Streets of Rage 4 has been out for well over a year now but it’s taken a long time to finally get some meaty new content. Is the Mr. X Nightmare DLC the paid expansion that we’ve been waiting for?
The Mr. X Nightmare DLC is good. It’s fantastic, actually, and what you get for your money is more than fair, depending on where you stand with Streets of Rage 4. If you played the game and didn’t really feel much more than “meh” then this DLC isn’t going to do it for you. If like me, you got goose pimples when you heard the familiar tune, you’re a die-hard fan and this DLC will set you up with countless hours of play.
Aside from the new Survival mode, there’s also the addition of three new playable characters in the form of Max, Estel, and Shiva. To be honest, I think these probably could have been freebies for everybody and I’d still feel like the Survival mode was worth its asking price.
The Survival mode is the main attraction because it’s more than just throwing waves of enemies against you; it’s a game in itself.
You have one life and one life only. Once that yellow bar is depleted, the simulation is done and your run is over. Think of it a little like a roguelike game, because the goal is to get a little further each time, though you can’t actually carry any of the upgrades over to your next run. That would have been a nice touch as a Survival Plus mode, but instead we get a purely one-and-done experience.
The goal is to survive for as long as possible against increasingly difficult waves of enemies across random arenas. What I really liked was that the arenas were dangerous or they had some kind of interactions, whether it was conveyor belts on the ground, electric wires along the perimeter, or even just a bit of slippage from rain and wind, it made the levels feel less static than in the main game.
At the end of each round, you’ll be given the choice between a couple of perks, and this is where Streets of Rage 4’s survival mode earns its money. These perks are real game-changers. Most work in your favour by giving you buffs to your damaging abilities, movement speed, and even giving you an A.I buddy to help control the crowds of double denim dickheads, though some are a little less kind as they demand something in return. So, for example, one perk gives you the ability to deal 90% more damage, but you’ll also take 90% more damage. The kicker here is that you have to pick a perk before you can go to the next stage, and sometimes you’ll be stuck with a difficult choice between which perks to use.
Annoyingly, though, the Survival mode does feel a tad inconsistent. Every few rounds the game will throw a boss at you, and while these rounds are extra challenging, I rarely ever failed during them. I came close, sure, but I always managed to just about scrape through to the next round. Most of my knockouts came from cheap blows from annoying regular enemies, and this wound me up to no end, mainly because I cannot stand those kicking pricks with their hands in their pockets. They get me every time. Every damn time!
Those small annoyances aside, I’ve really enjoyed the Survival mode and its replayability is potentially infinite and with the fairly balanced and challenging perk system, I know that I’ll be smashing it for the next few weeks at least.
For $8 or £6, Survival mode alone is worth ponying up the cash, while the extra characters, weapons, and moves are nice additions, but by no means the main attraction. Though I will say Estel is, as my nephew would say, OP AF. She’s got mad reach. Use her.
Streets of Rage 4 - Mr. X Nightmare DLC Review
- Overall - Fantastic - 8.5/108.5/10
Streets of Rage 4's first proper DLC is a certifiable banger. The Survival mode alone is worth the asking price with its robust perk system that makes every survival attempt feel fresh, fun, and frantic.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS4. Reviewed using PS5.