Anarchy Reigns Review

Paul Goodman | 16 Jan 2013 22:10
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Multiplayer gives you access to a several arenas and 11 modes to pick from, ranging from huge free-for-all battle royales and team deathmatches to a cooperative survival mode pitting you and two other players against waves and waves of increasingly tougher enemies. The fights themselves can be fast paced and brutally fun, although at times you might feel there's a balance issue with some of the characters when you find yourself on the end of a never-ending combo you just can't seem to break, or how it's far too easy for several opposing players to gang up on you all at once.

What can really make multiplayer matches entertaining are the various events that'll randomly pop in and change up the playing field. You'll be duking it out in a match only for a squad of cyborg ninjas to drop in and start attacking everyone while a gunrunner throws weapon boxes all over the place. The game is quite fond of calling in squadrons of fighter jets to carpet bomb the entire stage, or summoning a giant, two-story doombot called Cthlulhu - no, seriously - to start lasering everyone indiscriminately. After a while the spectacle can start to drop off once you see the same few events crop up again and again, but it does keep things interesting in what would otherwise be a straightforward fight between players.

Unfortunately, your biggest enemy throughout the whole game won't be a giant mutant or a player with a solid grasp on the combo system, but rather Anarchy's camera. Out of combat the third person perspective isn't much of a hassle, but once the fists start flying, things can get very confusing as the camera tries to stay behind you or locked on to your specific target. It's not too big of a deal when you're up against one or two opponents, but when you're taking on a large horde of enemy killseekers or find yourself caught in the middle of a multiplayer free for all, things can get particularly dizzying.

Plus, the system in place for connecting and setting up multiplayer games can be very hit or miss. I'd often have to give the "quick match" option a half dozen tries before it stopped booting me back to the menu and let me connect to an active lobby that wasn't already full. Connecting to matches using the "custom match" option fared much better, but you'll still have the same problem now and then of either timing out while trying to find a game or connecting to a lobby that already has the max number of players. The whole thing isn't horrifically broken and with patience you'll be able to find a game to play, but for a title that has multiplayer as a major feature, it's a little disheartening.

Bottom Line: Anarchy Reigns may not have an incredibly in-depth story and also has some nagging flaws that detract from its otherwise entertaining gameplay, but it's enjoyable enough to warrant a playthrough.

Recommendation: Fans of fast-paced brawlers will enjoy Anarchy Reigns, but if your skills with the genre don't go past mashing the attack buttons and hoping for the best, you may not enjoy the multiplayer very much.

This review is based on the PlayStation 3 version of the game.

What our review scores mean.

Game: Anarchy Reigns
Genre: Brawler
Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Sega
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
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