Streets of Rage 4’s music and art are brilliant
Streets of Rage 4 has been out for years now. While I encourage you to check out our review, in brief, the game offers a classic arcade-style experience as you move your character through a gauntlet of opponents. Blisteringly hard, the game nevertheless is captivating for what it offers.
But while the gameplay is solid, that alone isn’t what gives the full experience. Streets of Rage 4 is an excellent example of knowing not only how to craft the experience with gameplay, but utilizing the sound and graphics to enhance that experience.
Streets of Rage 4 Art
Visually, the game uses a very clear art style with a hand-drawn comic aesthetic. While you’re playing the game, you feel like you’re watching and experiencing a comic book in real-time. By choosing this style, it actually feeds into the brawler sense and style but also allows for the artists to capture the emotions of the characters and their reactions.
Using the same trick animators would use for film or television, they can exaggerate the motions and sprites in ways that are difficult to do with 3D models while capturing a massive amount of force and movement. This also helps to feed into the brief cutscenes between levels, which play out more like comic books than your traditional high-render cutscenes and graphics. It keeps the experience consistent. Also, for those who remember long hours at the arcade, to say nothing of the loss of quarters, it will feel right at home.
Streets of Rage 4 Music
As for the sound, this is another important step to capturing the experience that I want to applaud the developers for – not only for the choice of music, which fits the experience they clearly attempted to capture but also for how they controlled it to help change the pace.
During supremely intense fights, you’d hear the music tempo speed up, as if someone had hit fast forward. It builds tension as well as adding a sense of urgency. Likewise, take too much damage in some other cases and the music begins to sound discordant, reminding the player of the danger they are in. Unconsciously, this helps to assist the player, making you aware of an increased threat, or giving you the sense you should probably look for something to help boost your health ASAP.
Beyond a fantastic (not to mention difficult) experience in gameplay, Streets of Rage 4 is an example of utilizing art and sound alongside it to build the best and most authentic experience possible for the player. They don’t use cutting-edge graphics and sound – and don’t need them. Instead, knowing the audience and the experience they want, this is a use of sound and art to deliver an engaging and challenging time that can be experienced in a unique way. By keeping to this direction, it helps the game to not only stand out while remaining true to the roots of its predecessors.
What do you think of Streets of Rage 4 music and art? Let us know!