My interest immediately piqued in this title when I learned it was a spirtual successor to Wii's MadWorld. It sees the return of Jack Cayman, and he's right back to doing what he does best: pulverizing people to a bloody pulp. I'm very early in, but so far, I'm already wishing it was more creative with the carnage. MadWorld had a brilliant point-based combat system to it that involved you doing many different things to your enemies, such as sticking tires on them and picking up and throwing them on a barbeque pit. In this game, it's just sorta... punch everything until it explodes.
Although I do like the graphics in this game, it's far from on par with similiar PS3 titles. The game's most attractive feature is its price, as it launched at 29.99, and now I can easily see why. I love color, but then again, what made MadWorld stand out so well was the fact that it was in black and white, while the blood remained red. It was an awesome artistic direction, and the game's lost a little bit of spirit going the full fleshed route.
I have this creeping suspcision that the game was designed as a multiplayer only brawler, and then a single player campaign was quickly wrapped around it. You start out in a hubworld beating up people to earn points until you unlock free missions which lets you earn even more points, and story missions which of course push the story forward. The first story mission I did was going up against another character. There was no battling up to that point, no platforming navigation, no puzzle solving elements; just a drop in the arena and have it. If that's what constitutes as "story", this single player's going to be a bore. Of course, every character you beat gets unlocked to use in multiplayer, which is why it's gotten me thinking this way.
The combat, although not as creative, is still good fun. Jack punches fast and ferious, and has ramming attacks and spinning attacks, and of course retains his two-bladed chainsaw. The game also puts limitations on how long you can block and evade. If you block more than three hits, your defense gets broken and you get stunned. Same thing with rolling around. This means the game forces you to mix offense and defense, which keeps the speed of combat up. Also, the overdrive mode that a lot of brawlers have is called Rampage in Anarchy Reigns and it actually lasts a good while. It sets Jack ablaze and lets him unleash machine-gun like punches while being impervious to damage. In the event that two players combat each other in this mode, a QTE battle ensues.
The weird thing about this game is that I don't think I've noticed any red blood. I've seen purple, and blue, and grey and whatnot, but there sure is enough swearing to keep the game rated M. It also has a great soundtrack so far, so good in fact that I want to see if I can obtain an OST. It's mostly rap up to this point, though, so rap fans need not apply. I'm hoping the game will start varying itself later on into its story mode so that I don't feel like I'm constantly doing the same thing over and over again. At least the game's longer than MadWorld's ridiculous 3 hours, but if the game never changes, then really, what's the point?