North American PlayStation cover art
|Publisher(s)||Eidos Interactive (PS, Win)
Crave Entertainment (N64)
|Genre(s)||Beat 'em up|
Fighting Force is a 1997 3D beat 'em up developed by Core Design and published by Eidos in the same lines of classics such as Final Fight and Streets of Rage. It was released for the PlayStation, Microsoft Windows and Nintendo 64.
The game was originally devised by Core Design as Streets of Rage 4 to be published by Sega exclusively for the Sega Saturn. Sega pulled the Streets of Rage name during development after a disagreement with Core about porting it to rival formats.
Fighting Force is part of the 'beat 'em up' genre. Players control one of four characters as they move through urban and science fiction environments, battling waves of oncoming enemies with weapons ranging from fists and bottles to knives, chairs and guns. The player can make some choices as to which territory to travel through.
The four characters have various reasons for taking on Dr. Dex Zeng, a criminal mastermind with an army at his command who predicted that the world would end in the year 2000. After new years eve 1999, Dr Zeng believed that there was an error preventing the apocalypse, so decides to correct it by destroying the world himself. The action starts with a police cordon around Zeng's office skyscraper, moving to such locales as a shopping mall, subway and Coast Guard base before finally ending at the top of Zeng's island headquarters.
The player or players can choose from a selection of four characters: two men, Hawk Manson (age 26) and Ben "Smasher" Jackson (age 29), and two women, Mace Daniels (age 21) and Alana McKendricks (age 17). Hawk Manson and Mace Daniels are two all-around characters. Hawk is somewhat stronger than Mace who is in turn faster than Hawk. Ben "Smasher" Jackson is a large and slow bruiser capable of lifting and throwing the engines of cars at enemies. Alana McKendricks is a fast but soft-hitting teenager with an effective jump-kick. All four characters have a special move that can be performed with the loss of a portion of health.
Upon the game's release, it received mixed reviews.
- Official PlayStation Magazine - 3/5 
- Electronic Gaming Monthly - 7.6/10 
- IGN - 5.5/10 
- GameSpot - 5.3/10.
Ports and sequels
A Nintendo 64 version of the game titled Fighting Force 64 and published by Crave Entertainment was released in North America and Europe in 1999. Differences include partially improved graphics and changes in the available number of player lives.
A Sega Saturn version was still developed and eventually completed after the Streets of Rage 4 pull-out, but it was never released because of publishing issues with Eidos first and with Sega Europe later, the latter securing publishing rights of the Sega Saturn version after Eidos dismissed them and stating to release it in Europe in November 1997, a release that never happened eventually. An early prototype, with older character designs, was leaked in November 2008.
A sequel, titled Fighting Force 2, was released in 1999 for the PlayStation and Dreamcast. Unlike the first title, Fighting Force 2 focuses on the character of Hawk Manson exclusively, and rewards a more stealthy approach.
- "Fighting Force for PC". MobyGames. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
- "Fighting Force for PlayStation". GameRankings. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- Mac, Ryan (30 April 1999). "Fighting Force 64 on GameSpot". GameSpot. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- "Fighting Force (preview) on Sega Saturn Magazine, November 1997". Retrieved 4 June 2010.
- "Fighting Force Sega Saturn prototype on Satakore". Satakore.com. Retrieved 25 October 2009.