Developer: Platinum Games
Author's note: We originally reviewed an import copy of Anarchy Reigns/Max Anarchy back in August 2012. However, now that Anarchy Reigns is finally on course to release in Europe this week, here's our judgement without the import-specific observations. - Jonathan
Half-measures mean nothing to Platinum Games. As we've previously discussed in our weekly love-fest column, the veteran studio approaches development with the sole purpose of defining their target genre, to make it their own, to deliver an experience that pushes the boundaries of what it can offer. Anarchy Reigns is another case in point: a multiplayer brawler that allows sixteen simultaneous players to fight to the death as the entire world goes to hell, fighters carpet bomb the stages, tectonic plates shift beneath their feet and mutants prowl the city streets. A three dimensional beat 'em up with a multiplayer focus, it's an odd and weighty beast, playing out much like a satisfying mix of Power Stone, God Hand and Prototype.
But Anarchy Reigns is infinitely more than just another multiplayer brawler. Instead of copying their own back catalogue and their competitors, Platinum instead decided to lavish the genre with a staggering amount of depth, enormous environments and their own trademark brand of unpredictable insanity, elevating it into a truly hardcore game that appeals directly to skilled players - and competes directly with the very best that the online multiplayer console scene has to offer. Combined with a hefty singleplayer component, sixteen nuanced characters and a personality best described as 'certifiable,' Anarchy Reigns is a very special game indeed.
In fact, it could well be one of the most enjoyable and fully-featured multiplayer games of this generation... regardless of genre and platform.