Exciting news for fans of arcade action and over-the-top antics: Twisted Pixel Games has teamed up with Oculus Studios to create Path of the Warrior—an old-school beat ’em up with classic brawler moves reimagined for VR. And they just announced a surprise release for Oculus Quest and the Rift Platform at The Game Awards!
You won’t need a map to follow the plot, the action is as heavy-handed as the humor, and the environments are completely interactive, so you can attack your opponents with any number of objects from pool cues and trash cans to frying pans. Throw punches, practice your roundhouse kick, and hurl your enemies for the perfect KO. You can even unlock special attack boosts by beating bosses and unleash them after filling up your meter—which goes up faster with combos.
“Some of my earliest memories in gaming were beat ’em ups like Double Dragon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game, and later on Streets of Rage and Final Fight—the genre was huge in its heyday,” explains Oculus Studios Executive Producer Mike Doran. “When we had an opportunity to sign Twisted Pixel to create a Quest title with a blank slate when it came to genre, an arcade action beat ’em up was at the top of their list, too.”
Dust off your brawler skills with a series of low-level enemies leading up to a boss fight in five environments ranging from a dive bar to a creepy carnival. You can also rescue innocent bystanders who show their gratitude with a variety of power-boosting snacks. Spanning five hours of gameplay with near endless replayability, Path of the Warrior can be played as a single-player campaign or co-op where you can take on the bad guys with a friend.
“Kicking this project off was a chance to go back and play a bunch of old brawler games that we hadn’t touched in many years,” recalls Doran. “While I’d love to do a game more like Tower of Doom or Shadow over Mystara some day, with Path of the Warrior we wanted more of a Double Dragon feel. That comes through in a few ways—the large variety of background stages and enemies being a big one. We also wanted to have tons of environmental props and ways to defeat enemies, so brainstorming those was a lot of fun. Where else can you battle a guy with daggers for hair?”
Although today’s combined announcement and launch was a surprise, development started back in October 2018. And virtually all of the ideas the team put down on paper made it into the final product. “We had to stop ourselves from constantly adding more stuff to the mix,” Doran notes. “Who knows? You may see some of those ideas wind up in a future title.”
So why the surprise reveal and launch, especially coming so hot on the heels of Twisted Pixel’s latest game, Defector?
“In a lot of ways, this is a callback to things that I didn’t love about gaming when I was little,” Doran explains. “A title would get announced many months before it actually came out, and there was no widespread adoption of the internet, so getting any kind of information was really hard. You had to depend on magazines for news, and rumors ran rampant on the playground at school. (“My uncle works for Nintendo and...”) We wanted to flip all of that upside down, not only announcing the game but also revealing it as being available right then and there. Hopefully people appreciate the idea!”