Mayhem Brawler

Punch bad guys in the comic-like brawler, Mayhem Brawler

Far too long had we gone without a video game brawler wrapped in a stylised, hand-drawn, comic book veneer like Mayhem Brawler—complete with effortlessly seamless, frame-by-frame animation.

Mayhem Brawler looks snazzy as hell, and the setup is fuss-free, too. In this side-scrolling beat ‘em up set in an urban city, you can play as one of three characters—Dolphin, Star and Trouble—who are part of a super-powered law enforcement agency. They’re here to rid the streets of not just regular criminals gangs, but also a bevy of other supernatural enemies such as werewolves and vampires.

The roles and personalities of the heroic trio are at once both distinct and familiar, too: Dolphin is the enforcer that deals damage with sheer brute force; Star relies on dexterity and aerial attacks to take down her enemies; and the heavily moustachioed Trouble is probably a balanced mix of the two, as he pummels his foes mercilessly. There’s even a campaign mode, where you can choose which missions to go on, and which you can unlock more narrative paths. These decisions, too, will supposedly influence how the story turns out.

That said, I don’t expect Mayhem Brawler to tell a moving, evocative tale about crime-busting. What I had wanted to see more of, however, are over-exaggerated comic book-style sound effects like “KABOOM”,  “BAM” and “POW” plastered across the screen, as you’re serving up punches and crushing skulls in a sequence of seemingly never-ending fights.

If you’re itching for a fight, Mayhem Brawler will soon see a release in August this year.