Toxic Crusaders: Everything We Know
After thirty-two years of drifting in and out of the shadows, Toxic Crusaders, a franchise that made its original run as an animated series way back in 1991, will be making a spectacular return in the best way possible — as a beat 'em up video game. Running in the same vein as, I don't know, Shredder's Revenge or Streets of Rage, fans of the now-deceased animation will have the chance to engage in action-heavy street brawls as the collected, albeit questionably tainted Toxic Crusaders, “Earth’s last, greatest and ugliest hope for survival!”
So, what more do you need to know about it? Well, if you did happen to miss out on not only the animated series, but the movie saga it was adapted from—The Toxic Avenger—then quite a bit, as it turns out. From the story to the characters, the setting to its release date, here's everything you need to know about Retroware's upcoming brawler.
What Is Toxic Crusaders?
To put it short, Toxic Crusaders is an upcoming side-scrolling beat 'em up game by Retroware, a studio best known for its network of arcade-style IPs that span a wide variety of signature categories, from action-adventure games to classic run-and-gun shooters. In this latest venture—a video game adaptation of the 1991 animated spin-off of the same title—players will essentially fill the roles of Toxie, No-Zone, Junkyard, Major Disaster, and Headbanger—five “hideously deformed creatures of superhuman size and strength”, as they team up to clean the streets of Tromaville.
“The hottest heroes of 1991 return for a radical, radioactive beat 'em up for a new era, featuring awesome action, crushing combos and more toxic waste than you'll know what to do with!,” the blurb boasts.
Set over just seven levels, fans of the questionably tasteful all-action saga will have the opportunity to traverse and restore balance to the unique biomes of Tromaville, “one radioactive goon at a time.” To this end, budding brawlers can full well expect to see plenty of gut-punching button-mashing action, retro-style pixel art, and more movie references than Rare's Conkers Bad Fur Day. Or at least, that's what we've gathered from its pitch.
Toxic Crusaders, much like other cliché but undeniably wholesome animated series that are laden with hero-versus-villain tropes, centers its universe around, well, the Toxic Crusaders, a group of morally just creatures who pour their efforts into foiling the plans of an evil tyrant known as Dr. Killemoff. With the world on the precipice of being polluted beyond repair, the underground heroes rally together to tackle not only the evil doctor, but the radioactive thugs that roam the crime-riddled streets.
“When the evil Dr. Killemoff attacks, only one team of hideously deformed creatures of superhuman size and strength stands between him and his plans for global pollution: the Toxic Crusaders, earth's last, greatest and ugliest hope for survival!,” Rareware adds. “Take a deep breath and dive deep into an action-packed, pun-filled adventure that drags you kicking and screaming through the wonderful world of Troma.”
Toxic Crusaders will be available to play either alone or with up to four players. As one of several characters, including Toxie's girlfriend, Yvonne, and mother, Mrs. Junko, you will band together to sweep the streets of Tromaville clean, doing all in your power to whittle down hordes and take the fight to Dr. Killemoff's doorstep.
“Battle across seven disgusting levels rendered in beautiful full-color pixel art as you defend Tromaville from hordes of Radiation Rangers, mutated thugs and zombie chickens,” the description elaborates. “The odds might be stacked against you but with awesome powers, a winning personality and up to four-player local co-up on your side, the Smogulan Empire's days are numbered!”
Rareware first announced Toxic Crusaders as an out-of-the-blue brawler for “all major platforms” back in the beginning of March. Since then, the IP has only received a short gameplay trailer, mostly outlining the mechanics and characters potential consumers will have the chance to play as when it eventually releases. But that's about it, though.
According to the press release, Toxic Crusaders will be available in “late 2023” for $24.99 on consoles and PC. You can add it to your wishlist over on Steam here.
Caught your eye? You're in luck, as Rareware actually let slip a sneak preview of the upcoming brawler earlier this week. And it's a good one, too, given the fact that most trailers these days tend to gravitate more towards fancy theatrical trailers with full-fat CGI. On the contrary, Toxic Crusaders delivers a short but gameplay-heavy cinematic that's bursting with in-game elements. You can see it for yourself in the video above.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Toxic Crusaders will be heading to “all platforms” at some point in late 2023. Does this mean it'll be heading to ex-gen consoles, too? Well, going by a comment Rareware made in response to that very question over on YouTube — yes. As it stands, the game will be heading to Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, and PC via Steam. So, you know, that's a relief.
It's early days yet, so Rareware hasn't taken the opportunity to enlist either Game Pass or PlayStation Plus as day-one platforms for active subscribers. Does this mean it could essentially come to either of the two? Absolutely. But as it currently sits, Toxic Crusaders won't be heading to anything other than Steam and the usual marketplaces. Never say never, though.
For more information on Toxic Crusaders, you can follow the official social feed here. If anything interesting pops up between now and its eventual 2023 launch, we'll be sure to fill you in on all the details right here on gaming.net.
So, what's your take? Will you be picking up a copy of Toxic Crusaders when it eventually drops? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.