Platinum Games have been on an incredible run of creating unique, and quite frankly amazing action titles over the past couple of years. From Madworld on the Wii to Bayonetta, each game has been met with critical success and in some ways good sales. The newest title in the studio’s fresh ideas in Anarchy Reigns: a 3D action brawler with an emphasis on multiplayer. Does this game Reign or does it simply feel like anarchy?
The sinlge player component of Anarchy Reigns acts as an unofficial sequel to Madworld as one of the two main characters you choose to control is Jack (surname) from the monochrome gorefest that was Madworld. To be honest, the story is the last thing you should be thinking of when considering buying this game. Essentially it breaks down to silly but sometimes funny dialogue with stereotypical and over the top characters about how they are going to beat each other up until the cut scene ends and then they proceed to then beat each other up so at least they’re not all talk and no action. In the end, you won’t really care about the story but the game is what this game is all about.
The single player acts as a series of hub worlds that unlock main and free missions as you kill enemies within that world. Once you complete the series of missions, a boss battle will occur and once that is done, you move on to the next hub world. Unfortunately, it’s here that I have possibly my major gripe with the game. If you’ve played Platinum Games before then you will notice and in turn expect a certain standard in terms of those boss battles. They are usually fun, unique, and memorable. Unfortunately, Anarchy Reigns meets none of those requirements. Rather then being broken or frustrating, they are instantly forgettable.
The single player itself lasts between 6-8 hours and should be played through, even just to unlock all the multiplayer characters because its either that or grinding to unlock them in the multiplayer. The single player is fun but don’t expect it to teach you the basics of multiplayer because that is an entirely different beast, one that is not afraid to hurt for a while.
When you first get into the multiplayer game, expect yourself to die, a lot. The gameplay may seem simple at first but each character is much deeper than you expect and it will take some time to find the character that’s right for you. Honestly it’s incredibly satisfying on equal levels as it is hectic. Bodies will fly all over the screen and if you get caught in a combo from an opponent, all you can do sometimes is just sit there and take it.
That’s not to say that it’s a Call of Duty style battling in the terms that whoever shoots first will probably win. You can do things like dodge on unleash an unblockable 360 degree attack that will offer some space between you and your opponents. You can then use this very slight time to either get away or try to get the upper hand.
The multiplayer can seem thrown together at first, but when you take the diversity of the characters with the massive amount of match types and you’ve got a recipe for a unique and extremely fun multiplayer experience. Unfortunately that fun lives and dies with players that pick up the game and play online. This isn’t a game with a massive marketing budget nor does a whole lot of people know about it so it would seem the multiplayer component is an unfortunate statistic when players strictly stick to just a game or two online, which is a shame of course.
Anarchy Reigns is the perfect game to start off the year. Because it’s a budget title, you will only be paying half what you normally pay and in return you will get an original online component and a fun but flawed single-player campaign. If this game were to fall off the radar far too soon I hope that some things are taken from this and moved forward including the incredibly fun Death ball which was some of the most fun I’ve had playing a game online in a long time.
Anarchy Reigns is worth your money should you invest but fans of the developer will recognise a slight reduction in overall quality in terms of visuals and especially the boss battles. Still, I challenge you to find a more fun, non-shooter multiplayer out there right now because I’m honestly betting you can’t.