final vendetta banner

Final Vendetta Steam Review

Final Vendetta is a hard-hitting beat ’em up from Numskull Games. It’s an arcade-style game that will interest fans of Streets of Rage. It’s available on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox. For this review, I played the Steam version.

Final Vendetta Brings The Arcade To You

As a fan of Streets of Rage, this is a game that interested me greatly. It’s time to get back to the 90s as you fight against people that have been hitting the gym hard. Maybe too hard by the looks of them.

The Game

I will start this with a pre-warning. Although a keyboard is supported, you’re better off with a controller. I started playing with a keyboard and had to button mash to find what key does what. Not ideal. The “how to play” leans heavily on the arcade-style theme but only gives you controls for a controller. Not everyone playing through Steam will have a controller, so a keyboard is their only option. Would be good to make that more accessible. You can find them if you look, but you really have to look through the menu options to find them.

The opening is exactly as you’d expect from an arcade-style theme (notice a pattern yet?), showing you joystick controls that, whilst looking cool, was not overly helpful. Who has a joystick these days? But it keeps up what seems to be the main theme. It’s bringing the arcade to you.

final vendetta how to

What you’ll really notice, though, is that the game draws influences from a lot of scrolling beat-em-ups. The good parts are picked and reworked into familiar-looking vigilantism that still feels like its own thing.

You choose between just three characters: Claire, a student and martial arts expert; Duke, a quick-witted, bare-knuckle fighter; and Miller, an ex-pro-wrester with excessive force. You can play either on your own or in two-player co-op as you battle your way through the streets of London to rescue Claire’s sister.

Punch, kick, throw or beat with a weapon as you go through the streets of London. Each character has their own unique way of striking, which is always a welcome addition. It means who you pick as a character actually makes a difference. Sure, it’s probably not that much of a difference, but you can feel it. And visually, you can see a difference in style. I like that. It also makes playing a level again with a different character a bit different. The fighting styles make it cool, though. I think to start with, everyone should play the first level with all three characters. At least see which one you find most appealing.

Frustratingly, when I started playing, the arcade mode offered no continuation, and I can’t remember a way to get extra lives with my play-throughs. I’d be fine with this if there wasn’t a lot of unavoidable damage the further through you go. The game gets harder and harder as you go through, which is pretty standard, but with no extra lives or continuation, it gets frustrating. Playing with a friend would certainly help with this, though. Updates since offer ‘casual’ gameplay, which allow you to continue at will.

Slums Duke scaled 1

Look & Sound

I’m a huge fan of pixel art. When done right, it’s a fantastic-looking style to use. What I enjoyed the most about Final Vendetta was the style. There’s some impressive detail in the levels that make them look stunning. The subway looks grimy and not far off what they used to look like. London 10 years ago used to shock me any time I went up there with how dirty it was. Is it still dirty? Yeah, but it looks way better than it used to. And since this is a game that isn’t set now, the grimy look reminds me of my memories of London from when I was younger.

The character designs are brilliant and really sell the vibes that the game is going for. It really does look and feel like an arcade game from my youth.

Sound-wise, it’s much of the same. Put this in an arcade, and it will fit. If you’ve played Streets of Rage, then you’ll feel some familiarity. The game features new and exclusive tracks from Utah Saints, Featurecast and Krafty Kuts. It’s an electrifying soundtrack that compliments the gameplay and the style the game is going for.

final vendetta gameplay1

Length & Replayability

There are not too many levels at the moment. But with three playable characters with different styles, you can play it a few times and have a different feel depending on who you pick. There’s also co-op play adding some extra fun with friends.

What the game is really lacking, though, is a mode other than arcade mode. There should be a standard play option with different settings – continues, lives, etc. Arcade mode works well enough for what it is, but it can get rather frustrating. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t want to play arcade style every time. It can be great fun, and it can be frustrating as hell. There should be another mode for those times when it’s just frustrating, but you still want to play. One that’s not constrained by the arcade rules. It would add more replayability to the game and would help with players that aren’t as good.

Conclusions

Overall, Final Vendetta is a bit of a mixed bag. The look and style of the game are brilliant. I love feeling like I’m playing an old arcade game. But the gameplay lets it down, as does the lack of options. It seems like too much thought was put onto the arcade theme when more time could have been spent elsewhere. That might sound harsh, but hear me out. Certain gameplay options are hidden. Finding the keyboard controls in the options menu instead of the how-to-play section is baffling. Training mode was greyed out when I started playing it until you completed the game. It’s available now, thanks to a recent update. Training mode should have been available from the start. Why would you want training mode after you’ve played the game? It’s a before thing where you can hone your skills.

When you start, you don’t get to pick a difficulty. It’s just set to hard. There are three difficulty settings. How did I know? When I looked through the options menu looking for something else. Defaulting to hard mode is going to put people off. You’d expect to be able to set this when you start a game – select arcade style, then select the difficulty. There are some odd decisions in the style and layout of the game that hopefully will get ironed out through future updates. The developers have been fairly active with patches where they’ve listened to the community. Always great to see.

There are the makings of a potentially great game here. It falls short at the moment, but it could be great. Streets of Rage is one of my all-time favourite games, so games in this style always interest me. I hope it continues to improve and lay things out in a more accessible manner for people because you want people playing it, not giving it a go and giving up. It still feels like a game in progress, but one that’s heading in the right direction.

I score Final Vendetta a solid 7/10. It was going to score a six, but recent updates knock it up a notch. I have high hopes, though, that it’ll continue to get better and better. Just please make some options more accessible. Some people aren’t going to realise there’s a difficulty setting when you’re not selecting it upon selecting your gameplay mode. List keyboard commands in the ‘how to play’ section. List what the difficulty settings change, like easy giving you continuation. They’re not huge things, but they’d made a huge difference.

A code was kindly provided for us to review this.

We Score This Game

rating score: 7

Very Good!

You Might Also Like

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x