Anarchy Reigns Review
Anarchy Reigns' tight combat and over-the-top action are brilliant in places, but tiresome in others.
- Satisfying combat system
- Fabulously gory combos
- Chopping the head off a giant squid with a chainsaw.
- Difficult to follow the story
- Some single-player missions get repetitive
- Big online brawls don't work as well as smaller ones.
It's not every day that you're forced to fight a squid to death, let alone one with vicious, electrified tentacles and a penchant for chewing on aircraft carriers. Nor is it every day that you see said squid get sawn in half by a loud-mouthed pimp, or its squelchy offspring squished into bloody black ink by a man with a rusty chainsaw for an arm. But then, this isn't your typical game. As brawlers go, Anarchy Reigns is certifiably insane--and that is most certainly a good thing. Its ability to combine kooky characters and bizarre situations with a thoroughly satisfying combat system is an admirable achievement, and an entertaining one at that. Unfortunately, the story is poorly told and doesn't make a whole lot of sense. And there are several frustrating, repetitive missions to play through, not to mention some iffy multiplayer modes. But when Anarchy Reigns hits its stride, the combo-fuelled fighting is messy, gory fun.
Technically, Anarchy Reigns continues the story of Jack Cayman, the sadistic frontman of the Wii-exclusive Madworld. But with the exception of a few subtle nods to its spiritual predecessor, there's little to be missed by jumping straight into the action--the story won't make much sense either way. This is the tale of Cayman and fellow protagonist Leonhardt "Leo" Victorion, who are hunting down a fugitive named Maximillian Caxton. Caxton, it seems, has gone insane and has begun using his cybernetically enhanced body to start exacting bloody murder on innocent citizens, one of whom happens to be Cayman's daughter. Cue a few cheesy, emotionally charged flashback scenes, a barrage of forgettable character introductions, and some gibberish about a power-hungry law enforcement group, and you've got yourself a plot.
It's a confusing collection of nonsense, partly because little, if anything, is explained thoroughly enough for you to follow, and partly because the characters spout dialogue that's about as thoughtful as a Christmas card on Valentine's Day, and no less idiotic. Even the deeply sinister Russian overtones of Nikolai Bulygin and the humorous jive of the Black Baron aren't enough to save it. Still, in Anarchy Reigns the plot serves the gameplay, not the other way around, and in that respect it succeeds in pushing you around from one fight to the next with little fuss.
And boy is there a lot of fighting to be done in Anarchy Reigns--so much, in fact, that it can get a little repetitive after a while. Thankfully, the third-person combat system makes punching, kicking, and performing gruesome, bloody combos entertaining enough to stave off much of the creeping apathy. Part of that comes from its simplicity. There are just two types of attacks for you to use--normal and heavy--with another button allowing you to block. Combining the three by varying your button presses creates all sorts of interesting combos, where Cayman swings, kicks, and uppercuts his opponents, turning them into a bloody mess. A subtle pause between each attack lets you know when to unleash the next and gives the combat a fluid feel. Nailing the timing to perform combos can be tricky, particularly as none of the commands are listed anywhere, but it's so satisfying once you do and Cayman lays waste to a group of enemies with a series of brutal smashes.
You can spice up your combos by using jumps--which let you unleash uppercuts and ground smashes that are useful for breaking up groups of enemies--or by using Cayman's chainsaw, which saws smaller enemies in half and takes huge chunks of energy off larger ones. It's linked to a special attack bar at the bottom of the screen that lets you get four blows out before it depletes, after which you have to resort to normal attacks to fill it back up again. The chainsaw is a requisite for defeating the larger, more aggressive enemies, such as rampaging mutants and giant, hammer-swinging goons. Thanks to the smooth combo system, adding the chainsaw into your regular attacks soon becomes second nature, while grisly visuals and guttural sounds make using it satisfying.
I miss the black and white of Madworld; I played the death out of that game just because it was awesome to watch.
The game is $30 new & the story is ok (Repetitive & only a few cutscenes) but the real entertainment is the multi. There's a ton of playlists & a good amount of characters. Like a few others said since SEGA didn't give them a good enough budget the game could've only focused in one area & it chose the multi. I believe it was a smart move since the story couldn't have been made to well if they chose that path instead.
Its a great budget title, that has many interesting ideas and extremely fun. Some of it could have been executed better, but its well worth the £15 I paid. Just hope the online community is around for a while. I have missed the brawlers of old this fills the gap.
Hmm.... Looks okay, but nothing that strikes me as essential. I'll probably wait for a significant price drop.
@prismtech u just need the limited edition, it seems in europe there is only limited edition out there.
