Platform: Playstation 3
Developer: Platinum Games
Release Date: January 8th 2013
If you have been following this generation closely, you may remember a game called Madworld, released a few years ago on the Nintendo Wii console. The game rose to fame for a couple of reasons: the game was pretty mature, with gore and blood, and it was strange seeing it on a console like the Wii. The game was also the first title developed by the now famous Platinum Games, formed by Devil May Cry creator Hideki Kamiya. The game was a quite standard brawler with an extra gore element with a good but underdeveloped plot written by Yasumi Matsuno. The game didn’t perform too bad on the market but it took some time to see Jack and The Black Baron again in a new game. Anarchy Reign was released in Japan last year and it’s finally available in the West.
My name’s Jack
The game cannot be considered as a direct sequel to Madworld: indeed the game stars Jack Cayman again, together with The Black Baron, Matilda, Rin Rin and other familiar Madworld’s faces but the game’s plot can be followed even withouth knowledge of Madworld. This time Jack partners up with Leo Victorion to hunt down the fugitive Maximillian Caxton, gone insane and out for murder using some cybernetic enhancements in his body. The plot is almost nonsensical and worse than the one seen in Madworld. It basically has the same flaws: very few explanations and the ones included are confusionary. Still, it’s serviceable and it’s still fun seeing the Black Baron getting abused by Matilda. Don’t expect anything great: the gameplay is the main focus of the game.
To live is to fight
The core of Anarchy Reigns’ gameplay is the fighting system and thankfully, it’s a lot varied and fun. Jack can use light and heavy attacks, blocks, jumps and his chainsaw: all these skills can be combined into the smooth combo system used in the game, rewarding player with well executed combos with enhancement and even extra missions. The chainsaw can be used freely during combos for only 4 times, before having a cool down time, removed by performing regular attacks. While the combo system is varied enough, the whole gameplay experience isn’t: it’s just fight after fight after fight, with almost nothing to break the monotony since everything is the game is centered around fighting. Not to say that the game is boring, mind you: there’s a night and day cycle which changes enemies available in stages, missions are varied enough with some regular bashing mixed in with something way more over the top. Unfortunately, stages aren’t so big and missions get unlocked in linear fashion, so you don’t really get any freedom, except in replaying completed missions to improve your ranking. Boss battles are a mixed bag: the one on one battles don’t really require any strategy, the ones against more enemies are way more satisfying.
Taking on the World
Anarchy Reigns also offers some multiplayer modes: the online portion of the game is quite a mixed bag. For starters, you’ll have to unlock the characters by playing through the single player mode. Characters are all different, with some better than others, and there’s a lot of effort needed to truly master any of them. When playing with other characters, the battles can get really chaotic which is both funny and frustrating at the same time. The leveling system is quite pointless as well since it’s slow and there’s no real improvements offered for your characters.
Blood and very little else
Graphics wise the game presents some standard elements, in both locations and character design: there’s none of the typical Platinum Games design. The game slightly follows Madworld style, but most of the new characters are quite bland. Locations are quite boring, with the same textures repeating over and over. There’s nothing of Madworld unique black and white world and it’s a shame an opportunity has been missed.
Anarchy Reigns is a good brawler and not much else: hordes of enemies is what was promised and that’s what was delivered. There’s no deep storyline or gameplay elements, just some fun brawling. The combo system is not too deep but it’s definitely rewarding and some boss battles are really well done as well. It’s a good job, but a lot of things could have been added differently: if you liked Madworld you’ll probably enjoy Anarchy Reigns as well, even though it’s a slightly different experience. Everyone else should at least try the game before buying it.
- Smooth combat system
- Some boss battles are nice
- Some missions are well thought out and fun
- Multiplayer can be fun, once mastered
- Jack Cayman and The Black Baron
- Nonsensical plot
- Bad character design
- Locations look all the same
- Linear and repetitive at times
- Multiplayer mode has a steep learning curve
7 out of 10
Article from Gamersyndrome.com