Platinum Games are great. Platinum are the reason that the argument that Japanese games “suck” is NULL AND VOID.
This is their newest game. It’s a brawler with FPS-style multiplayer modes, and unless you import it, you won’t be seeing it for nearly 9 months…
The Story: Max Caxton used to be a top field agent for the Bureau of Public Safety, but after a mission went a little tits-up, Max went a little mental, took to drink and drugs, allegedly murdered his wife, and did a runner.
You find yourselves on the streets of Altambra, where you can either choose to play as Madworld’s Jack Cayman – a “Chaser”, hired by Max’s daughter to find him, or as Leonhardt Victorion – a BPS agent and Max’s protégé, and part of a 3-man squad tasked to bring him to justice.
The Story is typical Platinum faire, it’s corny, it’s batshit mental sometimes, but you can’t say it isn’t enjoyable – packed full of memorable characters (many returning from Madworld), all done with that tongue-in-cheekness that never takes itself quite seriously.
Gameplay is pretty simple, like a refined Madworld on a proper controller. A button each for light attacks, strong attacks, throw, jump and block. Holding a trigger button down will activate your killer weapon, such as Jack’s chainsaw arm, which can be used for a few attacks before the bar is diminished and needs charging again. After a certain amount of punching/getting punched, you can activate a “berserk mode” which makes you pretty much untouchable for a short while.
It’s no Bayonetta in complexity, combos are short, and are more about button timing than stringing.
Stage progression is similar to Madworld, too. Beat up goons, amass points, and at certain point values you will lock one of 2 mission types: “Free” missions, which can be replayed endlessly for more points, or story missions, which progress the campaign. There’s 3 of each on every stage, and there are 4 stages.
“That isn’t very much”, I hear you say. You’re right, no it isn’t… But the campaign mode of Anarchy Reigns isn’t that important in the grand scale of things.
It’s a tutorial on how to play the game. What you can expect from the stages (which will spawn giant mutants, jackknifing trucks, earthquakes, and mass carpet bombings when you least expect it), unlocking other characters (who appear in campaign mode as bosses)
The campaign mode is just a taster – This game is meant to be played online, with other people.
And fuck me, if there aren’t a whole lot of different modes to play online. 16 man battle royals, deathmatchs, 1 on 1 cage matches, team games, tag games, capture the flag, deathball, the ubiquitous survival/horde mode… All that stuff that’s in “Dudebro” games but it usually ruined by idiots? It’s in this game.
I wouldn’t be too afraid to play this game online though. At the moment, it’s a small community of Japanese and importers playing, and when it finally comes out in the west, do you really think a bunch of shooter-playing douchenozzles will be picking this up? Nah.
The main problem at the moment is the fact you’ll might be fighting a fair bit of lag while playing online until more people in the west start playing.
There are a few down points with the game: The graphics lack the clarity of previous Platinum titles, probably to compensate for the multiplayer, the pre-rendered cutscenes have a Vaseline-smeared blurriness to them, and the in-engine boss conversations are pretty terrible, with the character models not lip-syncing at all to what they say.
Anarchy Reigns is probably the WORST game Platinum have made, yet is STILL far better than most the utter dredge we have to put up with as gamers.
I spent roughly 80 QUID to import this game via courier, and I still think it was money well spent. Note to Sega: Having to wait 9 months for a western release is unacceptable, and with the release of so many so-called “AAA” titles at the same time as it’s scheduled release, you’ve doomed it to be buried.
If you can afford it, get a copy now. Let’s face it… What other games are worth buying in the next few months?