There are numerous moves that the player can use to beat their enemies including hand-to-hand combat, melee weapon combat and in the later stages of the game firearms such as pistols and shotguns. Powerful combination moves (referred to in-game as "combos") can be learned from a variety of NPCs in exchange for cash or upon reaching a certain skill level. During the course of the game, players can buy clothes or undergo plastic surgery to disguise themselves and evade the rival gangsters and police who pursue them. There is also a rating system based on three attributes: Cash Flow (including items), Leadership (gang size and respect) and Charisma (negotiating skill). These can all be altered by player's choices and have an effect on the ending received.
Aside from the fighting aspect of the game, there is also Negotiation system that can be accessed with most NPCs during a fight or casual conversation. For recruitable NPCs, there are five main negotiation options that are available to the player, and have varying outcomes depending on the specific circumstances they are used in. If in a fight, the enemy must be worn down sufficiently before negotiation can be successful. This is aided by using weapons, taunts and when the foe is low on health.
- Recruit: This proposition can be used both in normal interaction and during a fight. If successful, the targeted NPC will be added to the player's crew and can be brought on missions and used to unlock minigames depending on their skills. Outside of a fight, it may prompt a NPC to attack the player, thus instigating a fight.
- Rob: Outside of a fight, this consists of the player asking or swindling the NPC, though like recruiting it can be rejected by the NPC and instigate a fight. It is important to note that while NPCs cannot negotiate with the player, there are times the player can be robbed, such as when purchasing fake medicine on the black market dealers around Los Sombras.
Interrogate: This option consists of the player asking for information, and it can be used to find out about sales at local stores, job opportunities, and gameplay tips along with story-specific information, depending on the NPC targeted.
- BeatDown: This can only be seen and used when in a one-on-one fight with a non-boss NPC, and consists of the player viciously beating the NPC to death in a special cut-scene. This removes the NPC for the remainder of the game and allows the player to take any items on the NPC's body. By doing this, the player risks attracting police attention and the police alertness level will quickly rise until the player leaves that neighborhood.
- Cancel: This option simply ends the negotiation, including with NPCs who are hostile to the player, and can be used as a means of avoiding confrontation.
There are three game modes.
- Story Mode - The main mode of the game, divided into chapters. It is the only game mode which allows one to save their progress, and can be replayed multiple times in order to unlock new characters, moves and items. Certain endings and plot arcs can only be attained after multiple playthroughs with different characters.
- Vs Mode Normal - This mode can only be played by loading a saved game file and using the characters on has unlocked. It allows the player to fight another player or the CPU with a team of up to three fighters each. The roster available depends on who the player has recruited in their particular save-file.
- Vs Mode Custom - Similar to the other Versus mode, except that custom player characters can be added to the game with the same weapons, items and skills unlocked in story mode.
Violence and crime run rampant on the dark streets of Las Sombras. The Zanetti family is the most powerful crime organization within the city limits, and they have five of the deadliest people around taking care of their dirty work. Then one day, they get an order from the head of the Zanetti family himself to shut down a rival group's drug deal that's supposed to go down. And so they move in to carry out their assault.
However when they arrive, what they find waiting for them is actually a room strewn with the bloody corpses of rival gang drug dealers. And as they stand there, puzzled by the sight before them, the Zanetti family moves in to finish them off. They realize that they were set up to look like they were the ones that committed the murders, and now are running from the same crime family that sent them there. With the police also on their trail, they see that there is no other option but to split up and lay low.
- Aaron - Aaron is just one of many illegitimate children born to the drug lord, Zanetti. Aaron was moved to Las Sombras with the intentions of all involved to take over the family business after he could prove himself to Zanetti. Aaron's loyalty to the group of 5 mobsters he's been associated with makes him appear weak in his father's eyes. Aaron is distrustful of others, and could care less what people think of him. People often misjudge him, and this usually leads to unmerited trouble.
- Gina - Gina had plans of moving to the city and becoming a big star; what she ended up being was an exotic dancer. While dancing, Eugene saw her and fell in love and the two of them were inseparable. Eugene taught her the ways of the mob, self-defense martial arts, killing, and everything else she need to know to survive in his world. She became one of the Zanetti Family's top assassins. Gina and Eugene are to be married after the next big job.
