Ninja Theory kicked off 2013 with the blockbuster reboot DMC: Devil May Cry. But at E3, they came with a bit of a surprise. Working with EA Mobile and Chillingo, the Cambridge developer is working on their first iOS title. Fightback is a cheesy 1980's-style beat-'em-up, where players take control of a 'roided-up tough guy out for good old-fashioned revenge.
"We historically have always developed console games, mostly fighting games," said Ninja Theory co-founder Nina Kristensen. "So when we decided to move into mobile, we decided to do a fighting game to learn touch screen combat and make a real combat system."
The idea of Fightback is to fight through towers of bad guys, floor by floor. The main character's daughter has been kidnapped, so he stomps across floors in an over-the-top rage and shows an exaggerated anger that can only been seen in a 1980's-style action movie. Just to show how tough he is, he'll even punch elevator buttons and scream dramatically towards departing helicopters.
Thugs will rush you one at a time and you must dispatch them with punches and kicks. Tapping the touch screen will throw a punch, while swiping will kick in the swipe's direction, either high, low, or mid-level. Skilled players will be able to chain together moves and create large combos, not unlike some of Ninja Theory's console efforts.
"The combat system includes everything you would expect to see in a proper combat system," said Kristensen. This was noticeable, as I played through Fightback for myself, as later enemies started to gradually attack with more advanced moves and fighting tactics. They would also learn to evade my strikes and counter my blows. Fortunately, there are also power-ups that can be equipped, like a gun that will clear the screen of all foes.
Fightback will feature eight towers and more than 100 floors across two districts at launch. Kristensen hints that more content will be added in the future. It's set to release on Android and iOS later this summer.