Monday, 29 April 2013

Anarchy Reigns: Breakup Bitterness

Anarchy Reigns

There's been a lot of talk recently of homogenised game content and the lack of variety in modern videogames. From what I recall this topic of discussion was first fully opened up by Resident Evil 6, a game that developer Capcom was sure would cater to all types of gamers and sell in the millions. If you follow game industry news then you're probably aware that Resident Evil 6 wasn't well received critically and, despite indeed selling in the millions, Capcom considered the game a disappointing failure.

There's been similar arguments raised after the release of games such as Dead Space 3 and Mass Effect 3 that both include multiplayer that nobody asked for. I'm not personally against developers making games and game content that doesn't precisely cater to consumer demand, as in many cases developers have become successful with games that no one knew they wanted until they played them. But tacking multiplayer onto a game series that is known and loved for its single player gameplay simply because "all games must have multiplayer" is irresponsible and just plain silly.

But it works both ways, which brings me onto Anarchy Reigns, a game I've been working my way through over the last week. And no, I haven't been playing online. I've been exclusively playing the game's single player content and, if I'm to be honest, I'm not quite sure why it's there at all.

Anarchy Reigns is a game we were looking forward to over at Sega Addicts. Being the final title Platinum Games were developing for Sega, it acted as our final farewell to the videogame industry relationship that brought us Bayonetta. Even though Sega, for reasons still unknown to this day, made me wait an additional six months for a title Platinum Games claimed was already fully localised, I still eagerly anticipated its release.

The game came out at a severely reduced price and nobody bought it, with Platinum Games instead finding success with Konami published Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and very probable future success with Nintendo and Bayonetta 2. So what happened?

Platinum Games
Image source: Edge Online

Personally I believe it was a combination of Sega delaying Anarchy Reigns for no reason, releasing it after the Christmas period when all the hype surrounding the game had died down, and then not promoting it when it was finally released. Platinum Games also seemed to have little to no interest in Anarchy Reigns this late in the game, and at this point openly criticised Sega for their marketing efforts for BayonettaInfinite Space and more.

Even so, I remained optimistic as I picked the game up from the doormat and stuck it into the Xbox 360. But as the silent, scrolling text that acts as the game's intro clumsily explained the premise of Anarchy Reigns' world, my optimism quickly turned to concern.

Find out what I thought of the game in "Anarchy Reigns: Uninvited Single Player", coming soon to MegaWestgarth.


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