Streets of Rage 4 hands-on preview at PAX South 2020

We got a chance to check out Dotemu's latest build of Streets of Rage 4, including newly returning original Bare Knuckle boxing character, Adam Hunter.

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To say the developing journey of Streets of Rage 4 has been impressive is an understatement. The game’s polished animations and great characters promise a wealth of beat’em-up action that will be a go-to for many players, fan of the series or not, for a good long time, and the offering is only getting better with the latest addition to the playable roster of original Streets of Rage character and father of guitar-shredding Cherry Hunter and brother young Skate Hunter, Adam Hunter.

At PAX South 2020, I caught up to the folks at Dotemu to take Adam for a spin. The demo took us to a city level ending in a fight with iconic Streets of Rage baddie Shiva that players might remember from the Cherry Hunter reveal in August 2019. However, Adam was the big addition here for PAX South 2020, having only been revealed a few weeks before in December 2019.

Adam’s Streets of Rage 4 stick and move

As fans of the series might remember, Adam Hunter is an ex-professional boxer turned cop in the Streets of Rage universe. With that in mind, Dotemu, Guard Crush, and Lizard Cube poured an immense amount of Adam’s original sensibilities and story into his new stoic design.

From the get-go, Adam is set apart from the other characters in that he doesn’t have a full-on run. Instead, he has a quick step when you double tap in either direction that moves him forward a short distance. What’s interesting about this is that when Adam quick steps through an enemy, he will change direction to face their back. Immediately, I saw opportunity during our play with him to maneuver away from enemy attacks and continue my barrage of punches against foes.

Adam has a lot of unique things about his playstyle in Streets of Rage 4. His hard gut punch will no doubt be a meaty combo ender to much of his offense.
Adam has a lot of unique things about his playstyle in Streets of Rage 4. His hard gut punch will no doubt be a meaty combo ender to much of his offense.

Adam was always the heavy hitter of the original Streets of Rage line-up and that feels true here too. Where Axel is balanced and Blaze and Cherry have some technique and mobility, Adam feels like a brick wall running into foes when he lands some of his bigger attacks. He has a quickstepping gut punch that will rock the heck out of enemies and his super move looks and feels straight-up like an adaptation of Terry Bogard’s Power Geyser from King of Fighters and Fatal Fury. Adam brings an overall meatiness to the Streets of Rage 4 roster that feels like it may have been missing among the other three characters.

What’s more, Adam drives home something that has really risen to the surface in the Streets of Rage 4 characters since it was announced back in August 2018, and that’s just how different they feel from one another. It’s far more than just a cosmetic look. Adam’s quick step and hefty punches are distinctly different from locking foes down in Axel’s barrage of fiery fists or Blaze’s bouncing foes off walls with energy blows and kicks. These characters are coming into their own the more we see them. Their gameplay feels distinct, like picking from your favorite main in a fighting game roster. Adam feels distinctly like a prime example of just how far Dotemu and crew are willing to go with their playable character variety.

A fifth challenger in Streets of Rage 4?

We still don’t have a confirmed launch date on Streets of Rage 4. We just know that the game will be coming in 2020 for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. That said, there’s plenty to look forward to from Streets of Rage 4. We did learn from Dotemu that we can expect another playable character beyond Axel, Blaze, Cherry, and Adam, bringing the total starting playable roster up to five characters before Streets of Rage 4’s launch. With that being the case, we’ll be keeping a close eye on all comms to see who rounds out Streets of Rage 4’s fighters and what the fifth fighter brings to the table.

For more on Streets of Rage 4, be sure to check out the game's website, or follow Dotemu, Lizardcube, and Gaurd Crush Games on Twitter. Be sure to stay tuned to Shacknews for the latest on Streets of Rage 4, and let us know in the Chatty comment section below what you think of Adam Hunter.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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