Cam’s Eye View: Anarchy Reigns for the PS3 and 360 review

I am going to just come out and say it, I LOVE Platinum Games! I swear if I were ever going to make a fast-paced action game, I would hire these guys to make it. They have been incredibly consistent with their games and they really do not have a bad game in the bunch. I love them all. Even though I said that their fast-paced shooter Vanquish was the most disappointing good game of 2010, I would still highly recommend it over a lot of games that have come out these past couple of years. It has actually crept up into my top 30 favorite games of all time. They have a creative outlook to action games and there are not a lot of companies quite like Platinum Games. They are also very good at keeping up their quality in games, and I can’t say that about a lot of companies. For example, Bioware’s Dragon Age Origins was highly praised, but its sequel was rather weak and disappointing compared to other fantasy RPG’s that were released in 2011. By the time this review is out, Platinum Games’ next game, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance for the PS3 and 360 will be out, and I will be reviewing that soon, so keep on the lookout for that game. As of now, let us start with one of the best games of January 2013, Anarchy Reigns. This title alone is unique, it is a 3D brawler with the Platinum Game’s flare, but it also has multiplayer. We really haven’t seen this before. Sure, fighting games do have online multiplayer, but Anarchy Reigns isn’t a fighter, it is a 3D beat em’ up. It reminds me of how unique God of War Ascension’s multiplayer is, since that game is an action game with its own flair in the multiplayer gaming. I appear to be getting sidetracked with this review so let us begin the journey through the roads of bloody knuckles with Anarchy Reigns.  

The story is interesting in the sense that it has two different sides to it. The black side of the story revolves around the main hero of Madworld, Jack Cayman, who is voiced by the ever so wonderful Steve Blum who is a chaser (a.k.a bounty hunter) in search for a man named Maximillian Caxton, voiced by Robert Pine. The white side revolves around a Bureau agent known as Leonhardt Victorian, voiced by Jon Curry, who is also searching for Maximillian, along with fellow agents Sasha Ivanoff, voiced by Kim Mai Guest and Nikolai Dmitri Bulygin, voiced by Zach McGowan. Along the way to find Maximillian, they meet other bounty hunters and other colorful characters, from Platinum Games’ previous title, Madworld, to new characters made for this game. While the story isn’t too much of a big deal, it is enjoyably corny. It has a lot of charm of a grindhouse film with its overly eccentric characters that are memorable and fun. I know I should criticize Platinum Games for not stepping up their storytelling, but I think I’m going to give them a pass here due to how much fun I had with the game’s story and gameplay.

The gameplay is essentially a 3D brawler where you go through the single-player campaign as either Jack or Leonhardt, and bash your way through enemies, taking on side missions, and main-story-progressing missions. A fun thing about the single-player mode is that during different parts of the game, you get to play as the other bounty hunters or other characters you meet, for a mission. Each side mission for both campaigns is different, so it doesn’t feel like you are going through the same campaign with just a different character. The combat mechanics are solid. You have your light attacks, strong attacks, throws, blocks, dodge rolls, dash attacks, and the game’s main appeal in combat, finisher weapons. The finisher weapons are like Jack’s double chainsaw arm or the Black Baron’s sexy fists of fire that do major damage to the enemy and can finish them off. You can also pick up items from health pickups, guns, and shields to name just a few. Overall, it will take about 10 hours or so to beat both campaigns and maybe shorter, depending on how good you are at the game’s fun combat system. Outside of the main campaign, you have a beautiful amount of violent multiplayer options where you take the game’s combat system online with different modes like deathmatch, team deathmatch, survivor, a unique sports mini-game multiplayer, and you get the idea. Just take any multiplayer modes you have played in a shooter, and put them in a 3D brawler. Luckily, each brawler does play differently, and there is a bit of strategy on how to tackle other brawlers that might have advantages over you. For me though, just pick a brawler that you enjoy (I play as Big Bull), and have fun! Oh, and if you beat the entire single-player campaign, you can play any level with any character! That is awesome!

The graphics are great. The game engine Platinum Games uses is always a very solid engine. The character models are of course overly exaggerated, but fun, and they give the game a unique look. The voice acting is entertaining. You have a good number of voice actors from Steve Blum, Kim Mai Guest, Yuri Lowenthal, Rick D. Wasserman, Arif S, Kinchen, and you get the idea.   The music soundtrack is once again totally awesome with a huge amount of rap songs, and from what I can tell, are all underground artists like the ones in Madworld. It just gives a lot of the fights a flair that no other game can give.

So yeah, I just praised this game to high heaven, but what is wrong with it? Well, this game is super fun and entertaining, but I would feel bad if I didn’t mention this game’s flaws. First up is the camera. While it is better than Madworld’s camera, that isn’t saying much. I feel like it is too close to you. I also feel like some of the big bad enemies should have been toned down in difficulty. Sometimes, after getting rammed or kicked by a giant mutant or a kick boxing robot, it is hard to get back up in time to dodge their attack and counter attack since you keep getting hit multiple times without having time to dodge. I also wish some of the bosses on easy mode were a bit tougher. I also have to point out that when this game came out, Sega didn’t do any TV ads or internet ads to advertise for this awesome game. You see, Sega, this is why Platinum Games didn’t sell well, YOU DIDN’T ADVERTISE THEM! No wonder why they are making games for Nintendo and Konami, they are companies that would advertise something else than just Sonic.

Overall, everything that is fun, entertaining, and enjoyable about this game covers up all the minor issues I had with this game. Plus, this game is cheap at the price point of 30 dollars or less. Yeah, it doesn’t sound cheap, but when terrible games can get the 50 or 60 dollar price tag, this is a cheap game, but don’t take its cheap price tag as a budget title. If there was ever a company to support for their unique and enjoyable games, you should support Platinum Games.

This game gets an 8 out of 10

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