WayForward, the studio behind River City Girls and the Shantae series, is teaming up with fellow indie developer, 13AM Games (makers of Runbow), on a monster-themed beat 'em up. Dawn of the Monsters looks like a spiritual successor to the classic Neo Geo series, King of the Monsters, and will feature 2-player local co-op. Kaiju fans won't have much longer to wait, thankfully, because Dawn of the Monsters is due to release on consoles and PC next month.
Today's new trailer reveals the story behind Dawn of the Monsters' kaiju-on-kaiju battles. The earth has been invaded by giant monsters called Nephalim (a biblical reference). For 30 years, humanity fights against the giants but fails to thwart them. Finally, scientists somehow recruit four kaiju of their own, giving mankind its last and best chance to save our planet.
The four playable characters are:
- Megadon, the living volcano
- Ganira, the colossal crustacean
- Aegis Prime, a superhuman warrior
- Tempest Galahad, a massive mech — DAWN
This game features some serious kaiju cred. It seems that WayForward and 13AM Games have recruited a Who's Who of artists specializing in bringing monsters to life. These artists include:
- Shinji Nishikawa - This world-renowned kaiju designer who worked on the Godzilla film series and SSSS.Gridman designed the flame Nephilim, Agnitor.
- Matt Frank - A comic book artist known for his work on IDW's Godzilla comics, Arrow Films' Gamera: The Complete Collection box set, and the Redman comic series, Matt Frank designed the Bakudon and Inazudon Nephilim. He also created a piece of key art and illustrations for the game's physical collector's edition.
- Yuji Kaida - One of the most well-known kaiju artists living today, Yuji Kaida has created illustrations for Neon Genesis Evangelion, Godzilla, Gamera, and Ultraman, as well as video games such as Monster Hunter and more. He created the painting that will adorn the game's physical collector's edition.
- Zander Cannon - An Eisner Award-winning comic book artist famous for his ongoing comic series Kaijumax from Oni Press, Zander Cannon created one of the game's promotional illustrations.
- EJ Su - Known for his work on Marvel’s Rise of Ultraman and IDW’s Godzilla Rivals and Transformers comic books, EJ Su produced numerous pieces of art for the game, including key art, character illustrations, and promotional comic illustrations.
- Kim Jacinto - With work seen in numerous Marvel comics, including Rise of Ultraman and Shang Chi, Kim Jacinto provided the game's alternative cover art.
- DJ Crumrine - This animator and storyboard artist at Titmouse who worked on Animaniacs and Critical Role is also a huge kaiju fan. He created one of the game's promotional illustrations.
- Zedd - An incredibly talented illustrator and animator known for his kaiju and Monster Hunter art, Zedd worked on the cutscenes for Dawn of the Monsters.
- Robo7 (Jon Belotti Jr.) - An artist who loves illustrating giant monsters, Robo7 has done work for G-Fan, Famous Monsters of Filmland, and Alien. He provided header card art for Seismic Toys' Megadon and Ganira figures.
- Caroline "Luka" Bromley - A concept artist and merchandise designer for the RWBY series who also loves kaiju and helped spearhead "Kaiju Monster March" on social media. She created chibi illustrations of the Dawn of the Monsters cast.
- Ninsai Kato - A kaiju artist from Japan, Ninsai Kato lent her talents with a promotional Megadon brush-ink illustration.
- Powerhouse Animation - Known for animated series such as Castlevania, Masters of the Universe: Revelation, and the upcoming Skull Island, Powerhouse Animation created the phenomenal opening animation for Dawn of the Monsters.
There are a few cutesy kaiju games out there, but this won't be one of them. Dawn of the Monsters is a serious, non-comedic game that aims to please giant monster enthusiasts and beat 'em up fans alike. Not only do the creatures look very cool and authentic, but the real-world cities featured in the game are fully destructible. We're especially excited about the chance to team up and save everyone while destroying everything (EDF style) in 2-player local co-op.
Dawn of the Monsters will arrive on Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PlayStation 4 and 5, Switch, Stadia, and Steam sometime this March. It will cost $29.99.