Modern Brawlers Could Run When Anarchy Ruled
The battle royale genre has reached a point where developers are trying something new or exciting with the formula, instead of throwing a bunch of people with itchy trigger fingers onto an island and watching what happens. I have grown to like the “brawler royalty” genre. It is more melee-focused than getting sniped by a bush camping 12-year-old who has consumed Gfuel and used their parent’s credit card for cosmetics.
We have already discussed how the wrestling-inspired brawler royale Rumbleverse may be a new competitor when it launches later in the year. Last year’s Naraka, Bladepoint is finally available on consoles via Xbox One and Xbox Series X & S. Although Naraka is a fun samurai-flavored brawler royale, the console port could use some optimization. Although the menus and inventory screens can be confusing, the action is still great.
It’s lovely to see multiplayer 3D brawlers succeed. For a long time, it felt like all attempts to follow that path had failed. Bleeding Edge is the best example. Ninja Theory developed Bleeding Edge. It was a hero shooter version of the multiplayer brawler genre. However, despite its clever ideas and tight mechanics, it received very little interest post-launch. It died sooner than Stadia.
I am reminded of how far ahead PlatinumGames was when they launched Anarchy Reigns 2012 in Japan. The game would launch in America in 2013. Many innovative ideas and mechanics that make Anarchy Reigns seem like a breath-of-fresh air are still present in the game. However, Platinum and SEGA’s partnership isn’t as well-respected as other PlatinumGames. Although it has a higher reputation than Babylon’s Fall, that’s not a bad thing.
Anarchy reigns, a sequel to Wii slasher MadWorld, was primarily an online-focused brawler with an added campaign. While the single-player version of the game was an excellent introduction to its gameplay, Anarchy Reigns came alive when it offered online modes that could have up to 16 players competing simultaneously. Battle Royale was even available. While it did not feature a shrinking circle, it featured randomized events that encouraged players congregating in specific areas to get involved.
Like many other 3D brawlers, Anarchy Reigns had simple controls that most players could master. The trick is to know where and when you should use them. You would be destroyed if you tried to smash buttons against a skilled opponent, a core principle that has been carried over to the new 3D brawlers. You’ll be able to get bodied faster than Titus O’Neil if you spam dropkicks only in Rumbleverse. The same is true in Anarchy Reigns.
Multiplayer brawlers thrive on the chaos that only comes from a group of competing fighters and seeing what happens. You may be interrupted or saved by someone else, which gives you the chance to escape. This is part of modern brawlers, and Anarchy reigns were full of these moments.
Anarchy Reigns was more than just a deathmatch and battle royale. It also offered modes such as Team Battle (one team must defend their VIP), Capture The Flag, and Death Ball. This is a mix of sports and brawling. Although they were not as popular as 16 players wrestled, it was still a great game to experiment with different gameplay types. This is rarely seen in platform fighters such as Brawlhalla’s limited-time modes or Gang Beasts’ football-esque style mode. GB’s football, like Deathball, isn’t as well-known, but it’s still a valuable addition.
Although Anarchy Reigns cannot be considered solely responsible for games like Naraka Bladepoint or Rumbleverse’s success, since they followed the Fortnite juggernaut and other battle royale games of its kind, it is interesting to see how the current crop of brawlers inherited the DNA of one of Platinum’s most underrated hits. It would be incredible to see Anarchy Reigns revisited if this new wave of brawlers finds success.