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Mayhem Brawler II - What We Know So Far.

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Mayhem Brawler 2 - best of both worlds logo

Released in 2021 by the Turkish Studio Hero Concept, Mayhem Brawler arrived without much fanfare. The small brawler was released under the shadow of Streets of Rage 4 and being an urban beat ‘em up, made by hand, led people to believe, wrongfully, that it was nothing but a rip-off of Sega’s franchise. This, couldn’t be further from the truth.

Mayhem Brawler vs Streets of Rage 4
Similar. But not a copy.

The game, even in its first iteration, was very different from what we usually get. First, the game was story-focused, something that is very rare in beat ‘em ups, and the world-building and characters were way more believable than Streets of Rage. The game also focused on the story of the main characters, and their relation with the enemies in a more deep and meaningful way them any other game up till then.

The original trio of characters, while hitting all the hallmarks of the genre, left a little bit to be desired, especially due to the lack of variety in their looks. The blue police uniform, while looking good and well-designed, was the same for all three making the characters a little bland and samey in the end. But other than that the game was very well designed, with some cool enemies to fight with, great bosses, an exciting story, and a rocking soundtrack. Not to mention the conditions, altering states that affect enemies and players alike, that can interfere with your gameplay according to your actions, it was, as I said, a very well-designed game. But even so, it wasn’t enough to put the game in the minds and hands of the players

Mayhem Brawler Main characters
The Original Trio

Luckily, the guys at Hero Concept didn’t take the mediocre sales as a sign of failure, but as a chance to improve the game. After a few months the first update, Air Supremacy, was released overhauling the combat. Now, not only are combo chains where the focus of the combat, but you could also, as the name suggested, take the fight to the air. Aerial combos were now a thing for all three characters and lots of balancing and improvements were made to the game. It felt like a brand new beat ‘em up, with dynamic combat, incredible moves, and very rewarding gameplay.

After that two other updates were released, the Wolfpack and Witchcraft, both with a new playable character, modes and again, improvements and balance to the gameplay. After a little more than one year of its release, Mayhem Brawler became a game that should be in everyone’s collection and has been appearing in must-have lists more and more. If there is anything else missing in this game, it would be an online mode and a training room. (some would say survival mode, and I would say: Yep!)

She Wolf and Alley Witch
She Wolf and Alley Witch (DLC characters)

Unfortunately, we won’t see any of that in Mayhem Brawler, the game is now deemed completed by the studio and they are already working on something way much better than a 4th update. Mayhem Brawler II: Best of Both Worlds was announced last year and is expected to be released later next year, or maybe early 2025. (Game development is always complicated). The game will expand everything the original started bringing not only more characters to play or more levels, but the game is also aiming to bring a lot to the table and create something unique in the genre. There isn’t too much information officially available about the game, aside from 4 developers' diaries published, but a lot has been discussed on Discord, Twitter, and other social media. The Creative Director, Serkan Özay, is a very active person on the internet and is always chatting with his fans, releasing some unofficial tidy bits about the game that I compiled here after months of following closely its progress. As I said, the game is still far from release, so every piece of information here is subject to change. As the game develops, a lot of things can be scrapped/added in a matter of days so take everything here not as gospel, but as things that are being discussed about the game. Also, these are no rumors, all information here was officially provided by the developers or was picked in random conversations at Discord.

Mayhem Brawler 2 will expand the universe of the first game, telling the story of what happened in Mayhem City both in the present time and 20 years ago. It aims to be a sequel and a prequel at the same time. While little is known about how these different timelines will play out in the game, we know that some characters will be locked to one of them. Speaking about characters, the game will come with 8 from the start. We don’t know exactly who will see in the game, but we already know that Christina “She Wolf” Vasquez will be playable, along with Megan “Stellar” Gardner, mother of Star, one of the main characters in the first game. It is not clear if she, Trouble, Dolphin, and now Alley Witch, will be playable in the sequel but we can assume that, at least in the past timeline, 20 years ago, they won’t be.

Mayhem Brawler 2 characters
Megan and Christina

But despite which character we will see, if brand new or returning ones, one thing is for sure, we are in for a new and revamped combat, completely different from what we saw in the first game. Don’t take me wrong, the combat in Mayhem Brawler is excellent, extremely responsive, and with enough variety but, in the words of the Creative Director himself: “I don’t think we pushed the genre too much.” For that, now every character will have two different attacks, a light one and a heavy one, along with a jump and, for the first time in the series, a separate grab button. You can combine light and heavy attacks, which is expected, but jump and grapple will also be part of the combos, resulting in a launcher or a grapple. So far, the team has prepared three types of main combos for the characters, and each one will have unique finishers and conditions applied to them. These conditions are great and is a joy to see them returning and being an even more important part of the combat’ strategy. The first game had a ton of special conditions and we don’t know how many will return or if there will be new or scrapped ones.

Mayhem Brawler 2 Character
We Already Know Chainado is Coming Back.

Two things that we do know that will be in the game, are some sort of skill tree that you can improve as you play, and that these skills are connected to some NPC interactions called “favors”. Doing these “side quests” will improve certain skills of your character, and we imagine that things like speed, strength, and resistance might be the ones to be improved here. This will bring some RPG elements to the game, and also, according to the developers at Discord, some rogue-lite elements. And while some folks may have their skin crawling when they hear “rogue-lite” what we know so far is that enemy placement, mob count, breakable objects, weapons, consumables, etc, will be, as far as we know, randomly placed in the levels, which can do wonders for the replayability of the game. I just hope we can also have some sort of arcade mode with some of these conditions fixed, or picked by the player. Maybe a weekly challenge with different tiers of the challenge? Well, they said in this Developer Diary that one of their goals with the game is to focus on the end-game content and replayability, so I think challenges and the classic arcade mode would be nice additions.

She Wolf Mayhem Brawler 2
She Wolf is on Fire!

There is little to know about the combat and how deep it goes. While there’s a lot of talk in the Discord Group, the developers are being very secretive about it. Mayhem Brawler 2 also will have improved animations and backgrounds. All characters, from the Heroes to the Lieutenants, had not only their visual upgraded but also the way they move and attack is being improved. Mayhem Brawler 1 had around 200 frames of animation for the main characters while the sequel is almost doubling that.

Mayhem Brawler 2
Megan Basic Combo

The backgrounds, by the way, had a much more dramatic change, going from 2D hand-drawn art to 3D backgrounds. While I agree that 3D backgrounds can offer a lot more variety and flexibility for changes and variation, you can easily change the lighting without redoing all your work from the start, it is sad to see the 2D backgrounds gone. They were awesome! But, that doesn’t mean that backgrounds aren’t looking great in the sequel. Although I can’t show any of them in this article, I was lucky enough to see some of them and they are looking great, with tons of small details everywhere.

Mayhem Brawler 2 Background
Well... this one I can show.

Mayhem Brawler 2: Best of Both Worlds has, as I said, no solid date. But a playable demo may land at some point next year, with a gameplay trailer possibly coming by the end of this one. We are very excited about this sequel here in The Alley and we are working closely with the developers to bring you more news about this game as soon as we get them. If you wanna learn more about Mayhem Brawler 2: Best of Both Worlds, the link for all of Hero Concept’s social media is down below.


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