Hello everyone, I am Emre Sağırlar, Community Manager of Hero Concept. Our latest track Mayhem Brawler will hit the streets tomorrow and I wanted to talk about the project development process, how it evolved and the studio’s innovative approaches to this classic genre. Let’s scroll through the belts, will you?
A wild coin had not yet been inserted
Mayhem Brawler is an urban fantasy themed beat’em up game with a cartoon art style. But it wasn’t always that way. We originally started this project to create a digital collectible card game. We wanted to create an urban fantasy universe with a superhero motif, featuring stories from all corners and from all perspectives. TCGs are well known for their huge amount of lore, locations, characters, creatures, and more, making them the perfect genre to realize our world.
Ultimately, the team realized that it would take a long time to pull all the nooks and crannies of this rich universe together into a cohesive whole with the careful balancing we would want in a collectible card game. Yet, with all the materials we had created, a sudden thought struck: why not adapt them in a classic, side-scrolling style? With our world, characters, and art style drawing inspiration from comics, classic beat’em ups, and novels telling timeless stories, the team were able to bring new things to the genre.
Even though we took inspiration from classic beat’em ups, the story won’t involve the hackneyed “save the kidnapped girl / girlfriend” phrase. Instead, players will be the best metahuman agents of Stronghold, an overpowered law enforcement agency. You – and up to two friends in local multiplayer – will watch the streets and save the people of Mayhem City.
The urban fantasy theme has given us the opportunity to create varieties of enemy minions and bosses, such as wizards who come together for dizzying rituals, vampires who possess mega-bodies to do their evil deeds, lycanthropes who live among humanity for dirty errands and mejins that come from another dimension just to party in the neighborhood. As beta players shared their surprise and glee at the fantastic creatures they faced, we knew we were off to a good start with the choices we made for the project. We are proud of this world that we have created and as such the idea of a collectible card game at some point in the future is still very much alive.
Does the walker choose the path, or the walker path?
The immense amount of stories written for Mayhem Universe allowed us to create a ‘choose your own adventure’ style trip.
With a more labyrinthine progression system, the story will feature three completely different endings. The story has twelve stages in total, but players will complete seven patrols in a single match, as choices will be made at the end of each level. These choices will determine which end players face. Each level is different from the others with its unique locations, stories, enemies, and a final boss. For example, players can complete the game without encountering a single assistant. We believe this will provide multiple and distinct player experiences, with distinct stories to hear, various enemies to stop, and tons of pop culture references to notice. Naturally, this will also increase the replay value.
Know your enemy, exploit his weakness
We took a page from the RPG manual while riding with status effects as a combat mechanic. Our officers can perform special offensive and defensive abilities. Not only will these skills improve players’ combo potential, but they will also leave opponents with certain condition effects, such as Bleed (causing the target to take additional damage) or Expos (lowering an opponent’s resistance). Weapons that you pick up while patrolling the streets (crowbars, knives, handguns) will also be able to apply condition effects depending on their type. Using the right effect on the right enemy will help you deal more damage, complete stages faster, and get higher scores. Be warned: Mayhem City Minions may have special abilities or use weapons to also leave our officers with condition effects!
From Istanbul with love
The team worked diligently on this project for two years. Those who are familiar with our previous titles, Doughlings: Arcade and Doughlings: Invasion, probably know that we love the timeless classics of video game history. Developing a beat’em up game was inevitable for the studio. We’ve done our best to create one that’s both nostalgic and fresh for arcade veterans and newcomers alike. The game releases tomorrow, August 19 on PS4 (and is playable on PS5). It includes English voiceovers as well as Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish subtitles and user interface.
As a Hero Concept, we hope you enjoy Mayhem Brawler the way you want! Now go patrol the streets.