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Retro City Rampage goes 16-bit in upcoming sequel Shakedown Hawaii

Indie studio VBlank Entertainment is developing a sequel to its Grand Theft Auto-like throwback action game Retro City Rampage, shifting forward in gaming history from the series’ 8-bit origins in favor of more detailed, 16-bit visuals.

Shakedown Hawaii will feature the same brand of overhead-view action as its predecessor, upping the stakes with a greater number of on-screen characters and more destructive weaponry.

Related: Retro City Rampage gets another port, but this time it’s coming to MS-DOS

Taking place 30 years after the events of Retro City Rampage, Shakedown Hawaii finds series protagonist The Player overweight, out of shape, and on the verge of financial collapse. Players complete open-world activities and missions in an attempt to rebuild a crumbling corporate empire.

Like the early Grand Theft Auto games, Retro City Rampage and its sequel take a sandbox approach to gameplay, putting players in the middle of a massive open world filled with hijackable vehicles and high-caliber weaponry. Early footage from Shakedown Hawaii showcases a dual-stick control scheme and screen-clearing weapons like flamethrowers, machine guns, and rocket launchers.

The original Retro City Rampage was filled with references to ’80s pop culture, featuring a Back to the Future-like time travel storyline at its core. Originally developed as a Grand Theft Auto tribute for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System titled Grand Theftendo, Retro City Rampage greatly expanded in scope during development, later launching for the PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and PCs via Steam.

An upgraded version, Retro City Rampage DX, hit the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo 3DS in 2014. Paying tribute to the genre’s origins, developer Brian Provinciano released a fully-featured MS-DOS port, Retro City Rampage 486, in a boxed limited edition earlier this year.

Shakedown Hawaii is slated to launch for the PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Nintendo platforms, and PCs. A release date is not yet known.