Alongside titles like Street Fighter and Final Fight, one of Capcom's other great arcade hits from the old glory days is Strider. Set far in the future, players take control of protagonist Strider Hiryu has he fights his way through various levels to eliminate evil with his trusty Cypher weapon. His acrobatic skills and combat prowess make him a powerful force. After appearing in a few home console conversions and attempts at sequels, the Strider franchise faded away, but Hiryu himself bounced around the Capcom universe to appear in various fighting games like Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. The last proper Strider sequel was released back in 1998, so fans have been waiting a long time for a proper revival. Now Capcom is ready to make it happen as the company has announced it's teamed with the franchise's original designers and developer Double Helix Games to create a new Strider title for the Sony PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC due out early next year. Hiryu's back!
Originally released in 1989, Strider remains one of Capcom’s most enduring franchises. The game tells the story of Hiryu, the youngest ever “Super A” ranked agent of an elite corps known as the Striders. Strider Hiryu receives orders to assassinate Grandmaster Meio, supreme dictator of Earth, who has plunged humanity into a dystopian dark age.
New to the franchise is the massive interconnected world of Kazakh City which players can explore in any direction they choose. The traditional level structure has been replaced with a retraceable world and a deep ability upgrade system which enables Hiryu to build more power and abilities to penetrate ever deeper into the dystopian adventure.
No word on if this downloadable relaunch is the lead-in to a gritty, dour reinvention of the franchise as in Bionic Commando. Early buzz is that this new Strider adventure is an open world, 2.5D adventure following the Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night styles of exploration and weapon upgrading. That sounds like an excellent and enjoyable way to bring the series back and modernize it for today's audiences. Check out this announcement trailer and an extended look at the game in action. Between this and Killer Instinct's revival for the Xbox One, somehow Double Helix has worked itself into dealing with some of gaming's great sleeping properties. I hope the studio can do them justice once they wake.