Anarchy Reigns Review
Anarchy Reigns' tight combat and over-the-top action are brilliant in places, but tiresome in others.
Anarchy Reigns' missions spread that grisly fighting out over several hub-levels, on which are located missions for you to complete and various creatures for you to battle. A short day and night cycle keeps you on your toes, with weaker enemies roaming around in packs during the day and stronger ones coming out at night. It's a neat way of letting you know that bigger, more difficult enemies are on the way, which gives you a chance to run away and dive straight into a mission to avoid being mauled. The missions themselves are, on the whole, well thought out. Some have you trying to kill 100 bad guys against the clock; others have you fighting cyborgs with devastating energy weapons on rooftops; while still others have you slaughtering mutants by lopping their heads off with Cayman's chainsaw. There are more offbeat missions to play through too, including one that has you piloting a flamethrowing vehicle around an impromptu circuit, gleefully incinerating anything in your path.
Outside of missions a counter at the top of the screen shows how many enemies you've managed to kill while roaming the hub-level, with bonuses and power-ups on offer for reaching more than 100. There are also plenty of points to accumulate, with bonuses available for combo kills or particularly gruesome ones, which unlock further missions on the map that reward you with more points and more missions. Despite the hub-world setting, missions are unlocked one at a time in a linear fashion, though you can go back and replay certain ones if you're short on points or want to increase your high score and nab a platinum medal. And don't think for a second that those hub-levels are particularly big either; the maps are very small, and apart from a few hidden power-ups to find, there's little to explore and discover.
Tacked onto the tail end of each world is a boss battle, which helps to break up the action, but some work better than others. One-on-one battles fare the worst, and you can often beat opponents just by hammering a few buttons. Better are the larger-scale battles, such as the fight against the tentacle-waving kraken, which has you throwing slabs of concrete into its gaping mouth, sawing through its electrified tentacles, and crawling up its face to pound its eye into a mushy mess. The variety of things to do certainly helps make fights more interesting, but it's still not all that challenging; even the final battle can be whizzed through with relatively little effort.
If you're after more of a challenge, then Anarchy Reigns offers a range of competitive multiplayer modes to battle through. Unfortunately, you have to play through the single-player or level up in the multiplayer to unlock extra characters, which is annoying if you just want to jump straight into a fight with your favourite character, but at the very least, all the moves and specials are unlocked from the start. They're spread in a classical way, with more sprightly characters dealing less damage, and larger, slower ones dealing more. The learning curve online is steep. With more experienced players having already learnt the intricacies of the combat, more often than not your first few fights result in a quick, shameful death.
Stick with it, though, and it soon begins to click. Those little pauses between hits are the perfect opportunity to launch some moves of your own, and identifying the weak spots in an opponent's attack proves to be an addictive process. In one-on-one battles, fights stick with that strategic mechanism, with you and your opponent exchanging well-timed combos and blocks to the death. Things change dramatically when more players get involved, in modes like team deathmatch, tag deathmatch, and capture the flag. Up to 16 players can get together for a mass brawl, and combat gets very chaotic, very quickly. Sometimes it's wonderful: the sheer chaos of it all is something to behold as scrap cars and explosive barrels are flung toward you, exploding against the ground while rival players are slammed into walls en masse.
At other times the chaos gets in the way of battling. It's particularly annoying when you're in the middle of a great combo, only to have a rival player whack you from behind or lift you up in an unbreakable grab and end it. The fluidity of the combat is lost when so many players are involved, making playing on smaller maps and in smaller teams of two much more enjoyable. A levelling system that goes all the way up to 50 tries to encourage continued play, but with health bars remaining static and a glacial rate of progress, there's little joy to levelling up.
In attempting to meld first-person-shooter-like modes with classic brawling, Anarchy Reigns' multiplayer doesn't succeed in delivering the best of either. The visuals, too, lack that Platinum Games charm: characters look like generic, muscular video game guys, or overtly sexualised females, while the environments often repeat textures and seem to be hidden behind a wall of blurry Vaseline. Where the game succeeds, then, is in its silky combat system, but only when it's put to use in the right way. There are moments of brilliance in smaller online battles or in some of the single-player's set pieces, where it all seems to click and the gory combat becomes so enjoyable. Anarchy Reigns might not hit those highs often enough to be truly great, but it's different enough and crazy enough for a chainsaw-fuelled rumble or two.
I miss the black and white of Madworld; I played the death out of that game just because it was awesome to watch.
The game is $30 new & the story is ok (Repetitive & only a few cutscenes) but the real entertainment is the multi. There's a ton of playlists & a good amount of characters. Like a few others said since SEGA didn't give them a good enough budget the game could've only focused in one area & it chose the multi. I believe it was a smart move since the story couldn't have been made to well if they chose that path instead.
Its a great budget title, that has many interesting ideas and extremely fun. Some of it could have been executed better, but its well worth the £15 I paid. Just hope the online community is around for a while. I have missed the brawlers of old this fills the gap.
