Some games thrive by souping up a thick mix of genres and playstyles and L.A. Funk might be one of them. At its core, it looks like a mix of old-school arcade beat-’em-ups and car chase shooter. The teaser trailer sets up the premise of a man who walks into a bar after taking a beating from some thugs. The bartender hands him a pick-me-up that he calls the L.A. Funk, a large blue pill. As the hallucinogenic effect takes hold when the man leaves the bar, he becomes what looks like an anthropomorphic tiger. As the perspective turns to a 2.5D sidescroller you begin to fight men with bear heads.
The beat’em-up gameplay looks fun enough, though it might be a bit too slow for the genre. There’s also some shooting and sliding involved, which adds more variety to the gameplay. When you finally turn a corner again, the game becomes a chase scene where you get to shoot at police cars. There isn’t much dimension to that part, it seems quite simplistic, but it’s probably more of an extra to the 2.5D sidescroller fighting that’s likely the meat of the game.
You play as Jack Tatum and you’ll have to find out what happened to your journalist fiancé who has mysteriously vanished after stumbling upon something she shouldn’t have. As you venture into Krips territory, you’ll find yourself stuck in the middle of a gang war. The whole 1980s aesthetic fits the game’s style, which caused some to describe it as Streets of Rage meets Vice City, a lot of neon and retro synth tunes set in Los Angeles. Another influence that appears likely would be Hotline Miami, with a similar setting, time period, weird anthropomorphic animals, and violence. The fighting gameplay will feature multiple beat’em-up combos, counter attacks and finishers, with the promise of a gameplay that’s easy to pick up, but difficult to master. There will also be plenty of weapons so you can whack and shoot your way through difficult situations.
L.A. Funk is slated for a 2019 release on PC, with a console release date yet to be announced for the indie game. A Kickstarter campaign is set for April 2019 to get additional funding for the project. You can find more information in the official website.
What do you think of L.A. Funk? What’s the essential element in a great beat’em-up? Let us know in the comments below!