Anarchy Reigns Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Anarchy Reigns Box Art
System: PS3, Xbox 360
Dev: Platinum Games
Pub: Sega
Release: January 8, 2013
Players: 1-16
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language

There is a level-up system, which mirrors the sorts of progression you see in multiplayer shooters, but it’s decently balanced, preventing higher level players from immediately overpowering lower level players. Unfortunately, it may be overbalanced. The perks and bonuses you unlock aren’t all that powerful, and you level up quite slowly. It does a lot to keep the game even but doesn’t do much to make you feel like you are earning a reward.

Still, that sounds good right? Evenly balanced battles filled with awesome anime-style brawling with up to sixteen players? What could be wrong with that?

Anarchy Reigns Screenshot

Well, it turns out that this formula isn’t particularly compatible with human behavior. You see, shooters work out well with sixteen-player matches, because you can kill your enemies at long distance. Taking cover and noticing your enemy before he sees you is the name of the game, and confrontations end with a kill—or with both parties running away—in mere seconds. Action games, on the other hand, work on a different set of rules. Kills have to be earned at close range as you’re slugging it out through combos and grapples. Confrontations can last for a while, with blocks and blows being exchanged several times. Of course, when a player sees others slugging it out, he will want to jump in to start wailing away at the side that is most unprotected, which quickly turns a one-on-one fight into a three-person free-for-all. This, in turn, becomes a four-person free-for-all when another player finds the battle, and so on, until the entire group is clustered in one little area, flailing for their lives.

The result is just a chaotic mess of button mashing and kill-stealing that is nearly impossible to navigate. Attacks fly every which way, sometimes killing people you weren’t even aiming for in the first place. You can never take an opportunity to stop and block as someone will just run up and throw you, and then someone else will attack them. It nearly renders kills meaningless, as you are never guaranteed to earn credit for all the wailing you did. Only the final blow counts. Of course, you would expect this gigantic mosh pit of arms and blades and chainsaws to thin as people die, but everyone will remember where the battle is after they die, and when they respawn they will just run right back into the fray.

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So it’s not so much that the game’s multiplayer is bad, but rather that people tend to be reduced to chaotically flailing monkeys whenever they see a battle going on. When paired up one-on-one with an opponent, there actually is a pretty deep battle system that can produce some suitably epic confrontations. Unfortunately, it gets boring having to search out your one enemy on the game’s multiplayer maps, not to mention that limiting the game to 1v1 duels essentially defeats the purpose of an online multiplayer brawler in the first place.

Anarchy Reigns simply doesn’t live up to its hype. It’s not the big multiplayer brawler that finally brings action games into the online world, but it is a pretty solid action game nonetheless. You probably won’t be spending much time in the game’s multiplayer, but the single-player campaign makes it arguably worth a purchase, especially at its budget price. If you are the kind of person that loves bloody action schlock, then this may be the game for you.

By
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Lead Contributor
Date: January 9, 2013

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
The graphics are probably the worst part of the package, as the game boasts some pretty flat and blurry textures. Still, it does a competent enough job and doesn’t detract from the gameplay.
3.8
Control
The game does devolve into button mashing, but it’s fun button mashing. It’s not deep, but it fits the game’s over-the-top tone.
3.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is somewhat forgettable, but the voice acting is awesome and campy, perfect for the game’s tone.
3.5
Play Value
At a budget price, this game is a pretty good buy despite its flaws.
3.6
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Multiplayer mayhem - Creativity and violence are rewarded in this online brawler, as you battle to become the ultimate survivor. With over 8 different characters to choose from, each with their own unique style, weapon, and signature kill move, this is the ultimate survival of the fittest.
  • Various modes - Anarchy Reigns provides a variety of multiplayer modes to cater for different tastes. The list of modes includes Battle Royale, Death Match, Survival Mode, and many more.
  • Single-player, two characters - Play either as Jack or Leo in the ultimate survival of the fittest'. In true Platinum Games form, each character brings a unique style and feel to the single-player Campaign mode, providing over 10 hours of gameplay.
  • Action trigger events - A.T.E. (Action Trigger Events) system triggers real-time events such as The Black Hole, a plane crash, blitz bombing etc to provide a constantly changing game play environment. No two matches will ever be the same.


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