32 years later, Toxic Crusaders is getting a new beat 'em up

Toxic Crusaders was a curious early '90s cartoon for kids, based on a schlocky, campy action film series that was emphatically not for kids. I never saw the cartoon, which possibly never aired outside of the United States, but I am familiar with The Toxic Avenger series it was based on. That series has spawned four films, and all are incredibly silly, varying levels of offensive, and often obscenely violent. 

It's the Troma Entertainment house style, basically, and a newly announced Toxic Crusaders videogame appears to be just as much a celebration of Troma as the Crusaders themselves. In a similar vein to the early '90s Toxic Crusaders games, this new one is a sidescrolling beat 'em up a la Streets of Rage or, more recently, Shredder's Revenge. Playable characters include Toxie, No-Zone, Junkyard, Major Disaster, Headbanger, Yvonne and Mrs. Junko. 

It's the references to other Troma films that are interesting, to me at least. Apparently the game will feature cameos from other Troma films including Class of Nuke 'Em High, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, and Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D, which are all utterly stupid and, in their own way, masterful films. As you'd expect from a retro-styled beat 'em up, four-player local cooperative play is supported across seven Troma-themed stages. Developed by Retroware, Toxic Crusaders is scheduled to release some time this year on Steam.

And while we're on the topic, there's meant to be a new Toxic Avenger film coming too, starring the likes of Kevin Bacon, Elijah Wood and Peter Dinklage. And if you're keen to indulge in the excessive idiocy of Troma in videogame form sooner rather than later, The Troma Project might be worth checking out, though don't say I recommended it. 

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.