If you’re a fan of beat ’em up games there are a few treats on the way, as like buses you wait forever and a few come along at the same time. The biggest of the new crop of brawlers has to be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, developed by French studio DotEmu – the same team behind the brilliant Streets of Rage 4 and criminally overlooked Windjammers 2. It’s safe to say the license is in good hands, as *spoilers* DotEmu have smashed it out the park with this true love letter to all things classic TMNT games… but with a few modern twists.
The game is a side-scrolling action brawler with a stunning pixelated art style. You get to take control of Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael as you would expect, but also April O’Neil, Master Splinter, and Casey Jones too. Each character has their own range, speed, and power rating, making each one play a bit differently which is a nice touch. They also have unique super moves and taunts to buff their power bars. You’ll battle against a who’s who of the TMNT rogues gallery, including the Foot Clan, Krang, Bebop, Rocksteady and Shredder to name a few – as there are a few really deep cuts here that fans will love seeing. You’ll also fight them in a number of locations across New York City, before heading to Dimension X.
The game features two different core modes; standard arcade and story mode. In arcade mode, you have a limited amount of lives, and the game must be completed in one sitting old-school style. However, Story mode allows you to convert accumulated points across each level which lets you add more health, extra lives, additional moves and a new special ability (known as Radical Mode) giving a short buff to your combat abilities. Story mode is also fleshed out a little bit more with each stage also having optional side-content and challenges as well as a number of collectibles to hunt down. A HUGE plus for the game is you can play through both modes in co-op, as the game supports an eye watering six-players online. Or if you want couch co-op action four-players can play in local cooperative. Playing with your mates also makes the game a little easier, as you can high-five each other to share health, as well as working together to perform certain moves.
Visually the game is stunning with a highly detailed pixel art style, which only the soulless will not get a kick from as it truly pops with colour and action. As for sound quality, DotEmu have truly pushed the boat out – the Turtle voice actors from the classic 1987 series reprise their roles. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge also features music composed by Tee Lopes, with contributions from guitarist Jonny Atma, rapper Mega Ran, singer Mike Patton, plus Ghostface Killah and Raekwon of the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan. This means the soundtrack is a true banger as well.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a true “what if” title that looks at classic arcade TMNT games and evolves it for a new audience, while paying its respects to capturing the vibe and tone. If you’re a Turtles fan you’ll have a HUGE smile on your face from beginning to end, while newcomers and youngers will get a kick out of the challenging yet fair gameplay, and nods and winks to the series rich history. Streets of Rage 4 was my GotY when it hit, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge looks set to follow in its footsteps it’s just that GOOD.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is available now on PlayStation, Xbox and PC for around £20 depending on platform, and has launched on GamePass for subscribers.