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Retro City Rampage is getting a direct sequel with a 16-bit makeover: Shakedown Hawaii is coming.

We’re quite partial to Retro City Rampage here at Thumbsticks, particularly the DX version for Nintendo 3DS, which makes one of the best uses of the second screen we’ve seen on pretty much anything (and that includes first-party Nintendo titles). We’re therefore rather pleased to see that Brian Provinciano and Vblank entertainment are back with a direct sequel to Retro City Rampage: Shakedown Hawaii.

What do we know about Shakedown Hawaii thus far? First of all, there’s this amazing magazine-style promo art:

Shakedown Hawaii magazine art

Which tells us a few things, but not a great deal. Aside from obviously affirming the game’s Polynesian setting, it also confirms that Shakedown Hawaii is a direct sequel, albeit with a little time-slippage. Our Retro City Rampage anti-hero is back, but he’s old, out of shape, and clearly had designs on retiring from his fast-paced life to the tropical islands of Hawaii; no such luck.

And that’s it. That’s literally all the poster tells us… oh, and they’ve hidden the word “1337” in their barcode.

From the trailer, we also know that – in keeping with the in-story time slippage – the amazing style of the game has been updated, from 80s 8-bit to 90s 16-bit, which means the art has been ramped up and the chip-tunes are a little more polyphonic than in the original. Hopefully this just works to refine the charm of Shakedown Hawaii and doesn’t remove the larger parts of its core characteristics and personality.

The gameplay still looks the same though, which is a very good thing when Retro City Rampage scored top marks in this department. Parallels are inevitably going to be drawn with Hotline Miami, especially given the similarities between Shakedown Hawaii’s Magnum P.I. setting and the Miami Vice feel of Hotline, but they’re really very different games. Where Hotline Miami is a super-violent, rock hard, retry-it-a-hundred-times shooter, Retro City Rampage (and presumably then, Shakedown Hawaii) has more of a Grand Theft Auto air to it, with an open world and a feeling of being a loving caricature – rather than a gritty portrayal – of the criminal underworld.

Shakedown Hawaii will be playable at the PlayStation Experience in San Francisco, CA, on the 5th and 6th of December.

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