As I was doing my rounds at PAX East this year, I walked through the PAX Rising area and said hello to Brian S. Chung, who was showing off Exposure (which we’ve spotlighted here). During our chat, he suggested I look at Treachery in Beatdown City, being shown off on the other side of the booth.
Boy am I glad I took his advice, because Treachery in Beatdown City was one of the most innovative game’s I saw at PAX East, taking two genres I never would have thought would work in the same room let alone game, smashing them together and garnishing them with a substantial dollop of nostalgia,
The US President, Blake Orama, is kidnapped in East Fulton by Ninja Dragon Terrorists! The billionaire mayor refuses to help. Three fighters – Lisa, Brad, and Bruce – take to the streets with an all new tactical-brawling system to fight through dozens of thugs, grunts, grapplers, punks, ninjas, terrorists, cyborgs and more on their pursuit to save the president!
Initially, I thought that Treachery in Beatdown City (hereafter TiBC) was a Double Dragon clone; it certainly looks like that is whats it is. The bright colors, pixel graphics, over-the-top hook and caricature characters all are steeped in nostalgia for the era of side-scrolling beat-em-ups.
However, once the fights actually begin, you quickly notice this is a vastly different experience. In a fight you can simply throw basic punches one by one, however you’re also able to use a system that’s a little bit like VATS from the Fallout Universe. You’ll be able to use your reserve of Focus Points to chain together combos, taken from a big list of moves, unique to each of the game’s three characters.
Different moves have different focus costs, and do different things. Some will simply be a flurry of blows, some might inflict status effects, and some might initiate grapples with an opponent. There is a HUGE amount of depth in this system, and a ton of potential for development and expansion.
I’ve never had a huge amount of nostalgia for the Double Dragon era of games, so it says a lot that I am so excited to play more of TiBC. Even without the rose-tint of memory, it’s a solid game with an interesting and fun combat system I cannot wait to dive into once it has released.