Over the past few years, SEGA and Platinum Games have worked together on some truly imaginative projects, like the uniquely-styled, ultra-violent brawler Madworld, and the jaw-dropping Bayonetta. Not only do the companies manage to release games that are presented with a style that is wholly their own, but with extremely strong gameplay to match. With the upcoming Anarchy Reigns, gamers will once again be able to take control of Madworld protagonist Jack Cayman in an over-the-top brawler.
In Anarchy Reigns, gamers will take to the online battlefield with a variety of distinct characters as they battle it out for supremacy. While this is what developer Platinum Games is showing off on the show floor, the developers were also on hand to give a look at the game’s single player campaign mode.
While the game’s online multiplayer component features a large cast of striking characters, the single player component will instead focus on two individual characters, Jack Cayman and Leo, known for their involvement in Madworld as its protagonist and antagonist, respectively. The story will be told from both of their points of view as their lives and actions intersect.
This could make for a very interesting dynamic, as gamers will receive a much more objective view of the game’s narrative provided the developers are able to create an engaging plot that gamers will want to become invested in. As of yet, the nature of the game’s plot remains a mystery for the most part.
Sega did provide insight into the actual flow of the game’s campaign, as well as the way it will be navigated though. In Anarchy Reigns, the campaign will be mission-based. To select a mission, the player will have to navigate around a closed environment, talking to people in order to pick up and initiate missions. Only a very small section of this environment was shown in the demo, though.
While it was only a small section of the mission hub map, there still remains the worry that the hub could detract from the experience of the game’s narrative. In some cases, a mission hub can greatly enhance the impact of certain story elements, but the part of the hub that was shown seemed to be very bland — simply a decaying urban neighborhood.
The use of this mission hub runs the very real risk of fragmenting the development and delivery of the narrative rather than enhancing it. If it does not manage to properly engage the gamer, even if the narrative is strong, the downtime that is spent in the hub could very well have been put towards doing more missions and advancing the plot. As a feature of the game that is still in development, there is a good chance that the hub will still undergo transformations before Anarchy Reigns sees release, which could enhance the experience.
In terms of the two characters, it has been promised that they will each present a very different gaming experience, having very different motivations, personalities, and physical traits. While Jack is the more burly of the two, making use of dual chainsaws, Leo is a thinner, weaker character whose attacks are much more quick and calculated.
This difference in gameplay styles and personalities will hopefully strengthen the game’s narrative where the layout of the game’s mission system seemed to fall short. Since the game is still in its fairly early stages, any number of changes could take place, drastically changing the features that do not manage to enhance the gaming experience.
With promised features like Action Triggered Events which can turn the tide of battle in seconds, Anarchy Reigns definitely looks to have a lot of potential — if only it can generate a strong and engaging narrative experience that will keep gamers playing through the campaign.
Do you think that the game will still be able to provide a strong single player component with so much focus on the game’s online multiplayer? What character are you most excited to play as?
As per the recent rumor, Anarchy Reigns is due to smash its way onto shelves in January of 2012 for the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Stay tuned to Game Rant for more news and updates as E3 2011 continues through the week.