Anarchy Reigns is the latest title by Japanese developer Platinum Games (Vanquish, Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance). I’m not sure why it looks like a slightly enhanced release for the original Xbox system and has a few severe gameplay and balance issues despite coming out in Japan a year ago, but I’m not here to judge. Instead, I’m here to tell you how to abuse the mechanics to at least have a fighting chance against all the level 50 Japanese players.

About throws

Throws in Anarchy Reigns are short, spectacular animations like in any modern fighting game. In addition to dealing damage and having crazy range, though, throws have two important effects:

  1. They take time, which is almost always a precious commodity regardless of the multiplayer mode that you’re playing. Enemies and teammates alike become temporarily unable to do anything useful while they’re going through a throw animation, but it’s a good way to run down the clock or take a particularly troublesome foe out of the game for a few vital seconds.
  2. They make you invincible. During a throw, you become invulnerable against any attacks or environmental hazards. If an enemy is about to surround or corner you and you’re running low on health, you can grab your adversary to bide your time and hope that a comrade comes to your rescue. Or if a truck is about to hit you or the extremely annoying bombing runs are about to crater you in the desert city (Bari Shur), grab an enemy and the danger will pass right through you.

You can avoid these moves by pressing the Throw button at the same time as your attacker, but even people who know this won’t always have the reflexes needed in the heat of battle. Larger characters like Big Bull and Garuda can even launch two enemies at a time!


Unlocking characters

Defeating fighters in the campaign will unlock them. It doesn’t matter if you choose White Side (Leo’s story) or Black Side (Jack’s story) first; you’ll end up playing both narratives automatically. When you’re all done (about six hours on Normal difficulty), you’ll have everyone on the roster.

Before jumping into multiplayer, you should play games against the A.I. in Training Mode to experiment and find which character(s) you like best.

Unlocking abilities

All characters share a pool of 25 abilities in multiplayer. To unlock them all, you’ll need to rank up in the online mode and kill 100 enemies without dying in each campaign stage (both White and Black sides). If you’re planning on spending a lot of time in multiplayer, it’s definitely worth the effort to grab all of the abilities since they allow you to customize your characters and often offset some of their weaknesses (such as Big Bull’s slow speed).

Killing 100 enemies in each campaign stage is fairly straightforward and takes less than five minutes, but once you’ve reached certain kill-count milestones, all the grunts will run away and harder foes, vehicles, or Mutants will show up. But environmental hazards are definitely your biggest worry as some of them can one-shot you or juggle you to death, resetting your kill count. The game’s shitty camera will definitely not do you any favors in your time of need, either.


Killing Mutants easily

Mutants, Super Mutants, and Berserker Mutants are the most annoying enemies in the game. They’re difficult to stagger and will attack you in the middle of your combos (and you can’t dodge while performing an attack animation). However, if you happen to have a Sniper Rifle with you, a single headshot will do in most non-boss enemies, including Mutants. Even if you miss and hit the body instead, you’ll still deal massive damage from a safe distance.

While you can’t always find a Sniper Rifle when you need it, if you do make sure to hold on to it for Mutant missions and boss fights instead of wasting it on nameless thugs.

Got tips of your own?

Feel free to share your own tips, tricks, and character strategies in the comments!