Anarchy Reigns Only Worthwhile Original IP Of Eurogamer Expo 2011
This year’s Eurogamer Expo, Great Britain’s answer to E3, had a pitiful showing of original IP’s, but Platinum Games’ Anarchy Reigns reigns supreme.
Having spent the good part last week in a hostel in central London with an internet connection that makes dial up look like the next big thing, all the while eagerly awaiting the start of my study abroad program in several days, I found Eurogamer Expo 2011 a source of comfort, or rather, I would have, if the entire convention wasn’t satured to the brim with three-quels, or third installments in a franchise. Those include, but are not limited to: Mass Effect 3, Assassin’s Creed 3, Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Uncharted 3 among others.
That doesn’t include the extensive list of spin-offs and other franchise titles that permeated the pre-play market of Eurogamer Expo. While there were several other original IP’s present at the convention, only one stood out to me, so much so that I found myself hovering around the booth for hours, eager to take a variety of flamboyant moves to frution in the beat ‘em up Anarchy Reigns, even if only one stage was available for play.
To give a little background on the development behind Anarchy Reigns, the game is currently in development by Platinum Studios, the successor studio to Capcom’s Clover Studio, which is responsible for the creations of the highly innovative but marginally profitable titles such as Okami and Viewtiful Joe. In 2007, Capcom, ever the reputable company, decided they had enough of this, and dissolved Clover Studio, and the key members of Clover went on to form Platinum Studios, and have been working with SEGA as a publisher ever since, creating titles such as Vanquish, Bayonetta and MadWorld.
Now that that history lesson is over, its safe to say that Anarchy Reigns is very much cut from the same cloth as the previous developed titles, being that its wacky and innovative while taking the best parts of the beat ‘em up genre and melding it into one cohesive whole.
The game itself is very simple. You play as a brawler, who is controlled simply with a light and heavy attack, a throw command, a jump, a block and a ‘killer’ weapon, which is unique to each character. These range from a giant gravity powered hammer to an arm-embedded chainsaw, to gauntlet powered Tesla coils but only have limited use. Additionally, items are occasionally scattered throughout the field and range from death raining satellite lasers, to protective bubble shields, to ranged weaponry.
The only mode available in the Eurogamer version of the game was a four player battle royal deathmatch, the objective of which is self explanatory. Interestingly enough, the end result is not tallied by total kills, or a total kill to death ratio, but rather by a total score, which is augmented by end game bonuses, such as most items used, and most damage inflicted. A SEGA rep informed me this was to prevent the supremacy of kill stealing, as is the case in many online titles, and I found that it balanced the experience highly.
While the game industry, with its incessant sequels = money mentality has dissillusioned me for a while now, Anarchy Reigns is one title that seems to break the mold in a very positive way. Look out for a quarter one 2012 release for this online beat ‘em up, that will also feature a 20 hour single player campaign.
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