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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Reboot!

    - Danny Cowan

  • Andrew Alfonso, Localization Director at Capcom Japan, Urban Reign Returns

    Urban Reign is a reboot of the 2005 beat ‘em up title from Namco that featured Brad Hawk, a muscle-for-hire goon sent to locate a kidnapped gang member.

    In this reboot, instead of a generic-looking protagonist, players can now create their own hired muscle, customizing everything from the character's face to the default clothing.

    One criticism of the original Urban Reign was that it lacked a multiplayer option until the game was finished. In this reboot, single player and online are merged into one mode to create a persistent online-enabled brawler with infinite replay value. Since standard levels will get super old in an "infinite" game, Urban Reign will have randomly created levels with special processes to make sure unique landmarks are placed in a stage to make every level different, but stand out at the same time.

    Multiple gang factions have staked claim to the city of Green Harbor, USA, and each of them have unique characteristics. One gang may specialize in multiple fighting styles, while another may be big into the drug trade, giving them income to purchase weapons to bring to a fight.

    Your character starts off with allegiance to no gang, and you're free to take jobs for anyone. These jobs have you traveling to different parts of the city to take out other gang members, and in a Demon's Souls-esque turn, run in on another player's job in an attempt to take them out and score the spoils for yourself! The stronger your character becomes, the more gangs will try to persuade you into joining their cause. They'll offer you bigger cash payouts, weapons if you join... or they might try to beat the living tar out of you until you submit!

    Once you're part of a gang, they'll send you (and your friends, if they're in the same gang!) jobs to do for them, and clearing them affects the influence your gang has over the city, which is also reflected online as other players join up with other gangs. Gangs will also periodically send out messages to players about potential alliances or takeovers, so players will have to vote on what to do. For example, if a gang is on the verge of being taken over, the game will send a poll to players asking if the gang should fight back or accept the takeover.

    The Urban Reign reboot features the same robust combat system (with all the special 2-on-1 or 1-on-2 tag attacks) of the original with several refinements. Damage is divided by region (head, torso, legs), and players can now customize their attacks or go with a preset fighting style. Characters become stronger depending on the moves used, so if a player uses a lot of heavy attacks, the character will become stronger but much slower as they fight, and vice versa. Similarly, if you're constantly using weapons, then your proficiency with weapons will increase but you won't be as strong when unarmed.


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