Bitmap Bureau love letter to the Beat ’em up genre, Final Vendetta is here to kick butt and chew bubblegum
The Beat ‘em up genre is seeing a massive resurgence with many classic titles being revived for a new generation of gamers.
But it’s mainly Indie developers who are keeping the genre alive with innovative homages to classic titles.
Developers Bitmap Bureau who are known for their retro-inspired games Ninja Shodown and Battle Axe are back again with their newest title Final Vendetta.
Final Vendetta is a Beat-em-up game that looks like it is heavily inspired by classic titles such as Street of Rage and Final Fight.
The story follows Claire Sparks, a student and martial art expert whose sister is kidnapped by the villainous gang known as Syndic8.
In an attempt to rescue her sister from the notorious gang she enlists help from her two friends, Duke Sancho, a bare-knuckle fighter from London and Miller T. Williams; a Canadian ex-pro wrestler.
This team must battle their way through London to rescue Claire’s sister. Final Vendetta is filled with all the tropes that you normally see in classic Beat ‘em up and that’s not a bad thing.
I really enjoy its B-movie style that’s filled with a cast of cool characters who engage in over the top exploits. It’s not something we haven’t seen before but fans of the genre will really enjoy the nostalgic storytelling.
Final Vendetta is a retro-inspired title that looks every bit like the 16-bit games it’s paying homage to.
The brazen 90s-inspired designs are fun and flashy with each of the characters glowing with so much individuality.
My main issue lies with just the enemies who tend to be different coloured, it would have been nice to see just a little more variety within their roster.
Level designs are fantastic, the developers have really captured the grittiness of the London inspired locations.
Final Vendetta’s soundtrack is a grand mix of retro inspired electronic melodies that complement the game’s setting.
It features exclusive tracks from Utah Saints and Featurecast that will definitely get your adrenaline pumping.
Final Vendetta has a few modes for players to get stuck into but the majority of these need to be unlocked in various ways.
From the get go Arcade mode will be available, and it’s pretty straightforward, where players will battle their way through different levels.
Stages are very linear with a few secrets but a good length. It’s not the longest campaign but players will want to complete the game with the various characters, get the best rankings,unlock all achievements and other modes, so there is a ton of replayability.
The survival mode will see players fight hordes of foes in a smaller stage. This is a great mode for those who want to really hone their skills and create new combat strategies.
Boss Rush mode will let players take on all the bosses back to back, again this is a nice inclusion to have but would be much better if there was a bigger roster of bosses.
All these modes have local co-ops allowing a second player to join the action. However a second player can’t jump in at any time, you will have to select the two-player option from the start.
Also, I think as there are three characters in the game it would’ve been nice to have a three-player option. There currently isn’t an online option for Co-op, hopefully, this can get patched in later at some point.
Final Vendetta does have a versus mode which is really unique to the genre. The game transforms into a fighter where players can take on their friends.
A fantastic mode to include but it’s pretty limited as to what you can do and who you can fight with. Gameplay mechanics are very accessible and allow for players to really get stuck into the combat.
Players will have access to a set of attacks and grabs to take down their enemies, there’s a lot to experiment with.
Each character feels different enough to cater towards various playstyles. The game has more defensive controls than others in the genre, with the ability to block most attacks also being included.
Each character has a special attack that will drain the power meter or health if the power meter is empty.
The mechanics really allows players to fully take advantage of each character’s skills without being overly complex to master which allows more players to jump in and play.
There are three difficulty settings with the final one having to be unlocked, but I have to say the difference between the Easy and Hard modes can feel like heaven and Earth at the start. But the accessible controls make the experience less gruelling.
Final Vendetta is a great homage to classic Beat ‘em up from the 90s that will really please fans of the genre.
The game is quite short but the other modes and achievements will bring players back, especially the co-op.
However, I feel the game will need to incorporate online features and some possible DLC to extend its longevity
Final Vendetta is out on June 17 on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X and PC