The TakeOver from Antonios Pelekanos and DANGEN Entertainment is a side scrolling beat ‘em up game much like Streets of Rage 4 but vastly different in a couple of ridiculously good ways. Now that that comparison is out the way I can get into why this is probably one of the best beat ‘em up games you can buy in 2020.
The TakeOver starts off pretty bleak. The city our heroes inhabit is overrun and taken over by criminal gangs who have suddenly decided to team up. Players will pick from 1 of 3 initially playable characters and the story immediately kicks off. Megan Brooks and Ethan Rivers’ adopted daughter has been kidnapped by gang members, and they don’t intend to let them get away with this. Our heroes enlist the help of Connor Grayson in getting her back. The trio take off in search of the kid and lots of beat ‘em up action ensues.
The TakeOver’s story is told by means of comic-book style cutscenes which are fully voice acted. These both look and sound great and are a treat to watch throughout the game. The storyline is pretty standard throughout, but it does enough to keep you entertained and propel you forward.
Gameplay in The TakeOver is where it truly shines. Players will either punch or kick by pressing one of the face buttons on the JoyCon. Stringing together combos by using either punch or kick is incredibly easy and it’s possible to chain together a lot of attacks in one go. This is incredibly satisfying to see on screen as your character effortlessly beats enemy gang members into submission. Players can also trigger a special attack and enter into a “Rage” mode which results in more damage being output. Players will also perplexingly have access to weapons such as handguns and assault rifles. Whether or not these should be in a beat ‘em up game is up to the individual gamer to decide but they do certainly come in handy in some of the more frantic fights in The TakeOver and make for some interesting gameplay moments.
One of the best aspects of the game where it outshines some of its competition from Streets of Rage 4 lies with the fact that the playable characters can all run and dodge roll up or down. There’s fluid movement throughout and it feels great to play. The only caveat being that the sheer number of enemies on screen at times can be overwhelming at times and this may limit your movement. Nevertheless, fighting off enemies is immensely enjoyable throughout the game and even the boss fights, while rather generic, are quite fun.
Upon completing a level, players will also have access to one of two bonus levels. The first being a car chase where you man a gatling gun and move left or right while your vehicle floors it across town. The other involves players taking control of a fighter jet and firing missiles at enemies much like you would in Sega’s After Burner series. Coming across this in-game was quite a surprise and a welcome one at that.
The soundtrack used in The TakeOver features tracks that have been worked on by Streets of Rage composer Yuzo Koshiro himself. There are quite a few different types of music on offer in The TakeOver with electro and heavy metal beats to beat ‘em up to. Character voice acting is superb with seasoned veteran voice actors like Kira Buckland and Sarah Anne Williams lending their talents to the game.
Now if you’ve noticed, I purposeful left the graphics part of this review for last. Why is that? Well, the answer is quite simple. Graphically, The TakeOver is going to cause a divide amongst gamers. The backgrounds and environments are absolutely gorgeous with a massive attention to detail being paid to them throughout. The comic-book cutscenes are great too. However, the game’s characters themselves in-game, during gameplay, have an aesthetic that just doesn’t seem to match up with the rest of the game. The character models are CGI-esque and almost look like plastic action figures that don’t belong on the screen. It’s a baffling decision from the game developers since they could have opted for a more traditional anime-esque style and it would have fit in perfectly with the rest of the game.
Nevertheless, character models aside, The TakeOver is a fun fighting game with plenty of combos, enemies and content to keep you busy for hours and hours on end if you replay it with different characters. I went in not knowing what to expect and was pleasantly surprised by a beat ‘em up fighting game that can hold its own against its direct competitor Streets of Rage 4. At its current price on both Nintendo Switch and Steam, The TakeOver is a bargain and a game fans of beat ‘em ups should definitely consider picking up.
The Takeover was Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch, which cost 17.99 and can be purchased here.
Developer and Publishers are Antonios Pelekanos and DANGEN Entertainment
The Takeover is available on the following platforms Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems
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The TakeOver is a side-scrolling beat'em up inspired by the genre defining classic games of the 90's. Battle solo or alongside a friend in local co-op while listening to awesome tunes from Little V Mills, Richie Branson, James Ronald and industry legend Yuzo Koshiro!
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 17.99
Product In Stock: SoldOut