- Jason G - Jason is the son of illegal immigrants and became an orphan at a very early age. He survived by befriending other dregs on the street. He became very close to his new family of degenerates and fought to protect them as well as himself. He was hardened by this struggle of survival, but he never lost sight of what was most important...friendship. Even after getting involved with the mob, Jason remained friendly and always willing to help others in need.
- Lola - Lola was raised in war-torn South America where she grew up learning guerrilla warfare techniques from local mercenaries. When the civil war ended, this guerrilla organization developed into a mob. She became a hit woman for the mob and saved her earnings to buy passage to America through the protection of the drug lord, Zanetti. She continued her career as an assassin working for Zanetti. She is reserved and mysterious, and currently involved in some secret activities.
- Raven - Raven is a city boy raised on the streets, by the streets. Fighting is in his blood, and it is his only means of survival. While still a scrapping young lad, he was scouted and entered into illegal underground fighting competitions. He was noticed for his ability, and he wound up in the corrupt world of the Zanetti Family...the mob.
- Wendel - A jaded jail warden with 3000 HP, he is the Chapter 1 level boss. After the player is arrested, Wendel suspects a jailbreak and comes to inflict some gratuitous violence. When his health is depleted by half, he will use a Stun Rod.
- Fatima - Armed with two katanas and 4000 HP, she is the Chapter 2 level boss. Along with a spinning roundhouse kick, she can take the player's feet out from under him/her with one of her swords. She will follow this up with a downward slicing attack. After her defeat, she is slain under orders by Ignacy for fear of her leaving the Zanetti fold.
- Ignacy - Armed with claws attached to his hands and 5000 HP, he is the Chapter 3 level boss. He has a jumping spin attack called the Corkscrew, where he stabs the player with his hands in the midsection for a 7-hit combo. Ignacy also has a great back flip kick evasive move, and he blocks mid and high attacks 80% of the time.
- Eugene - Armed with two knives and 6300 HP, he is the Chapter 4 level boss. If the player does not disarm him, Eugene will attack with a harsh knife combo. Even with no weapons, he can deal an explosive jumping knee attack that will throw the player to the floor and drain some serious HP. After defeat, he will lie dying on the floor and confess that Zanetti is the one behind everything.
- Gregorio - The one in charge of running the Drug Refinery. Armed with metal fists and 7500 HP, Gregorio is the Chapter 5 level boss. Some of his most damaging moves are his Buster Knuckle Maximum, Metal Knuckle Maximum, Javelin Kick or Hammer Kick. His grab attacks like the Canadian Destroyer or the Spine Buster could inflict major damage if the player is in close proximity. Upon his defeat, Gregorio is assumed to have perished in the ensuing explosion of the factory.
- Quincy - Zanetti's personal physician. Armed with two scalpels and 7200 HP, he is the Chapter 6 sub-boss. After defeat, he reveals Zanetti's location.
- Zanetti - The drug kingpin. Fighting in a style similar to his son Aaron. At 8500 HP, he is the Chapter 6 level boss. After defeat, he confesses that he is just a "dummy" and Wallace is really the one behind everything.
- Wallace - The Chief of Police. Armed with a shotgun and 9000 HP, Wallace is the final boss of the game.
- Norma - Norma is an unlockable recruit, who must be beaten several times before she admits defeat. She is Fatima's sister, and seeks revenge for her death. Unlike her sister, she only wields a single katana.
- Chester - The player may take on the captain of the police in a secret battle, unlockable by attaining the "Godfather" status.
The Xbox version received "mixed" reviews, while the PlayStation 2 version received "generally unfavorable reviews", according to the review aggregation website Metacritic. In Japan, however, Famitsu gave the game a score of 30 out of 40.
- Beat Down has been compared to the 3D Grand Theft Auto games, although it bears mentioning that no cars are driven by the player in the game.
- The game also bears similarities to another Capcom 3D beat 'em up game released around the same time, Final Fight: Streetwise.
- Hazard, a mysterious character wearing a gas mask and only appears when no one else is around, is similar in appearance to HUNK of Resident Evil fame. He can usually be found near the telephone pole across from the Clinic. The chances of him appearing are raised the more the player has to beg for his/her life in a battle. He is recruitable.
Box Art Edit
- ↑ https://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-2/beat-down-fists-of-vengeance
- ↑ https://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox/beat-down
- ↑ https://www.famitsu.com/cominy/?m=pc&a=page_h_title&title_id=8449
- ↑ https://www.famitsu.com/cominy/?m=pc&a=page_h_title&title_id=8456