Being an avid gamer I constantly look for gaming experiences that make me want to PLAY the game the publisher is selling. Let’s face it, a lot of games now days tell stories that aren’t compelling, and cross that with game play that isn’t fun and I get uninterested fast. In the case of Anarchy Reigns, it lacks in only one of these areas.
Anarchy Reigns has a certain style and a lot of characters I actually enjoy a whole lot. That being said, it would have been nice to see the writing and voice work to create a great story behind this aesthetic. I feel that Platinum games could have taken the story of the first main protagonist Jack Cayman(Madworld) who is distraught over his daughters death to a higher emotional climax, yet this may be hard when Jack is such a musclebound “bro” character. The other main protagonist, Leo, comes across as the “young buck” character who seems to be struggling between doing the right thing and what his heart tells him. Although I feel both both characters stories were lacking, I think Platinum games gave as much attention to the story as Anarchy Reigns needed. After all this games selling point is the game play.
When Platinum started making Anarchy Reigns they wanted to make a multiplayer brawler with deep combat and cool environments to show it off. They did just that. The games campaign and online modes are both focused around different hub worlds. In the campaign these hub worlds act as different (small) open worlds that the character can spend time in. In these worlds you will encounter a handful of “free missions” that act as non-story related missions and the typical story missions. Between these missions you are given a constant flow of baddies to practice and hone your skills on. There are also random events that take place in these hubs that act as hazards to the player e.g. runaway semis and poison gas. These almost exact hub worlds transfer straight over to the multiplayer portion of the game. Although this allows a player to become familiar with the online maps, it leaves the gamer looking for a single-player experience wanting more.
Now for the multiplayer portion of the game. Anarchy Reigns comes packaged with eleven online match types ranging from a sixteen player Battle Royale to a one on one Cage Match. Platinum also threw in just about every other type of mode any player could ask for along with the ability to create matches in any of the ranked, unranked, or private match types. You can play as 16 of the different characters introduced in the story as well as Bayonetta from one of Platinum’s previous titles if you decided to preorder. These characters are unlocked by either progressing through the campaign, or leveling up in multiplayer.
At the end of the day, Platinum made a game to play that I wanted to KEEP PLAYING. It sucked me in after I got to crush the first Cybernetic Bull boss in the game and it never let go. Although I enjoyed this game a whole lot and understood the intent behind the game Platinum crafted, the story and lack of detail to the level design keeps it from being a near perfect game. With all this being said, I feel like Anarchy Reigns will be a game that I continue to play for years to come and will ultimately become a game I treasure. Well done Platinum, the wait for February 19th begins.