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Shakedown Hawaii cuts a deal for an Epic launch this spring

GTA's more cartoonishly wacky cousin

Shakedown Hawaii - the much-delayed sequel to Vblank Entertainment's grand GTA parody Retro City Rampage - is nearly here, and will be making its debut on the Epic store later this spring. The scope of the game seems to have grown a bit since I last looked. It now blends its pseudo-16-bit aesthetic with the 80s trappings of GTA: Vice City and the character-hopping story of GTA 5. In-between running around and causing the usual urban chaos, there'll be mini-games and even some property management. Take a peek at the weirdly informercial-ish trailer below.

It looks like Shakedown Hawaii is continuing the joke-a-minute style of Retro City Rampage, although it's a little less self-referential this time. While 80s cliches have been picked apart by other games, having dedicated screens for refilling your printer ink and buying out lobbyists in-between setting fire to whole districts with a flamethrower feels an amusingly absurd contrast. Quite whether it'll have anything as cheerfully daft as the first game's impromptu fight against a knockoff Dr Robotnik/Eggman or an entire Bionic Commando tribute level is yet to be seen.

Watch on YouTube

Despite invoking the likes of Scarface, don't expect much edge either. Apparently the 'Teen' age rating includes some joking reference to drugs, but that's as mean as it gets. The latest word from developer Vblank is that the game is nearly finished, and the final beta builds are going out to us sneaky press types (and less sneaky YouTube folks) to poke around. The final few months of work have apparently been fruitful with a lot of polish going into the game's cutscenes and city. It feels like a real labour of love, considering the original game launched back in 2012. There's even going to be a Vita version (RIP, you underrated gem) coming.

The game launches this spring, but there's no hard release date for Shakedown Hawaii yet, or an exact price point, but it seems like the Epic exclusivity will be time-limited. You can find it here on the Epic store,.

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