Slipping under the radar right at the start of the year is the budget title Anarchy Reigns. Developed by Platinum Studios, known for their hack and slash title Bayonetta, as well as the upcoming Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, this seems to be the start of a slew of titles in 2013 that Platinum hope to release and use to bring the spectacle fighter back into full view of the public.
Anarchy Reigns is a sort-of-sequel to Madworld, a title for the Wii from a few years back. They share a few characters, including one of the protagonists, and share a propensity for violence on a Tarantino-esque level. The best description for this sort of game is always “spectacle fighter,” with the term being used under the understanding that whatever violence takes place, realism must always be sacrificed if it means something can look cooler.
In small text at the end of the words on the back of the books stands a proud exclamation that the game does include a campaign mode, telling you right from the outset that this game is more multiplayer orientated. Nevertheless, the campaign is in fact playable with two characters, burly, violent Jack and suave Japanese style girly-man Leo. The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, where mutants run free, almost making it okay to chainsaw your way through as many goobags as possible. Missions are either secondary and can be challenged over and over again on the open world, or story based, and can only be performed once.
Combat takes the form of primary violence committed with the characters main weapon, usually a chainsaw, or otherwise with a secondary or picked up weapon. Players are encouraged to use everything as weapons. Multiplayer allows for several players to fight with a variety of colorful characters, and for the most part is very fun. The only criticism I have is the presence of quick-time events in matches, which should always be a no-no for multiplayer games against other humans.
On the whole, Anarchy Reigns doesn’t promise anything other than the chance to kill people in interesting ways, and it manages to accomplish that. In a way, it’s the most successful game of all time, having one item on its checklist and already completed. The fun doesn’t last forever, but it is quick thrilling while it does.