UPDATE: Our Streets of Rage 4 review is now live!

If you’re an old school gamer, chances are beat’em ups have a very special place in your heart. I know they do for me, Streets of Rage (or Bare Knuckle as I knew the games then) in particular.

The original Bare Knuckle was one of my first ever SEGA Mega Drive games (the other three being Sonic, Runark and Devil’s Crush).

What made it (and the subsequent entries) special was that they were the games my grandpa and I used to coop on. I’d always choose Axel and he’d be Blaze in BK1, Max in BK2 and Zan in BK3. Tons of awesome memories were made during the afternoons we’d game together; stealing apples or turkeys (which restored health) from each other, tag teaming enemies…even ‘accidentally’ grabbing and throwing each other.

That’s one of the main reasons I can’t wait for Streets of Rage 4 ever since I heard somebody was even making one.

If you’ve not heard of the series, it was one of SEGA’s gems back in the 90s. It was created to stand up to Capcom’s Final Fight series (which was SNES/Super Famicom exclusive) but turned out to be more than a carbon copy.

Streets of Rage III even implemented a branching storyline with you choosing what to do at the end of certain stages, something only a handful of brawlers (such as Capcom’s Dungeons & Dragons games) did back then.

This is slated to be the biggest entry yet, with 17 playable characters! I know Axel’s still going to be my first pick, but I know I’m going to run through the game as Max, Blaze and Zan too!

The game also features the return of Battle Mode, this time with a 4 player option That’s going to be damn fun if you have friends to play with, but I suspect it’s the main story mode that’ll provide the longevity.

Streets of Rage 4 will hit every single platform you can think of (PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch) this April 30.

Sal's been in the industry since the early 2000s. He's written for a ton of gaming and tech publications including Playworks, Hardwarezone, HWM and GameAxis. Recently, Sal served as a juror for the Indie Game Awards at Taipei Game Show 2020. A geek and hardcore gamer, Sal will play everything, on any platform.