Belt-scrolling beat-’em-ups are truly back (again!), thanks to a new entry in the Double Dragon series. Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons will bring back Billy and Jimmy Lee for a new street-sweeping adventure this summer, adding some roguelite elements to the classic arcade genre.
Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons is developed by Secret Base and published by Modus Games. The new Double Dragon promises something deeper than a recreation of the series’ arcade days; players will choose missions of varying length and difficulty, taking on four gangs and their leaders, earning in-game cash as they sock it to street scum. That cash can be spent on unlocking extra characters, bonuses between missions, upgrades, and more.
Joining Billy and Jimmy in Rise of the Dragons are Marian — Billy’s girlfriend and the damsel in distress from the original Double Dragon, who appears here fully armed to the teeth — and Uncle Matin, who is described as a “riot-shield-wielding powerhouse.” Players will be able to tag in and out with different characters in two-player local co-op (online co-op is planned post-launch, Modus says).
Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons is headed to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X sometime this summer.
The most recent game in the Double Dragon franchise was 2017’s Double Dragon 4, which was developed by Arc System Works. That game served as a legacyquel to Double Dragon 2, and received middling reviews. Prior to that game, WayForward attempted to revive the beat-’em-up classic with 2013’s Double Dragon Neon.
Double Dragon Gaiden: Rise of the Dragons is the latest (promising) attempt to keep the beat-’em-up genre alive. Recent efforts from publisher DotEmu, specifically Streets of Rage 4 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, thankfully, have been excellent. Let’s hope Billy and Jimmy (and Marian and Matin) can keep the combo going.