Over the years, Platinum Games has really hit its stride as a game developer, especially when its over-the-top actioner “Bayonetta” managed to redefine everything we’ve come to expect in an action game — including nudity stemming from a magic attack. And this year should be a huge one for them, between the forthcoming “Metal Gear Rising Revengeance” and the recently announced “Bayonetta 2.”
But we dare not forget about “Madworld.” A few years ago, this game really showed what mature-rated Wii gaming should be all about, whether it was gushing some oversized enemy in half with a chainsaw or slamming a sign post through someone’s head. Platinum Games has just revisited this world with an even more madcap sequel, “Anarchy Reigns,” which has finally arrived months after its Japanese iteration, “Max Anarchy,” hit store shelves.
Not much has changed in the world of Jack Cayman, a ruthless bounty hunter with a lot on his mind. This time, he’s taken pursuit of Max, for reasons that are disclosed through the game’s single player campaign. (If you prefer, you can also play as Leo, another guy who’s after Max for a different reason.) Over the course of the game, you’ll run through both Free and Main Missions, through markers that are pointed out on a map. Finishing these not only gets you that much closer to your target, but also unlocks weird new characters for multiplayer, whether it’s “Bayonetta” (yep, she’s in this) or some strange dude in a bull suit who can’t help but rely on “meaty” puns.
Some of the missions can be fun, requiring you to protect a Bardroid from being beaten by customers or shanghai-ing a helicopter and using its machine gun and missiles to lay waste to guys. But for the most part, you’re relying on your own toughness to get things done, between light and heavy attacks and juiced up super moves that will leave guys gushing, whether you’re using electric blades or that lovely chainsaw.
The gameplay can get repetitive, I admit, and without any way to really level yourself up to learn new moves, it isn’t long before you master everything that your character is about. Still, if anything keeps “Anarchy Reigns” going, it’s the absurdness of each given situation.
The single player portion of the game will take you a few hours to get through, from both sides, but aside from that, “Anarchy Reigns” also has a solid multiplayer mode, where you can take on people in all sorts of team variations, across Xbox Live or PlayStation Network.
“Anarchy Reigns” isn’t the best-looking game that Sega has produced, and I’m sad to see the black-and-white ‘Madworld“ appearance gone in favor of full color. However, there are moments of glee scattered throughout this world, whether you’re slamming a huge lizard guy into his grave with a finishing move or flying across a chasm with the help of turbo-powered thrusters. The camera can be a hassle, but overall this is an interesting world to run through, and each new set of levels has its own challenges, especially the higher platforms.
While ”Anarchy Reigns“ isn’t bound to be Platinum Games’ crown jewel of 2013, it’s a novel way to start off the gaming year, with breezy yet quirky entertainment that, while not suited for all tastes, should find some form of appreciative audience. If you loved ”Madworld,“ you’ll probably be right at home here.