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Retro City Rampage dev's Shakedown Hawaii trumps its predecessor in new trailer

UPDATE: Real estate tycoon and reality TV star antihero not Trump parody, dev clarifies.

UPDATE 12/07/2017 4.38pm: It turns out that Shakedown Hawaii's bullish aging real estate mogul and reality TV star antihero is not meant to parody a certain politician, despite the similarities in the premise, developer Brian Provinciano has clarified to Eurogamer.

"I do want to make one clarification though: The protagonist's not a parody of Trump, and was in fact conceived well before that last election even began," the developer said in an email to Eurogamer. "I understand the possible confusion since he's described as a CEO / guy on reality TV, but that's not the case here.

"The reality TV side of the game was one of those perfect flukes that came out of the Tetris-like process that is melding the desired story beats with gameplay that fits the genre. It grew out of an excuse to squeeze in more video game-y elements like rotating cannons and platforming conveyor belt props into the game's more grounded tone (ie. 'it's a game show'). Originally, you played a secondary character on these shows (a younger, fame hungry kid), but the second character didn't keep the game on-theme with the business satire, and I wanted to keep it more focused and on point, so I rewrote it to have the main protagonist compete on the shows instead. It wound up working out much better, actually, and was another lightbulb moment of magic!

"It's been a challenging game to build - riffing on these business things would've been a snap with a point and click adventure game, or in Seinfeld episodes, but making it work in this open world action/shooting context was a long process. I had to organically unearth a bunch of these 'ah-ha!' moments where the blocks fell into place, but it sure felt good each time they happened!"

ORIGINAL STORY 12/07/2017 3.39am: Retro City Rampage developer Brian Provinciano has unloaded a lot of details on his next game, Shakedown Hawaii, which is massively more ambitious than his previous oldschool gaming throwback.

While Shakedown Hawaii boasts a similar aesthetic to Retro City Rampage, this is an infinitely deeper game with a map four times the size of RCR and riddled with enough mini-games and mechanics to make Rockstar blush.

This time out you play as an aging CEO trying to make ends meet after his various empires - such as shopping malls, video stores, and taxis - have fallen in favour of the internet, streaming video, and ride-sharing apps.

His brutish plan to combat the shifting demands of the 21st century is simple: destroy every other business on the island until he owns all that's left and people will have to depend on him for clothing, videos and cabs.

Nature has taken jobs from many hard working Americans. Sad.

Along the way you'll also acquire various properties and businesses to funnel into your empire. Since your elderly anti-hero is such a wealthy tycoon he's also become a reality TV star who must now hide their actions through costumes and sabotage. So basically you play as a real estate mogul and TV star destroying a society's infrastructure in hopes of rebranding themselves as a hero and acquiring more wealth. Now where have I heard that before?

It's not all politicking and subterfuge, however, as your trusty disguises will also allow you to partake in more petty crime, like sticking up shops, stealing cars, and causing chaos wherever you go.

I played a few minutes of Shakedown Hawaii at GDC in March and had a blast with its sandbox mayhem. Provinciano told me that while he wanted Retro City Rampage to play by the rules of 8-bit tech, Shakedown Hawaii will be a vastly more modern sandbox adventure with fully destructible environments that he hopes people will spend hundreds of hours in.

Shakedown: Hawaii will be coming to Switch, 3DS, PS4, Vita, and PC. No release window has been announced.

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Jeffrey Matulef


Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.

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