I kind of have a crush on Platinum Games. They were the gaming Gods who conjured up Vanquish, one of my favorite games of all time. So when I heard they had a new release coming out, and at a price tag of $30 no less, my mind was set. I was gonna play this game.
The premise of a third person brawler of epic proportions was just a bonus, as I literally went into this game with only the promise that it was by Platinum Games, and thus, had to be good. The actual idea behind this game is something I didn’t know I’d been wanting since I actually popped the disc in and started playing, which isn’t something that usually happens with my games. Third person brawler meets online multiplayer? Name one time that’s happened before, I dare you. No, I double dare you! Can’t think of another game like that? That’s ’cause Anarchy Reigns is up there with the most unique premises in gaming history.
Before we talk about the genre changing online, let’s talk about the single player. There isn’t too much present, with the core story mode being the only entertainment for a lone person. The story mode consists of story missions (obviously…) and free play missions. You need to complete free play missions to unlock the story missions, which in most games is an obnoxious and drawn out way to stretch game time. Not so surprisingly, Platinum Games makes it work. The game is BUILT to be a repetitive button masher, which somehow makes it not repetitive. The entire story mode is like that, being a double contradiction where you’re left thinking “God, I just did that a couple minutes ago, I’m sick of it… but I want to do it again”. I don’t know how it works. Only the mastermind developers know. Maybe it’s digitally infused drugs. Or the unspeakably awesome rap soundtrack. I don’t even like rap, and Anarchy Reigns doesn’t just make it work, it makes it worth buying on iTunes.
Once you’ve gotten through the eight hour campaign, you’ll have unlocked almost every character in the game, all revving to go in the online multiplayer. The idea alone of beating them in singleplayer and them playing as them in multiplayer is genius, and it works soooo well in Anarchy Reigns. They all bring their own unique brand of gameplay to the table, even though some are VERY similar in style like Ai Rin and Rin Rin, or Douglas and Nikolai. This is a good thing, and it gives you some degree of confidence when trying out a new character online. And you’ll need all the confidence you can muster online, as actually playing with skill and precision isn’t an option. Unlike in campaign where you were mindlessly wiping out thousands of generic goons in gleeful succession, online you’re versing other players with as much or more power than you. Tack on the fact there’s so much action happening on-screen that you can’t tell what the hell’s going on, and you have a recipe for both a LOT of frantic fun and a lot of “how did that just happen” frustration. That’s why this game’s a bit of an acquired taste. I’ll openly admit, I practically hated the game at first, and contemplated selling it hours after purchase due to getting my ass kicked for the umpteenth time online. But I stuck with it, and now I absolutely love it. It’s a level of online addiction I don’t think I’ve seen since Transformers: WFC, which is quite the achievement.
There’s so much more I could say about this game, but I don’t have the finger-power to type it all. Put simply, if you want some adrenaline pumping third person action online, this is the game for you. If you want a game unlike any other on the market, this is the game for you. If you’re claustrophobic or a control freak who hates insanity, this game will kill you. In short, this is a true gamer’s game. Or anyone who wants some cheap fun at a remarkable price of $30.