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Anarchy Reigns Review

Paul Goodman | 16 Jan 2013 22:10
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Here's the set up for Anarchy Reigns: Years after a world war has turned the planet into a mutant-infested dystopian wasteland filled with monsters, killer robots, and cybernetic ninjas, Anarchy's two heroes - Leo, a member of the elite Bureau of Public Safety task force, and Jack Cayman, a hulking bounty hunter whom we last saw carving up foes with a fancy chainsaw arm in the Wii title MadWorld - are hunting for a man named Maximillian, a rogue cyborg charged with murdering several people and the one responsible for the death of Jack's daughter.

If that all sounds outlandish to you, well, you're absolutely right - Anarchy Reigns is a ridiculous and over the top game, with a wide cast of distinct characters that range from the melodramatic to the just plain weird. Asides from some flaws that hamper its gameplay, it's a fun brawler that probably wouldn't be as appealing if it wasn't so charmingly odd.

The single player campaign is broken up into two halves, both of which have several stages that occasionally cross over at various plot points. Each stage is a mini-open world arena, where you can run around and take on various missions while occasionally smashing your way through some low-level enemies. You're rewarded points based on criteria like how many enemies you killed within a mission's time limit or how much damage you did to an opponent, which will then unlock the next mission in the stage once you've accumulated a certain amount. This means if you do a good job of fighting your way through say, a one-on-one duel with one of Anarchy's unique cast, you can easily unlock all the missions in a stage one after the other, but if you do poorly you'll have to grind through some of the "optional missions" in order to rack up enough points to move the plot along. It's not too much of a hassle, but it feels a little weird that Anarchy didn't go for something more structured.

In combat, you'll have access to a mix of basic attacks and throws along with heavier attacks, a special rampage mode that'll charge up as you battle and the occasional bonus item like a shield or four barreled rocket launcher. Getting the hang of combat is surprisingly easy, and Anarchy does a good job of teaching you some of the fancier attack moves, but it can take a while to learn how to defend against certain types of attacks and pull off some of the more challenging combos, which can be very impressive to see. If you're a button masher like me, you'll be able to get by in single player, but for multiplayer you'll definitely want to spend some time brushing up on your fighting skills.

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