Atari is incredibly busy “recharging” their library of classic Atari 2600/5200 and arcade titles (see our coverage/reviews here), and today revealed their latest project: Berzerk: Recharged.
Headed to consoles and the PC for a release “later this year”, the new and improved twin-stick shooter seems to amp up the chaotic action quite a bit and features an appropriately updated Recharged look and feel, along with a sci-fi synth soundtrack by Megan McDuffee.
Also announced was Berzerk Enhanced Edition for the upcoming Atari 2600+ console, which is a 2600 cartridge version of the original that has been updated with diagonal firing and robot voice sampling and scheduled for November 17th, 2023.
See the trailer/screens and more below.
Berzerk: Recharged – Announcement Trailer:
Berzerk: Recharged screens:
Considered one of the crown jewels of the 80’s gaming golden era, the original Berzerk was a top-down multidirectional shooter that saw players fighting hordes of armed robots through an endless, electrified maze. The highlight of Bezerk is Evil Otto, who manifests as a bouncing smiley face that mercilessly hunts down players. Unlike his contemporaries Inky, Blink and Clyde, Evil Otto won’t run away, can travel through walls, and is indestructible.
Now, Otto is back, bringing with him updated graphics, deft twin-stick controls, and a new soundtrack by the acclaimed Megan McDuffee.
In Berzerk: Recharged, players will fight through a deadly maze filled with menacing, vocal robots with one thing on their processor-driven minds: your doom. Fans remember the original Berzerk as one of the first arcade games to use speech synthesis, and Berzerk: Recharged keeps the dialog going. The robots chasing you have a sinister, snarky monologue running through their OS, so you will have to endure “kill the humanoid” and the taunting barb, “Chicken, fight like a robot!” as you fight to survive.
Of course, we can’t forget the villain of the hour: the malevolent, ever-looming, smiling visage of Evil Otto. Though he sports an ominous grin, Otto is a deadly, invincible, ever-present threat presenting only one real survival solution: RUN. Paired with Megan McDuffee’s original soundtrack of sci-fi synths, Berzerk: Recharged captures the ambiance of a harrowing space station shootout – and a very groovy 80s arcade.
Key Features of Berzerk: Recharged Include:
- Challenge Accepted: Survive an endless maze of random rooms that get progressively harder the further you get. As intensity ramps up, the increasing difficulty is reflected in the robots’ changing color schemes.
- A-Maze-Ing Levels to Tackle: Shoot through 20 hand-crafted mazes that deliver unique gameplay challenges, each with different layouts to test your mettle
- Pumped Power-Ups: Pick up weapon modifiers, including a spread-shot, big shot, or a series-staple railgun. There are also player modifiers for speeding up, shield, and placeable mines to use against your rude and relentless enemies!
- Co-Op and Leaderboards: Like previous Rechaged iterations, players can recruit a trusty player two to double the firepower and aid in the onslaught if things get too dicey. Then, track your progress on the public leaderboard!
If that wasn’t enough Evil Otto for you, Atari invites you to throw it back old school with Berzerk Enhanced Edition, a 2600 cartridge version of the classic, fully updated with diagonal firing and robot voice sampling. The cartridge launches on November 17, 2023, alongside the new Atari 2600+, a faithful recreation of the first commercially successful home video game console.
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Berzerk: Recharged is developed by Sneakybox and published by Atari. The game launches on Windows PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Atari VCS later this year. To learn more, visit the official website.