Look, I’m excited about Saints Row and Marvel: Midnight Suns and all the other big announcements out of Gamescom’s Opening Night Live showcase. But my favourite announcement of all concerns Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. Yes, today Geoff Keighley revealed that, for the first time in a TMNT beat-em-up, intrepid TV reporter and jumpsuit enthusiast April O’Neil will be cracking Foot Clan skulls alongside her mutated reptilian friends.
Shredder’s Revenge was revealed earlier this year and immediately became hotly anticipated among many who loved Konami’s legendary TMNT beat-em-ups of the 80s and 90s. With its pixelated visuals and vibrant colours, Shredder’s Revenge clearly seeks to follow in the footsteps of those games, in which you played as Raphael (or some other turtle if you like the less cool ones) while fighting your way through hordes of Foot Clan soldiers, sometimes hopping through time, and always ultimately saving the day from the evil Shredder and his cronies.
However, poor April O’Neil never had anything much to do in these games except be placed in peril and need rescuing. Today’s reveal not only showed that she’s joining the roster of playable characters, but indicated that developer Tribute Games is bringing the same level of care to her attacks and animations that they’re bringing to the titular heroes.
In the reveal trailer, you not only see her unleash powerful flurries of kicks, punches, and spin attacks, but at one point she drops the literal mic (a tool of the trade in her work as a reporter) on a fallen Foot Clan soldier. A real highlight of the original reveal trailer was seeing how each of the four turtles has distinctive running animations that indicate their distinctive personalities (naturally Raphael has the coolest and fiercest), so it’s great to see April be given the same attention.
There’s reason to be hopeful about Shredder’s Revenge, with Dotemu overseeing publishing duties on the game. They’ve been involved with a number of games in recent years that seek to pay homage to the past while also feeling fresh and current, among them 2017’s great Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap (a remake of a 1989 Sega Master System classic) and 2020’s Streets of Rage 4. Shredder’s Revenge is slated for a 2022 release for PC and Switch.