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Ruffian Games, the developer of Crackdown 2, revealed today that they were once working on a 3D re-imagining of Genesis beat 'em up series Streets of Rage. Today they released a prototype video for the cancelled game.

Ruffian's Gary Liddon, who released the video on YouTube, said that it's "pre-pre-pre-pre (lots of pres) pre-Alpha quality." Still, it's much more substantial than most prototype videos. It's actual gameplay footage, rather than just a fly-through of environments or the character running around aimlessly.

In the video, the player character pummels criminals on a city street. In spite of the 3D visuals, it looks close to the usual Streets of Rage action: grappling, sparing use of weapons, and boss fights. The video closes with a knife-wielding enemy named Jack approaching.

Liddon didn't add any details about the game's development. He simply said that like a lot of studios, Ruffian creates many prototypes that don't get released to the public. He decided to release this one after a sound-less, older version hit the Internet this week.

There hasn't been a new Streets of Rage game since SoR3 way back in 1994. At this point, I'm sure most fans have given up hope of a fourth game. This prototype video does provide a glimmer of hope, though. Sega isn't ready to bring Streets of Rage back yet but at least they haven't forgotten about the series.

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