Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance
|a game by||Cavia|
|Platforms:||XBox, Playstation 2|
|Editor Rating:||6/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||9.5/10 - 4 votes|
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|See also:||Action Adventure Games, Fighting Games, Beat 'em-Up|
Developed by Cavia and published by Capcom, Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance is an action RPG with a lot of attitude. A tale of betrayal, crime, and over-the-top action, this is a game that fans of classic beat ‘em ups must definitely try.
Fun gameplay mechanics and solid combat turn this game into a hidden gem of the sixth generation of consoles. Join a surprisingly large roster of charismatic characters as they fight to reclaim what’s rightfully theirs. Just be mindful of some small quirks that might sour your overall experience.
A Quest for Revenge
In Beat Down, players take control of one of five criminal enforcers: Raven, Aaron, Gina, Lola, or Jason G. When they’re betrayed by a powerful mafia boss, the enforcers split around the city seeking revenge against those who’ve wronged them.
Unlike other golden age beat ‘em ups, like Streets of Rage or Final Fight, story plays an integral part of Beat Down. There are more than just unlockable characters to be found in Beat Down’s rich story mode, as it plays more like an RPG than an arcade brawler.
The game rewards you for completing the story mode multiple times with different characters, as each of them unlocks more parts of the complete plot. Different arcs and endings are available for players that take their time to explore everything that Beat Down has to offer.
More than Fists
Despite the violent nature of the game, charisma and negotiation can also be tools as deadly as your punches in Beat Down. As we mentioned before, the game can be considered an action RPG, meaning that conversations and recruitable NPCs become a main pillar of the story.
When faced with an NPC, players can choose to peacefully negotiate with them to join you, robbing them, viciously interrogate them, or flat out beat them to death. Each decision you make in your playthrough will have consequences, however, and players will have to carefully consider if attracting unnecessary attention benefits them.
As you progress in the story mode, you’ll find that fists might no longer be enough. Thankfully, firearms also come into play in the late game. However, as it happens most of the time in games that rely more on melee combat than weapons, the gunplay feels severely underdeveloped.
Brutality on Display
Players familiar with the moderate violence of games like Final Fight will be shocked when confronted by the crudeness of Beat Down. Violence is front and center here, with many characters committing senseless acts of violence that are rare for Capcom games without zombies in them.
That said, the over-the-top violence feels like a stylistic choice, made to match with the game’s gritty presentation. One thing is for sure, this game won’t win any awards for its graphics. Although the character models and animations look fine enough, the levels feel awfully empty. Some seriously hideous textures also kind of ruin the presentation, bringing the game’s quality down a notch.
Speaking of character models, there are tons of customization options to make your character look more stylish. This, together with the huge amount of additional story content, turns this game into something unique, where quantity is better than quality.
A great callback to classic beat ‘em ups, Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance is an edgy game with tons of content. The awful visuals might turn some players down, but the interesting story and insane number of unlockables elevate the game above its competition.
- Excellent branching story
- Tons of customization options
- Solid gameplay
- Terrible graphics
- Poor camera controls