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It’s a whole new game, as Sega is about to go all-in on some of its greatest properties

Yeah, Sonic is terrific and all, but what happened to some of Sega’s other great series’? Well hang on, because the Next Level is back.

Welcome to the Next Level

One of the most exciting announcements at last night’s The Game Awards had to be Sega’s shocking reveal. The publisher launched a trailer that showcased a new initiative, one that’s set to bring back some of the most iconic names in gaming.

Crazy Taxi, Golden Axe, Jet Set Radio, Shinobi, and Streets of Rage are all on the way, with entirely new games, reinvented for the modern age. These are not ‘retro’ titles though, so eject that thought. Instead the likes of Streets of Rage will be trading out traditional 2D for something a little more flashy, and a lot more in keeping with the rest of the modern gaming landscape.

Personally, we’re pretty excited for Golden Axe’s dwarf-powered action, and Shinobi is looking flat-out gorgeous.

“In recent years, Sonic the Hedgehog has forged new paths for SEGA, bringing the franchise to life and reaching new audiences in ways we had only dreamed of in the past. Building off that success, we are digging into our legacy and reimagining several franchises to bring these games to more audiences around the globe,” says Co-COO of Sega Corporation and CEO of Sega of America, Shuji Utsumi. “Today’s announcement is just the start of our initiative. First and foremost, our ambition will be to create great games with memorable characters and worlds. We hope fans of all ages will look towards our future with anticipation as we release these projects in the coming years.”

Sega press release

Here’s a little more of a tease

Okay so the looks at what’s coming might’ve been brief in that video, but Sega also released a similarly pointed set of descriptors on all the big names that’ll be returning. While they’re not all that in-depth, the bullets should give fans an idea of the direction that Sega will be taking with each.

  • Crazy Taxi franchise – A whacky, high-octane driving adventure series where players must weave through traffic in an open play environment to deliver passengers to their destinations before time runs out. 
  • Golden Axe franchise – A “hack and slash”-style series with close melee combat set in a fantasy world of beasts, swords, and magic.
  • Jet Set Radio franchise – This franchise combines action packed traversal around vibrant Tokyo-to with skating, self-expression through graffiti, street culture and rebellious themes. 
  • Shinobi franchise – A series that utilizes ninja shuriken, ninjutsu, special attacks and more to defeat enemies in a mix of side-scrolling action and challenging environments.
  • Streets of Rage franchise – A “beat ’em up”-style series that pairs fast-paced fist fighting with fresh music set in a lawless urban environment.

Unfortunately we don’t know the actual development houses behind these titles either, but that info and more will presumably be along sooner than later. Some of these have a while to go yet in the development oven too, with Sega pointing to releases taking place “over the next several years”.

So basically, stay tuned.

About Jason

Jason's been knee deep in videogames since he was but a lad. Cutting his teeth on the pixely glory that was the Atari 2600, he's been hack'n'slashing and shoot'em'uping ever since. Mainly an FPS and action guy, Jason enjoys the occasional well crafted title from every genre.

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