Grabbing Crime Where the Sun Don’t Shine - Deathwish Enforcers

Grabbing Crime Where the Sun Don’t Shine - Deathwish Enforcers

By Jared Petty 

Ever since the mid-70s, gamers have been teaming up to take down the computer. Dungeon-crawler Moria, born on college PLATO systems, was among the first to feature multiplayer cooperative gameplay. Early experiments like Dandy invited a pair of friends to work together to overcome hordes of AI enemies, and Gauntlet popularized and codified four-player action co-op in arcades. 

There’s an old adage to video games that I happen to subscribe to: the more people you add to a brawler or shooter, the more fun it becomes. That seems to be the thinking behind the new Deathwish Enforcers, which draws obvious inspiration from Konami’s Sunsetriders, a colorful, four-player cooperative arcade run-and-gun. Deathwish swaps the old-west setting of Sunsetriders for the gritty, 70s-inspired big city, a grim, cynical cartoon landscape evocative of Hollywood revenge fantasies and grindhouse films.  The vibe of Deathwish Enforcers sharply contrasts detailed cartoon sprite work with intensive violence and overt sexual imagery. “I think I was watching the second Dirty Harry movie…” said creator Chris Obritsch “…and at one point, he’s chasing this guy across the rooftops, and he falls through a skylight, and when they fall through the skylight, they fall into the middle of a porn shoot. And then I was just sitting there like, ‘why isn’t that in a video game? I want to make a video game about that.’ So I ended up going to my computer, and I started doing the sprites for a Dirty Harry-looking character.” 

The juxtaposition can be jarring, a contrast of entertainment and R-rated film themes. There are game elements based on A Clockwork Orange, The Dead Pool, Warlock, Death Wish, and more. You can knock enemies out with a sock full of coins, dropkick hordes of undead, or get your Shinobi or Rolling Thunder fix. It’s a mash-up of ideas deeply committed to the ultra-violent exploitation movie tradition, a realm video games rarely enter. The physical edition of Deathwish Enforcers is on sale through this Sunday at Limited Run Games for Switch, PS4, and PS5. A special Classic Edition is also available for both platforms, including an oversized retro-styled clamshell case, Deathwish Enforcers original soundtrack, character art cards, and a badge pin.

If you want to play Deathwish Enforcers today, you can download it now on the Nintendo eShop or PlayStation Store!

Limited Run Games:

is a subsidiary of “Freemode”, an operative group comprised of gaming and entertainment companies owned by Embracer. Limited Run Games is the industry leader in the production and distribution of premium physical video games. Limited Run seeks to celebrate the legacy of gaming through its award-winning collector’s editions. Founded in 2015, they have published over 1,000 physical games, exclusive merch, and collectables. Limited Run is the gold standard in bringing digital games to physical form and now re-releasing retro titles on modern platforms via their proprietary Carbon Engine. Visit limitedrungames.com for the latest offerings and to learn more about Carbon Engine development. Follow the brand on your social media platform of choice for all LRG-related updates:@limitedrungames.

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