Besides the cutting of all the chaff, the premise stays the same in the game’s multiplayer mode. You’re still pummeling the crap out of major characters (only this time they’re human opponents) and working with rather clunky controls to rack up a high score. There are a few extra rules in place that tries to keep things balanced.
Another such balancing failsafe involved sudden 1v1 cage matches between two players that clash with each other in a spectacular way. While they’re duking it out, the rest of the match continues with the remaining players, meaning that you have to finish your rival as quickly as possible to avoid losing out on too many points.
Hanging back, reading your enemy’s moves and how their character animates on the battlefield is key to success, along with picking a character that suits your attack style (really, character choice does make all the difference). The unique environmental hazards that occur during play mean a lot more online than they ever did in single-player too, and range through missile attacks, poison gas, runaway trucks and a spotlight on the current match winner (offering everyone the chance to gang up on them).
Ultimately, Anarchy Reigns is a multiplayer diamond shard in a rough, dirty burly rock. It doesn’t have anywhere near the flair and elegance of Bayonetta or Vanquish, this much is true. While the single-player is something of a chore, there is a depth to the multiplayer that holds a glimmer of that classic Platinum Games genius. And with enough friends, you’re guaranteed a fair amount of fun.
+ Great multiplayer fun with friends
+ Large variety of competitive and co-operative modes
+ You can just about ignore the single-player campaign
- Turgid, dated, oddly-structured campaign mode
- Lacks the flair of previous Platinum titles
- Finding online matches can be difficult
Yes, the single-player's a wreck. However, because Anarchy Reigns is only 15 quid you can just pretend the campaign's not on the disc and still have a pretty good time, the overall result is...
SPOnG Score: 7/10
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