Anarchy Reigns Review
Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:35 AM
After what has felt like ages for the release of this game, it's finally here. Anarchy Reigns is Platinum Games' kick off release to the new year (in North America, at least, seeing as how the game has been out in Japan for months) and it delivers.
AR follows the story of Jack Cayman, a former marine gone bounty hunter within an organization known as the "Chasers". Those who played previous Platinum game "Mad World" for the Wii will recognize him as the past title's protagonist, as this game continues his story. Regardless, there are very few references to Mad World at all, and it is indicated that the events of Anarchy Reigns happen some time later. Essentially, besides the return of a handful of characters, the game feels to be within a whole new universe. A universe in which due to a desperate economy, mankind resorts to pollutant resources to make money fast. The game starts you at what is the result of said actions, fighting humanoid mutants across a few stages of differing themes. Graphically speaking, the game fails to reach the crispness that Bayonetta presented, and the environments are rather dull, oftentimes leaving you surrounded in faded shades of color and loads of grey. The character animations, however, are an awesome sight, offering flashes of vibrant color which only look better against the dank and dreary environments. The story itself, split into 2 parts, follows Jack and Leo, two individuals after the same man, but with different agendas. It is riddled with both humorous and awkward moments, and at times it becomes very obvious that the game was made in japan (mostly through the way in which certain characters are presented). Though it comes together decently in the end, it leaves a number of questions to be answered and feels as though it is but a supplement to the multiplayer. In terms of it's soundtrack, it offers a great set of songs that pertain to the actual level/events just as it did in Mad World. The multiplayer is far more enjoyable, offering a number of game types to keep one busy for quite some time. While ranking up feels unrewarding generally, at times new abilities can be unlocked, which act as a perk in battle. Fights feel more chaotic and as a result, the learning curve may be steep for some, but the visceral kills that can be achieved after an exchange of strikes is a very satisfying experience. Characters can be unlocked either by reaching a set rank or progressing through the story (in the case of Bayonetta a preorder), and each has a unique set of attacks that effect enemies in differing ways. Team attacks can also be initiated within certain game types for immense amounts of damage, and promote a sense of team work amongst players. While the game types are hardly anything revolutionary, the beat em' up approach to multiplayer feels like a new genre entirely. Unfortunately, it does have two major hindrances: firstly, because the game has been out in Japan for sometime now, on occasion you will be matched up against someone who is far better after having much more time to learn and perfect their technique in the arena. Secondly, the game is lacking split screen of any sort, even locally, which is a disappointment for anyone hoping to have friends over for a night of exchanging blows all night.
Over and above all, Anarchy Reigns is a well done, enjoyable game. Fans hoping for the thrilling havoc of Bayonetta or the stunning visuals of Okami will be disappointed, but those looking for a new type of multiplayer experience with a Platinum games touch will absolutely love it. As for myself, I can see myself playing this game for quite some time.
Graphics - 7
Sound/Music - 9
Overall - 8
Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:55 PM