Do you ever flick through the game stores and just long for a run and gun set in the gritty and funky 70s? Maybe feel an yearn for a sequel to classic arcade title Sunset Riders?, Well Limited Run Games and Monster Bath Studios Inc have you covered with their newest title Deathwish Enforcers.
Deathwish Enforcers sees you taking on the role of 1 of 4 movie inspired street cops as they try to take down Mr Big and his criminal syndicate, be it the Dirty Harry inspired character or the femme fatales you’ll be walking and shooting across the city and beyond, paperwork be damned.
Deathwish Enforcers is very much a modern arcade game so you aren’t getting too much in the way of narrative, who wants it? You want to be out there granting Deathwishes like the Enforcer that you are of course and outside of the odd bit of dialogue and the intro and ending that’s what you’ll be doing through 7 stages of pure run and gun mayhem.
Visually Deathwish Enforcers looks like a NeoGeo/Sega Saturn title with some absolutely beautiful sprite work throughout, could you easily put this on an arcade cabinet and have told me it was from the late 90s and I wouldn’t have questioned that in the slightest.
The character models are animated well and have an over the top cartoon style to them that despite some of the more adult content in the game, harkens back to the SNES/Mega Drive era of larger than life action.
The level variation goes through all the standard tropes of a 70s cop show, gritty streets, prison, highway and boats before veering off into more sci-fi and horror locales, your first run through this game will be a trip let me tell you!
The bosses are also an interesting experience, the first one being very similar to that of the first one from Sunset Riders before you then take on a serial killer in jail and even a demon the size of a skyscraper, variety is the spice of life so they say
So Deathwish Enforcers is very much an arcade run and gun, if you’re as old as me or have an interest in retro video games all I’ll have to say is this is 1970s based Sunset Riders, it goes as far as having the same set pieces in places and for all intents and purposes this is a damn good thing for fans of the genre.
You don’t run, you slowly walk blasting away at enemies with the 4 different characters or 4 at a time thanks to the handy 4 person multiplayer feature, until you reach the boss at the end of the stage, one hit kills you and everything in the stage wants to cut your investigation short.
You can find items that grant you a screen clearing bomb or even extra lives hidden behind doors, much like the saloons in the previously mentioned cowboy run and gun. You’ll platform, you’ll pull yourself through a burning building and you’ll die so many times before that memorization kicks in, good thing the game is alot of fun!
If you want an easier time you can tweak the difficulty modes and even remove the dog enemies from the game should you not want to take on man’s best friend, you can even restart from the last stage you were on with fresh lives and continues at the expense of the Hi-Score.
Deathwish Enforcers was a surprise when it dropped in the inbox and I was in love with it from the second I dropped into it, as a homage to Sunset Riders it knocks it out of the park, as an arcade title to play with friends on the Switch, it’s slightly pricey for an hour run time but if you want to get that one credit clear or just enjoy the genre enough for multiple plays this is one of the very best!
A more “up to date” Sunset Riders in the best way!