Beat me with bionic arms
A conservative sent me a nasty email, because I pointed out in a previous column that “DMC: Devil May Cry” attacks corporate culture and Fox News.
Hey, political people: I don’t create these video games. I review, you decide.
But here we go again: The new hack-and-brawl game “Anarchy Reigns” takes place on a future Earth where religion and pollution have deformed Earth and left it in a bloody pile of anarchy.
That is not an uncommon premise in games. Many video games adopted anti-corporate, anti-religious and pro-environment themes, oh, a zillion years ago, probably because they are created by artists and workers who hold those values (just a guess).
Anyway, here’s your review. Let’s start with the online multiplayer, since it’s the best part. In it, you choose to portray one of a cadre of fighter characters.
Then you brawl in matches of up to 16 real-life gamers, in big and small arenas. You punch and kick, and unleash special powers, such as chainsawing each other. This brawling online multiplayer is a good idea. It’s basically a fighting game but with bigger arenas and lots of rival gamers.
The execution is good. It’s fluid, it makes sense and it’s fairly fun. Like all brawling games, the key to winning is playing the game over and over, until you master the art of beating up others by mashing buttons. And like all online multiplayers, you start out at as an undistinguished “Level 1” player with few special moves. That means you immediately get killed by a bunch of super-magical “Level 50” gamers for many hours until you earn character upgrades.
I hate that about online multiplayers.
As for the offline solo campaign of “Anarchy Reigns,” you portray a few gigantic warriors in a future Earth where body parts are made of bionics — a scientific solution to environmental mutations caused by climate change and religious strife. But I didn’t enjoy this solo campaign, because it took me forever to unlock missions.
When the game started, my character was dropped onto a city street. Then all these bad guys came running at me with Molotov cocktails and stuff. So I killed them. Then dozens more bad guys (exactly the same guys as before) came at me again. So I killed them again.
This went on for an hour — me standing in a street, redundantly killing the same villains — before I earned some score to finally unlock my first mission: to beat up a bull-man (easy-peasy). Then the game put me back on that city street, demanding I kill scores more dumb Molotov-type villains before the game would open up another mission.
Come on, buddy. That’s dull.
So here’s my bottom line: If you’re hungry for a decent and cheap ($30) online multiplaying brawler, “Anarchy Reigns” may entertain you. If you’re a sensitive conservative who calls “phooey” on climate change, then here is another game to upset you.
Just understand I didn’t design it.
“Anarchy Reigns” by Sega retails for $30 for PS3 and Xbox 360 — Plays fun online, but the offline solo campaign feels rote and repetitive. Looks mediocre. Moderately challenging. Rated “M” for blood, gore, intense violence, partial nudity, sexual themes and strong language. Two and one-half out of four stars.
Doug Elfman is an award-winning entertainment columnist who lives in Las Vegas. He blogs at http://www.lvrj.com/columnists/ Doug_Elfman.html. Twitter at @VegasAnonymous.
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