I’ve been geeking out about Anarchy Reigns since January. January is, coincidentally, when the fifth Platinum Games title was announced. So far, everything that’s come out of Platinum Games has been pure gold…or platinum (hurr hurr hurr). After what we saw at E3, does Anarchy Reigns live up to that Platinum legacy? Let me give you three words to answer that: MadWorld Spiritual Successor.
To be clear, this is not MadWorld 2. The producers at E3 were very clear on that point, and while they would love to do a MadWorld 2, they said that was currently up to SEGA (hint, hint). While MadWorld characters do make up part of the Anarchy Reigns roster, there is no canonical connection between MadWorld and Anarchy Reigns. The characters are simply reintroduced into a new game.
And what a game it is. Boasting 17 characters, most of which need to be unlocked, there are a lot of options for this brawler. But brawling is not all there is to this game. We’ll get to the brawling, but first I want to talk about the single player campaign. There is no co-op, so let’s get that disappointment out of the way first. The campaign is technically broken into two simultaneous campaigns that tell the same story from different perspectives. Jack’s “Black Side” storyline represents his anti-authoritarian perspective and story direction. Leo’s “White Side” storyline represents his good-guy perspective and story direction. Playing both campaigns is suggested to get the full effect of the story. The single player campaign is mission based, with a central hub location used for acquiring quests/missions. Character development is handled with ability customization, skill trees, and more. Successful combos can build momentum within missions, giving your character more power until the end of the mission.
Now, back to the real replay value of the game: online multiplayer brawling. As I mentioned, you have 17 characters to choose from once you’re fully unlocked. Each character seems to have 10 color schemes to choose from, so it should be pretty easy to distinguish yourself from others. There are multiple online modes. Some are smaller scale, allowing only a handful of players at a time, while others, like the Battle Royale mode, can quickly become overwhelmingly crowded. Of course, in a brawler like this, crowded just means more faces to smash. Into the environment. Yes, the environment is interactive in certain cases, meaning you can bash your enemy’s face into a street sign. Or the ground. Or a wall. Or whatever, it’s cool.
Xbox 360 and PS3 are going to have a great January 2012. So am I.