Treachery in Beatdown City takes on the style of an over-the-top beat them up from the late ’80s that you might come across in an arcade, but from the moment you start playing, you can see that does much more than emulate the past. Playing with the standard fighting game style using smart humor and classic tactics mechanics, it creates an exciting fusion of genres that makes almost any punch fun. This is our Treachery In Beatdown City Review.
Treachery In Beatdown City Review: About
- Platform: Nintendo Switch, Windows, Linux, Macintosh
- Developer: NuChallenger, HurakanWorks
- Publisher: NuChallenger
- Genres: Beat-‘Em-Up, Action
- Release Date: March 31, 2020
Treachery In Beatdown City Review: Official Trailer Video
Treachery In Beatdown City Review: Gameplay
The game opens with an alternate universe action movie trailer explaining that the president, Blake Orama, has just been kidnapped by ninja dragon terrorists. Everyone scrambles. The city’s corrupt billionaire mayor doesn’t show up, and the police can’t handle it, so the chief calls on the only people he knows to stop this madness: you and your fighting friends! You can spin between three street fighters, each with their styles and witty banter.
There is Lisa Santiago, a boxer; Bruce Maxwell, a capoeira hunter; and Brad Steele, an ex-wrestler. They are all introduced with beautiful art and theme music that shows them in great fighting modes. All fighters have their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to punching, kicking, and wrestling. Before each duel, you have to measure the type of enemy to make sure it is a good match. The enemies also have support, grappler and striker types, and these enemies range from gentrifiers, racists and rude tech brothers to police and a motorcycle gang.
You have to think about your introductions with them even in the early levels as a mismatched fighter might lose you an otherwise easy fight. Playing with all these character types will make the gameplay more focused than most fighters, where you can usually punch buttons and progress. When a battle begins, you have access to a time-consuming tactical menu with all the punches, grapples, and combos you can use against your enemies.
The game’s tactic layer is easy to master because the system is well laid out, giving you easy access to your catalog of attacks and suplexes that empty a slowly replenishing FP bar. New moves and combo rhythms are also explained as you progress so you can learn as you go. Combination variation is rewarded with bonus FP, so it’s worth finding fresh ways to link moves together, especially if you’re almost out of power.
The new moves you learn also shake up the way you approach combat. There is a point when Brad Steele, your resident grappler, eventually unlocks a “Toe Kick” that makes it easier to confirm a grab. From the moment I opened it, the move became a staple of the combos I performed. It gave me much better options for overthrowing even the strongest street fighters. Each character learns a few skills that are tailored to their playing style, and those moves give your protagonists plenty of flexibility, making for longer and more exciting extensions to your range of hits. Once you get into the groove of one of their movesets, the game opens to make you feel like an unstoppable strategic warrior.
The game tends to keep up its energy, but halfway through your search for Beatdown City, there are a few moments when fights get a bit monotonous. For example, in later levels, enemies are armed with weapons. The weapons should be a new obstacle, but they make the most matchups easier to handle. Once you disarm your opponent, you can pick up the weapon for yourself and take out each enemy with a few quick blows.
In those battles, you don’t want to come up with a long series of attacks to take out an enemy, while just pressing A three times. Grudge matches also come into play later in the game; they are rematches between one of the protagonists and a rude person they met on the street. In the beginning, the grudge matches spice up the rotation of enemies and give meaning to the fights, but after a few matches against the returning characters, you will learn the exact approach to defeat them and start to feel stale. Those encounters left a few bumps in the generally smooth ride.
For decisive battles, there are short cutscenes where a fight takes place, your character says a fun action hero one-liner and then hand throws. These cutscenes do a great job of splitting portions with lots of back-to-back fights, and they raise the stakes comically while consistently punching. You always fight with a complete jerk; it may be someone crazy for not buying their mixtape or just a racist, but either way, Treachery in Beatdown City pokes fun at the idea that remains smart and entertaining. At some point while playing as Bruce, a black man, you are approached by a preppy white man named Dan.
Then he puts on a horrifying Jamaican accent and asks for drugs, and Bruce replies, “I buy and sell stocks, not whatever you think,” then jokes him. Another altercation takes place as a few influencers block the sidewalk and discuss the best way to take pictures of their food for Snapstergram. Since everyone you meet is genuinely the worst in their way, those cutscenes make it fun to fight back and see your character not let things slip.
Treachery in Beatdown City review skillfully uses humor as a tool to tackle contemporary gig economy issues, insidious tricks from tech companies, and obnoxious fanatics. It has some silence and a bit of an abrupt conclusion, but that’s overshadowed by how much fun the conversations and fights are. The mechanics stand out and push against the standards of the fighter genre, with an energetic tactic twist that lets you create some freestyle combos in an instant. Ultimately, it was a short, satisfying playthrough that kept the action movie aura all the time.
Treachery in Beatdown City takes on the style of an over-the-top beat them up from the late ’80s that you might come across in an arcade, but from the moment you start playing, you can see that does much more than emulate the past.