Why Beat-Em-Ups Are Coming Back in a Big Way
The beat ‘em up, or “brawler”, is a classic video game genre, and at PAX West I played two distinctly modern takes on the brawler: Streets of Rage 4 by Guard Crush Games, Lizardcube, and Dotemu, and Young Souls by 1P2P Studios. While the spirit of the brawler lives on in big, 3D action games like God of War, 2D versions of the beat ‘em up are constantly being refined and evolved by smaller, often independent studios.
The beat ‘em up genre got its start in the 1980s arcade scene, defined best by games like Double Dragon, Streets of Rage 2, Golden Axe, and various licensed-games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Simpsons. They focus primarily on using hand-to-hand combat to mow through a large number of enemies, who get progressively more difficult.During the heydays of arcades, these games were purposely designed to get players to spend more money.