Hmm.... Looks okay, but nothing that strikes me as essential. I'll probably wait for a significant price drop.
@prismtech u just need the limited edition, it seems in europe there is only limited edition out there.
@prismtech If you preorder it from GmesSpot wait a month or so and you can buy her, DLC.
Can someone tell me why 7 years after the Xbox 360's release this game looks like it came out on the PS2? Japanese garbage... to say the least.
@magicalclick the game was released in japan last summer. For some stupid reason, sega made the retarded decision to push the international release to now instead of during the summer drought even though the content and voice overs were all complete.
Something in this game reminds me of Heavy Metal Geomatrix(Dreamcast), mixed up with Bayonetta and Virtua Fighter customization.
the problem with the reviewer is that he mostly plays DS games and angry birds in his spare time, the multiplayer you have to work as a team and if you go all COD and run out on your own ,you get ganked,, or cought slipping an your gangbanged, alot of the people playing the multiplayer have been playing the demo on a japanese accounts for a few months
@monster637 The other problem is so do the general consensus of gamers. So basically it's lose/lose for anyone who isn't brainless.
Sounds about right, could not care less about the story - in these kind of games it is all about the combat. It is not as if people played Streets of Rage or Final Fight back in the day for its riveting storytelling.
A 7 sounds about right and is no discouragement at all for people who like action combat games with tight controls.
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If the likes of Bayonetta,Devil May Cry 3 and God of War can reinstate the glory of hack-n-slash, I think their era is far from gone,Mr.Wisdominsilence.
You can be validly excited about Last of Us, but its success isn't going to change what people like/hate about hack-n-slashers.
On point of Last of Us being "game-changing", I wouldn't be so sure of it either. The Walking Dead has already upped the ante of guardian-child relationship to the extent that Last of Us faces a tough task when it comes out.
@lightwarrior179 Walking Dead isn't even really considered a true game by some... Last of Us has some serious adaptive A.I. going on within the gameplay. The story and setting is nice as well, but the innovative gameplay is a huge part of the appeal.
Don't be surprised if the last of us has fixed (staged) events as well. Their "adaptive AI" seems to lead to staged enemy encounters that seem (at least to me) mildy annoying. It's naughty dog, for goodness sakes - they were never good at creating an AI. Ever. This game COULD possibly be the first though.
Also Anarchy reigns doesn't seem like a bad deal b/c it's 30$ at stores.
Whether it is relevant here or not, I kinda agree with Wisdominsilence about Hack-'n-slash titles... It's kinda old hat. EVERYONE went APESHIT about Darksiders, to the point I decided, "what the hell, just buy the damn game"... Played it for an hour, maybe two, realised I was doing the same thing I had been doing an hour before, just pressing the same button over and over, and I was BOOORED!!!!
@NickPunt636 Dude I understand what you mean with certain hack and slash games being repetitive, but darksiders is not, you only played an hour -_-..you learn skills and perform other moves and uses other weapons.. maybe you shouldve played a little more..just saying.
@NickPunt636 You make it clear that an awful lot of people are into hack-n-slash games, but because YOU aren't, then they must be "old hat"?
Did it occur to you that if "EVERYONE went APESHIT about Darksiders", then everyone might also continue to go apeshit about other hack-n-slash types of games?
And just so you know, Darksiders is not a hack-n-slash anymore than one would call Zelda a hack-n-slash. The games takes a few hours to hit it's stride. The first hour is pretty horrible. I gave it a second chance recently and have been very happy I did.
I can't believe this got a 7.0, it's a 6.0 AT BEST. The game's repetitive, shallow, and really blurry. The developer can definitely do better (see Bayonetta)
With The Last Of Us on the brink of changing of the videogaming industry, hack n slash games will have to up their ante if they want to capture the imagination of their audience.
@Wisdominsilence Are your dumb or just pretending ?
The Last of Us is not a "hack n slash" game like your said , it's a surivival game. so don't dare to compare then.
It's like compare Halo and FIFA.
There are different products for different audiences , no idea what point are you trying to prove , the meaning of your argument.
@suplax @Wisdominsilence Suplax your point was lost the second your fingers touched the keyboard. Your spelling and word usage left me wondering what the hell you we're even trying to say in the first place.
Hack n slash games are dead. There era of being crowd pleasers has gone. No-one wants to play them anymore. The only way they can re-invent themselves is become big budgeted blockbusters titles. The concept of hack n slash has also got to be reinvented.
@Wisdominsilence I guess the community speak for themselves....
There is no shame in admit you're wrong.
I think you're jumping the gun a little. Don't forget Devil May Cry 4, and games like God of War. What about Metal Gear Solid Revengeance. I think you're being a little close-minded here. Still I'm a little disappointed in this game because they made us wait and this is what we get after all the delays.