Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Reviewed by: Darryl Linington
Developed by Platinum Games and published by Sega, Anarchy Reigns is the latest single player/online brawler to hit consoles. While this title was indeed delayed numerous times, does it hold the power and polish to capture, entice and smash its way into the lives of both online and offline gamers? Or should it let one of the many overly muscular characters featured within it power-bomb it into a concrete road, and watch as it smashes into a million pieces? Ok, maybe that was a little harsh; however, let’s find out!
Anarchy Reigns follows various broken up campaigns, which include the Black Side, White Side and eventually the Red Side campaign. These campaigns are essentially played out in small open world maps, which been populated by various enemies, catastrophic events and the additional bonus of hidden collectibles. In order to progress through each character’s campaign the player will need to gain points by completing various free play missions, story driven missions and by ultimately engaging in boss battles that are not only challenging, but also include rather comical dialogue and quirky humour.
While the actual storyline of Anarchy Reigns is not entirely in-depth, it is one that is strange, nonessential and absolutely insane when it comes to the weird and obscure. Combine all of this with brawler style gameplay and massive enemies and you have a title that is refreshing, bold and a pleasure to experience.
Combat is also a winner when it comes to Anarchy Reigns; however, just be warned as the controls may be complicated for the first hour or two, depending on your button mashing skills. Each character has their own move set, which consists of mid to high-strength attacks, unblockable killer attacks, grabs, descending and ascending attacks, 360 degree attacks and rampage attacks. Additionally, Anarchy Reigns also features various firearms and vehicles that can be used to dispose of enemies.
Essentially the above mentioned attacks will be used to dispose of enemies; however, certain special attacks have a meter that will need to be charged up first before the player can use them. One thing that caught my attention during my time with Anarchy Reigns is the fact that when two players clash and perform the exact same move, at the exact same time, they tend to cancel each other out, which will allow you to take a more strategic approach. Furthermore, if each character has activated their rampage mode, they will be locked into a button bashing battle that kind of resembles the super-fast movements that have been feature in various anime style cartoons.
Once you are done and dusted with the campaign… there are a multitude of fun and entertaining online modes that cater for various tastes. These modes include: Battle Royale, Death Match, Survival Mode and many more. Furthermore, the special addition comes with additional characters, including Bayonetta, and some rather interesting exclusive multiplayer modes.
Visually, Anarchy Reigns does not include the largest list of characters and NPCs; however, this looked to allow the developers the opportunity to spend more time crafting each character and environment in a visually appealing way.
When it comes to sound, Anarchy Reigns features a great voice cast and a killer soundtrack that keeps things vibey, energetic and entertaining. While the soundtrack is indeed one of the major highlights, it does have its downfall. You see, during free play missions the same song tends to only be featured within that mission, which means that after failing a free play mission many times you tend to turn the sound down due to the repetitive nature of the track listing. The artists featured in the soundtrack include: Tre-Dot, Sick YG, Bandy Leggz, Theory Hazit, Josh Clemons and many more.
Anarchy Reigns is an entertaining title that tends to be bold, creative and completely whacked out. Essentially the game focuses more on the multiplayer gameplay rather than the single player campaign; however, when it comes to single player experience, the developers have actually managed to intertwine a rather strange storyline with brawler style gameplay in a way that actually works.
While I have graced Anarchy Reigns throughout this review, it does however have its issues… texture pop is visible throughout certain levels and the repetitive nature of the soundtrack, specifically in the free play missions, can prevent players from trying to overcome failed missions.
Overall, Anarchy Reigns is great title that stands out and allows players to experience something that is completely different.
Lasting Appeal: 8.5/10
Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360