@prismtech If you preorder it from GmesSpot wait a month or so and you can buy her, DLC.
Can someone tell me why 7 years after the Xbox 360's release this game looks like it came out on the PS2? Japanese garbage... to say the least.
@magicalclick the game was released in japan last summer. For some stupid reason, sega made the retarded decision to push the international release to now instead of during the summer drought even though the content and voice overs were all complete.
Something in this game reminds me of Heavy Metal Geomatrix(Dreamcast), mixed up with Bayonetta and Virtua Fighter customization.
the problem with the reviewer is that he mostly plays DS games and angry birds in his spare time, the multiplayer you have to work as a team and if you go all COD and run out on your own ,you get ganked,, or cought slipping an your gangbanged, alot of the people playing the multiplayer have been playing the demo on a japanese accounts for a few months
@monster637 The other problem is so do the general consensus of gamers. So basically it's lose/lose for anyone who isn't brainless.
Sounds about right, could not care less about the story - in these kind of games it is all about the combat. It is not as if people played Streets of Rage or Final Fight back in the day for its riveting storytelling.
A 7 sounds about right and is no discouragement at all for people who like action combat games with tight controls.
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If the likes of Bayonetta,Devil May Cry 3 and God of War can reinstate the glory of hack-n-slash, I think their era is far from gone,Mr.Wisdominsilence.
You can be validly excited about Last of Us, but its success isn't going to change what people like/hate about hack-n-slashers.
On point of Last of Us being "game-changing", I wouldn't be so sure of it either. The Walking Dead has already upped the ante of guardian-child relationship to the extent that Last of Us faces a tough task when it comes out.
@lightwarrior179 Walking Dead isn't even really considered a true game by some... Last of Us has some serious adaptive A.I. going on within the gameplay. The story and setting is nice as well, but the innovative gameplay is a huge part of the appeal.
Don't be surprised if the last of us has fixed (staged) events as well. Their "adaptive AI" seems to lead to staged enemy encounters that seem (at least to me) mildy annoying. It's naughty dog, for goodness sakes - they were never good at creating an AI. Ever. This game COULD possibly be the first though.
Also Anarchy reigns doesn't seem like a bad deal b/c it's 30$ at stores.
Whether it is relevant here or not, I kinda agree with Wisdominsilence about Hack-'n-slash titles... It's kinda old hat. EVERYONE went APESHIT about Darksiders, to the point I decided, "what the hell, just buy the damn game"... Played it for an hour, maybe two, realised I was doing the same thing I had been doing an hour before, just pressing the same button over and over, and I was BOOORED!!!!
@NickPunt636 Dude I understand what you mean with certain hack and slash games being repetitive, but darksiders is not, you only played an hour -_-..you learn skills and perform other moves and uses other weapons.. maybe you shouldve played a little more..just saying.
@NickPunt636 You make it clear that an awful lot of people are into hack-n-slash games, but because YOU aren't, then they must be "old hat"?
Did it occur to you that if "EVERYONE went APESHIT about Darksiders", then everyone might also continue to go apeshit about other hack-n-slash types of games?
And just so you know, Darksiders is not a hack-n-slash anymore than one would call Zelda a hack-n-slash. The games takes a few hours to hit it's stride. The first hour is pretty horrible. I gave it a second chance recently and have been very happy I did.
I can't believe this got a 7.0, it's a 6.0 AT BEST. The game's repetitive, shallow, and really blurry. The developer can definitely do better (see Bayonetta)
With The Last Of Us on the brink of changing of the videogaming industry, hack n slash games will have to up their ante if they want to capture the imagination of their audience.
@Wisdominsilence Are your dumb or just pretending ?
The Last of Us is not a "hack n slash" game like your said , it's a surivival game. so don't dare to compare then.
It's like compare Halo and FIFA.
There are different products for different audiences , no idea what point are you trying to prove , the meaning of your argument.
@suplax @Wisdominsilence Suplax your point was lost the second your fingers touched the keyboard. Your spelling and word usage left me wondering what the hell you we're even trying to say in the first place.
Hack n slash games are dead. There era of being crowd pleasers has gone. No-one wants to play them anymore. The only way they can re-invent themselves is become big budgeted blockbusters titles. The concept of hack n slash has also got to be reinvented.
@Wisdominsilence I guess the community speak for themselves....
There is no shame in admit you're wrong.
I think you're jumping the gun a little. Don't forget Devil May Cry 4, and games like God of War. What about Metal Gear Solid Revengeance. I think you're being a little close-minded here. Still I'm a little disappointed in this game because they made us wait and this is what we get after all the delays.