Nintendo

Mayhem Brawler (Switch)

For a moment, Mayhem Brawler seems to mock Streets of Rage, which concerned three cops who walked the streets, punching suspected criminals without due process. Alongside Mayhem Brawler’s comic book interludes, a faux social media feed scrolls. Users question why the “heroes” needed to use force against the villains. They shout complaints about excessive force, and others chime in to defend the efforts.

The issue is Mayhem Brawler never definitively chooses its own side, and that decision means taking this at face value. That means caricatured police with super powers mauling simplistic horror tropes like vampires and werewolves, defining good versus evil. Suddenly, the comfortable fighting and crisp art style loses its veneer as Mayhem Brawler appears to support brutality – without a crass satirical wink. Much as it may joke, equivalent to say a Marvel movie, the core undercurrent is unfortunately distressing and costs Mayhem Brawler a smart commentary.

2/5

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