The Alien Critic Reviews...
The Alien CriticReviews...

TAC Reviews...Streets of Rage 4

Date Posted: 21/05/23


Streets of Rage 4 was released in 2021 across multiple platforms but the one that I played was the PS4 version as there is not currently a PS5 version. Numerous characters from the previous games appear but as none of them have voice actors it wasn’t really worth mentioning.


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Now in case you are a millennial or don’t remember the pre-x-box or playstation era there used to be a games console known as the Sega Megadrive which played 16-Bit games on cartridges. In those days games were rarely more complicated than keep going right until you have to go a bit down, then keep going right until the level ends. Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario were based on this very simple premise. But what also worked well was the side-scrolling beat-em-up of which the Streets of Rage series was easily one of my favourites.


The premise of the Streets of Rage games were that you were fighting against various punks, gang members and bosses whilst you worked your way up to the big boss. From what I can recall that was pretty much it. Admittedly whilst I can remember playing Streets of Rage it was Streets of Rage 2 that I devoted many an hour. I think I played Streets of Rage 3 but for some reason that now escapes me I wasn’t overly keen on it.


The story as I can recall it was that in the first game I think you were police officers sent into the city to stop the gang controlled by Mr X, in the sequel Mr X was back and had kidnapped Adam (a character from the first game) so you had to defeat him once more and rescue Adam. Number three…I can’t remember. Which brings me to number four in which the children of Mr X named Mr X and Ms Y have taken over the city and you must once again beat up legions of minions to get to them and then beat them up.


From the sounds of it the game would on the surface appear to be quite boring but the gameplay does change with boss enemies returning as lesser minions in amongst the other enemies. You can pick up knives, baseball bats, pipes and even grenades in this one to fight back against your enemies. Plus in a change that I don’t think was in the previous games (although my knowledge of three is lacking) you have the opportunity to regain health after using your special attack. You see all characters have special attacks which can be used if you have Stars under your health bar, but using them damages you, so you have to be careful when you use them as if you are facing boss and use a special you are leaving yourself more vulnerable. However, if you get in his after attacking you can regain some of your life so confidence in your own abilities is rewarded.


The graphics of the original game have been beautifully updated with what I swear is a hand drawn art style which looks amazing. During the game you unlock characters from the previous games in their pixelated glory and it really shows how far the graphics have come. But unlike the later Sonic and Mario games which went for 3D which didn’t really work, Streets of Rage 4 has remained a side-scrolling game.  


Characters from the original game appear as well as others from the sequels with some of them taking the role of bosses after they have been brainwashed or something. Like I said there is a story but if you are playing for the story then you are doing it wrong.


The game is relatively short with it being possible to complete it in around an hour, but it is designed to bereplayed with higher difficulties or other characters. Nostalgia was the reason I wanted to play it but I played with others who weren’t familiar with the previous games and they enjoyed it just as much as me. I would recommend waiting till the game is on offer because I got it for around £20 but considering how short it was then that was a bit steep whereas £15 would have been more than enough to pay.


All in all whilst there is not a massive amount to say about the game because it is just a side-scrolling beat-em-up it is a fantastic side-scrolling beat-em-up that has been brought up-to-date without forgetting what made the previous games so much fun to play. If you are unfamiliar with the series then some of the references may be a bit lost on you but just enjoy it for the colourful art-style and thoroughly enjoyable gameplay.


My Thumb is definitely Up because I was a massive fan of Streets of Rage when I got to this planet years ago and I still am playing it now. 



9/10 – A game for fans and non-fans alike. Streets of Rage 4 is a great fun game to play alone, online co-op or with up to four players in local multiplayer. Players young and old will find something to like here, unless you don’t like side scrolling games, in which case stop reading and sod off back to Call of Duty or whatever. 


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© Chris Sharman