ended. The game is set to be published by DotEmu. Developers Lizardcube (Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap) and Guard Crush Games (Streets of Fury) will bring the sequel to life.
The beat em' up franchise saw its last release back in 1994 on the Sega Genesis. Streets of Rage 4 had once been in production, but was scrapped. Rumor has it that Sega of America had a shift in managerial staff at the time. Unaware of how profitable the series was, they cancelled the ongoing project and Streets of Rage was seemingly lost, until now. A brief trailer was released alongside the announcement, revealing the 1990s feel is still very much present. Characters Axel Stone and Blaze Fielding will be returning, but others have yet to be announced. Very little else has been revealed since, but now fans can get a glimpse at what they can expect from this unexpected sequel.
A first look at new screenshots from Streets of Rage first appeared on IGN. Fans of the originals can rejoice in that the retro feel of the game remains in these pieces of hand-painted art. However, the beautiful visuals have received an upgrade, so hopefully the style will appeal to older and newer gamers alike.
Like the previous games, Streets of Rage 4 will be a side-scrolling beat 'em up. The game will take place ten years after Streets of Rage 3. Players will once again have to fight their way through the streets, while playing through an all new story. Gamers can play alone or with friends, and the game will feature new mechanics in order to keep things interesting.
The new screenshots above don't add a whole lot more info. What is known is that players should expect the game some time in 2019. Fans will have to wait to learn what platforms the game will be released on. While beat 'em ups might not be as popular as they once were, there's still a market for games like Streets of Rage 4. Still, nostalgia will likely be the biggest reason gamers will be waiting for this particular game's release. As other gaming franchises (Sonic, Crash Bandicoot) have proven, nostalgia is a powerful factor in attracting buyers. Since it's been nearly a quarter of a century since the last game, Streets of Rage 4 seems poised to be a success.