Beatdown: Fists of Vengeance
Beatdown: Fists of Vengeance is again a game that disappoints. Although the features did appeal to me and wanted me to give the beat’em up genre another shot, the game couldn’t please me at any time. Just like with so many games, the flag doesn’t cover the load and you’ll come home from an empty gaming journey.
But let’s start with the story.You’re part of a group of scum that suddenly gets attacked by your own gang. The reason for this isn’t quite clear and on top of it all also another bunch of villains as well as the cops want your skin. Before you know everything there is to know, you’ll need to finish all five different character storylines but starting is done by running away.
After some running you end up in the slumps where you enter a local pub. The bartender is quite helpful as he immediately offers you several assignments and nobody else will help you with these in the main story. By fulfilling them you earn money and experience which you can use to upgrade some stats from your character. RPG-influences can also be found in the fact that you can learn several new attacks from NPC’s. These latter of course also act as salesmen of gear and give additional side-missions.
You’ll often new stuff to be able to roam around freely. Both the police and your rivals will spot you easier and come bashing you on your head. If you want to limit this you’ll need to change outfit and even get some plastic surgery done on your face. This is quite difficult as you’ll constantly be busy changing your appearance to make sure you won’t constantly be attacked by everyone and their little sister.
The fighting itself is quite well done. The necessary combos are possible, there’s several different attacks and a defense button. You even have slots in which you can put items (think of health or weaponry). The opponents are stupid but there’s plenty of them. As said you can choose yourself whether to talk to someone or attack him/her. You can get some additional experience that way and afterwards take their possessions. Meanwhile you can interrogate them, have them work for you (i.e. let them fight besides you) or just steal their money before kicking their ass.
Although the amount of possibilities is quite large you’ll quickly get bored with these fights. They’re often too easy and on top of that you’ll get fed up with the button bashing after a fight or ten. What also gave me the gibbers were the frequent loading times. Free roaming around town is fun, but if you have to do this street by street with in between a couple of seconds pause, it’s a disaster for the immersion.
This design decision gets even more strange if you notice after a while that the city itself isn’t all too big, and on top of that not even very varied or original. The graphics aren’t bad, but not something we haven’t seen somewhere else either. And yes, the camera sucks, what did you think? The sound is… well, there’s music, some sound effects, some voice-acting, but that’s about all you can say about that except that there’s a lot of cursing in this game.
Beatdown won’t knock you down. It offers a couple of nice ideas (the story, the structure and setting) but never has the balls to transform that inspiration into decent gameplay. If you want a modern beat’em up, you can better go with The Warriors. Next!