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Anarchy Reigns: A Touch Of Bayonetta, Dash Of Power Stone, And A Drop Of…?


Anarchy Reigns is a strange creature. Not quite a traditional action game, but more complex than your average brawler, with a heavy focus on arena combat. It’s not a sequel to MadWorld, either. I was informed that while the game uses characters from Platinum’s Wii title, Anarchy Reigns, takes place in an entirely different universe.


With that in mind, when I started the demo, I chose the non-MadWorld-related electric-gauntleted Nikolai, and was dropped onto an aircraft carrier with three other players. It was deathmatch time.


As is action game tradition, light attacks were mapped to square, heavy attacks to triangle, and grabs to circle. X could be used to jump or, if the character was blocking with R1 or R2, dodge roll. Before I had time to internalize these controls, Nikolai was picked up, bent over Big Bull’s shoulder, and delivered face-first into the floor. Rolling away, I targeted Big Bull with L1, waiting for his approach. My opponent rushed me, giving me the opportunity to roll behind him and perform a basic combo that ended in piledriver. Before I could continue my focused assault, an oil drum hit the back of my head and exploded, sending me flying.


After hopping back up (Nikolai is very resistant!), I realized that there were a number of oil drums and other throwable objects littering the map. However, I didn’t have time to experiment with tossing things around, I needed to get some revenge. I activated Nikolai’s special Tesla gloves with L2 and ran into the chaos of the battle, delivering electric punches to the fool who tossed the barrel at me and the unfortunate souls who were standing near him. At the end of my assault, both the Big Bull I was fighting earlier and the Casshern-esque Leo (if only he didn’t try to hit me with a barrel) died in an explosion of blood, oil, and electricity. However, my electrical abilities were drained afterward, empty gauge in the corner blinking angrily at me.


A lack of electricity didn’t stop Nikolai! I double-tapped the left analog stick towards the player using Zero, blindsiding him with a quick, tackle-like grab. It was about this point that a Sega rep tapped me on the shoulder and pointed out that my "Rampage" gauge (a little fire icon in the bottom left corner of the screen, which was accompanied by a glowing aura around my character) had filled up, and that I could activate Rampage mode be pressing L3 and R3.


I took his advice, and the aura around Nikolai became much more pronounced. I started a combo on Zero only to have it shift into a flurry of punches that would make Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star proud. Needless to say, after a ludicrously long punch combo, Zero was obliterated. Unfortunately for me, by this point my health was low and my rampage had drawn attention to myself.


Big Bull approached me and drew his hammer. Despite my attempts to roll away, I couldn’t escape his spinning hammer and was killed.


The rest of the fight continued in much the same way, tons of grabs (which can be countered fighting game-style by hitting your grab button at approximately the same time as your attacker), a couple of tossed barrels, a rampage or two, and a lot of weapon-based kills. At the end of the match, bonus points were doled out to the players who used the most weapons, had the most kills, performed the longest combo, had the longest kill streak, or otherwise pleased the game. Having the most points when the five minute time ran out wasn’t necessarily a guarantee of victory, as these bonus points served to shift the scoreboard around quite a bit.


Anarchy Reigns felt like a touch of Bayonetta, a dash of Power Stone, and a drop of Fist of the North Star. Sega will release it in early 2012.