The original Double Dragon basically invented co-op beat-em-up action in 1987, and now modern players are about to get a dose of nostalgic side-scrolling goodness thanks to a new franchise installment. Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons launches this fall for every major platform, including PC, Xbox consoles, PlayStation 4 and 5 and the Nintendo Switch.
What to expect from this installment? The trailer suggests a return to the tried-and-true beat-em-up formula. There’s a nice retro pixelated art style, 13 playable characters to choose from and, of course, two-player local co-op. The new title also includes a tag-team ability, so you actually play as two characters at once.
Developer Modus Games is teasing some roguelite elements, like a dynamic mission select feature that randomizes stage length, enemy number and difficulty. This is also a 2023 console game and not an arcade machine from the 1980s, so expect purchasable upgrades and some light RPG mechanics.
As for the plot, the years haven’t been kind to series protagonists Jimmy and Billy Lee. The sequel finds New York City devastated by nuclear war, which leads to gangs of hooligans roaming the radioactive streets. You know what happens next (you beat them up). It remains to be seen if your avatars can beat up that long nuclear winter.
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Modus Games isn’t a well-known developer but it has plenty of well-regarded indie titles under its belt, like Afterimage and Teslagrad 2. The trailer looks cool, so this is worth keeping an eye on, especially given that there hasn’t been a Double Dragon game since the long ago days of 2016.