G.I. Joe is finally getting the side-scrolling beat 'em up that it deserves

In the pantheon of side-scrolling beat 'em ups, there are some real hitters. You've got the '92 X-Men, The Simpsons, and my personal favorite, Dungeons and Dragons: Shadow over Mystara. One thing we never got in the halcyon days of my childhood in the '80s, however, was a side-scroller arcade cabinet featuring the Real American Heroes, G.I. Joe, despite them being perfect for the genre. There are tons of unique characters, cartoonishly evil bad guys with cool snake helmets, and lots of tanks to blow up. Well, the days of waiting are over.

G.I. Joe: Wrath of Cobra plans to release sometime in 2024 and shared a new trailer during today's PC Gaming Show. In it, we can see lots of old school arcade-y goodness as classic Joes like Scarlett, Snake Eyes, and Roadblock take on hordes of the sinister Cobra Commander's minions. With collectible items like floppy discs and a sick hair metal soundtrack, this one looks laser focused on all those nostalgia feels.

We had to wait a long time for side-scrollers to become popular again, and thankfully they're experiencing a bit of a renaissance. Wrath of Cobra will join games like the well-received Streets of Rage 4 and the truly excellent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge in a new wave of games where we slowly walk right and destroy everything in our path.

Two demo levels for Wrath of Cobra have been out for a while, and feature lots of iconic G.I.Joe enemies. Who doesn't want to punch a H.I.S.S. tank to death, after all? Each character has a bunch of different moves and plays a little differently. There are the usual boxes to destroy and temporary power-ups to gather. One can only hope there's a pork chop sandwich in there somewhere.

If you missed the first run of the Wrath of Cobra demo back in April, you've got another shot at it now over on Steam.

You can play the game with up to three friends online or via remote play, and the developers have planned to keep updating the game with additional playable characters. Personally, I'll be a little disappointed if they don't include Snow Job at some point. Everyone knows you have to have a snow level, and he'd be a natural fit. Also, skis make excellent weapons to bash Crimson Guards over the head with, when you really need to give 'em the stick.