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Platinum's Atsushi Inaba Details Max Anarchy

Developer of Bayonetta and Vanquish challenging what they believe to be an all new genre.

Platinum Games has established a name for itself through such critically acclaimed titles as Bayonetta (shown here) and Vanquish.

As reported earlier today, Famitsu has a first look this week at Max Anarchy, a new PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 online action combat game from Bayonetta and Vanquish developer Platinum Games. Producer Atsushi Inaba shared some commentary on the game in an interview with the magazine.

Max Anarchy represents Platinum Games' attempts at trying out online combat. This will be the developer's first online combat game.

On top of that, Inaba feels the game's genre is something that doesn't actually exist yet: "Massively Multiplayer Melee Fighting Action." It should be noted here that I've translated the genre's name to include "Massively," but there's no indication in the article about a specific player count, so it's possible that the term may not be appropriate. Inaba did say that the game will have a "large number" of people combating at once, though, and it fits in with Inaba's comments about possible synchronization issues (see below).

The magazine has just one gameplay screenshot. This shows a character raising a foe up with a chain saw as another foe, this one hooded and wearing a hockey mask, approaches with what looks like a torch as a weapon.

Max Anarchy started development in a trial and error phase two yeas ago, Inaba explained. The title we'll be getting has a number of differences from that early version, though.

Asked to describe the game, Inaba replied "Fighting Game." The game will show characters who've had their abilities strengthened fighting it out all at once in a situation where, similar to a group fight, you may end up getting pounded suddenly from behind.

The game will have at its base an offline story mode with a solid story. On top of this will be a variety of options that allow players to enjoy themselves online. These will include cooperative elements in addition to free-for-all combat.

Inaba didn't share details on that solid story, but he did reveal one of the game's playable characters. Jack, the main character in Platinum's violent Wii title MadWorld, will be playable. The Platinum staff had wanted to make use of the character again, explained Inaba, and he fit Max Anarchy perfectly, even though he has nothing to do with the game's story and world setting.

It was mentioned above that Inaba feels the game's genre of "Massively Multiplayer Melee Fighting Action" doesn't exist yet. The reason for this, Inaba explained, is because of synchronization issues when you have large numbers of online players. Although it's difficult work, it's one of the things they're challenging, he said.

Noting that it's difficult to get an image for something if the genre is new, Famitsu asked Inaba to compare it to something. He replied "fighting game" again, but added that even though it may look like Sega's long lost arcade multiplayer fighting series Spikeout, the gameplay is different.

Asked how he feels about the game in its current state of development, Inaba said that he has confidence in the gameplay areas. Balancing the game is tough, though, as due to it being a new genre they have to make it, to a certain extent, more easily accessible.

Platinum is aiming for a Fall 2011 worldwide simultaneous release for Max Anarchy. The game will be published by Sega.

If all this sounds a bit vague to you, there's a reason. This first look at Max Anarchy actually isn't one of Famitsu's usual fact-filled previews. The discussion of the game came as part of an interview looking back at Platinum Games since the studio's 2006 formation. This is presumably why the magazine doesn't have clear details on combat, options and characters. We'll hopefully get these details once the game gets a more formal announcement.

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