Decades ago, in the ancient land of the mid-1990s, a little company called Konami released a game called TMNT IV: Turtles in Time.
It was not the first of its kind, nor would it be the last — but for years to come, it would be touted as the greatest side-scrolling beat-em-up ever released. Everything — from the controls to the graphics to the litany of classic characters — was perfect.
Gamers hoped that something would come along and capture that lightning in a bottle a second time. Unfortunately, such a game never came to be: even when Turtles in Time was remastered back in 2009, Ubisoft failed to recreate that same magic. Over the course of the past few decades, TMNT games have only gotten worse — for many, the newer games are nothing but licensed attempts to capitalize on nostalgia.
There is hope, however: Platinum Games, the studio behind series like Bayonetta and Vanquish, are currently hard at work on TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan. More-so than any other game before it, Mutants in Manhattan has the potential to surpass Turtles in Time — and if the recently-released gameplay trailers are any indication, Platinum Games might be able to do just that.
To be frank, it's been a long time since there's been a TMNT game worth caring about. As previously mentioned, even Ubisoft's Turtles in Time was a flop — what was once a fun, vibrant, light-hearted game became a drab mess with terrible controls.
Thankfully, Platinum Games doesn't seem to care about revisiting the past: instead, the studio has created a game in the same vein as classic TMNT games while simultaneously bringing the series to modern gaming. From the looks of things, Mutants in Manhattan is the best of both 3D action games and classic side-scrolling beat-em-ups ... and that's just the sort of game for which fans have been begging.
Trailers are just the tip of the iceberg, though: until gamers actually get their hands on it, there's no telling if Mutants in Manhattan will actually be worth playing. Sure, the visual style is great, and it seems to play off the same over-the-top tone of the TV series, but it could still end up as a repetitive slog of a game.
Hopefully, that won't be the case.
TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan is due out on May 24.