Release Date: January 08, 2013
Developer: Platinum Games
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360], PlayStation 3
Genre: Combat Action Brawler
Rated: M for Mature
Anarchy Reigns, originally released in Japan on July 5th 2012, has finally been released in North America. Although for fans of this genre the wait may have seemed long. Developed by Platinum Games and published by Sega, Anarchy Reigns is a “beat ’em up action brawler” type of game. It is very reminiscent of the classic side scroll-er street fighter games but with a more open world allowing the player the freedom to explore their environment.
Anarchy Reigns is filled with the good, the bad and the ugly, making it a very questionable title for gamers to run out and pick up. Now although this game is not my cup tea, I will tell you everything that makes it and everything that breaks it.
The game starts with a cut scene that sets the tone for the story of the entire game. You will play as one of two heroes, Leo from the “White Side” or Jack from the “Black Side”, the choice is yours. You will be playing in a world that has been turned into an infested waste land from a war. Surrounded by all kinds of monsters, robots and ninjas, you are on a mission to find a man named Maximillian.
First thing you will notice is the graphics. Although via a cut scene, it was impressive. I wasn’t expecting the detail in the characters and the environments so I was pleasantly surprised. During game play the graphics continue to impress and although it was not as good as the cut scenes, they never are. You will also notice that your characters movements are pretty smooth and never look choppy.
Next are the controls. Though you don’t start the campaign off with a tutorial, you do see an image of the controller on-screen with a break down of what each button does. If this isn’t enough for you, there is always the training option in the main menu. However, controls are extremely easy and you may not feel the training is needed.
If button mashing is your “thang,” then Anarchy Reigns may be your game. It is extremely easy to just mindlessly press buttons and earn those much needed points and even bonus points from combos. Of course button mashing will only get you so many of the highly desirable points; so if you want to earn extra, combos are where it is at.
As mentioned earlier the game is simple. So much so a five year old could do it; play and navigate your way through the game without any help. Enemies drop into the world, and you, fight them to the death with every hit and kill earning you points. Once you earn a certain number of points, a new mission will be unlocked for you to complete. These mission can be identified by the glowing markers on your screen.
There are two types of missions, Main missions and Free missions. Main missions obviously advance the campaign and Free missions are kind of like side quests. The free missions can be replayed over and over again to earn you more points. Time also plays a factor as the faster you complete the mission the more points you get.
Finally you have the multiplayer. There’s nothing quiet like smashing your fist into the face of your enemy, another online player. In Anarchy Reigns there are 16 playable characters, male and female, some of which you may notice from other Platinum Games titles like Bayonetta. Each character has a different feel while playing as they all have their own unique weapons and fighting styles. You will also notice some familiar game modes here like “Capture the flag” and “Team Deathmatch”.
With the good comes the bad, and since nobody is perfect, neither is any game. First, I have to say I was extremely disappointed at the lack of girl character options for the campaign. Now normally I don’t really care or complain about this, but because this is a “brawler” game and I know there are female characters for the multiplayer and you are able to choose either the Black or the White side for the campaign, I am a little disappointed. Why was there not at least one female option for the campaign?
Anarchy Reigns is a game where the multiplayer comes first and leaves you despising the single-player because of it. There are certain items and skills that cannot be used or accessed in the multiplayer without you having unlocked them first via the campaign. Since you will want to play the multiplayer, you will feel forced to play through the campaigns to earn those extra’s, making the 2 separate, although very similar and basically the same campaigns, repetitive and boring. Let’s face it, it is more of a chore. And nobody likes chores!
Now I know this was mentioned up in the “GOOD” category, but there is such a thing as TOO easy. And unless you love easy mindless games, then I doubt you will have the patients or energy to put up with this painfully tedious and repetitive game.
In Anarchy Reigns you are forced to fight the same bosses, enemies and even missions over and over and OVER again in order to earn enough points to unlock new “Main Missions” just to further yourself along in the story and to complete the game. You are also forced to keep playing the campaign in order to unlock certain items and skills just to fully enjoy the multiplayer. Now I know you are never really forced to do any thing, but this is how it is in Anarchy Reigns. In order to get points to unlock more missions you must kill enemies and complete missions. Basically it is a viscous cycle of earning points. The better you are at getting points the less you have to run around earning them
Anarchy Reigns has many good qualities, it is graphically appealing, it has an extremely small learning curve, it is easy and straight forward. These “Good” qualities make it an excellent game to get for your kids. They will not be easily frustrated and probably just enjoy running around the environment to fight enemies. And if they select a mission a little too challenging for them you can always help them out.
However the “bad” and the “ugly” qualities are the things that break this title, making it not a good purchase for the impatient gamer. Before you jump out of your seat and run out to buy this title I’d suggest making a pit stop at your local video store to give this game a test run.
Replay Value: 2/5
Overall Rating: 3/5