Do you like twin-stick shooters of the top-down variety? Where the enemies endlessly respawn, the missions are repetitive, and with a lack of any standout features? Well, even if you fall into that category, State of Anarchy: Master of Mayhem will find a way to underwhelm you.

The game is playable by definition, but not much keeps it afloat. It uses a minimalistic art style that works well, but the shooting mechanics are basic and not satisfying. You (very) slowly move around a standard map, taking out bank “bosses” along the way. Hopping in a car to get to each mission speeds things up, where you can shoot while driving to help keep the game mildly entertaining. Every few levels you’ll jump to an alien world, then blow up a couple things in space, and finally fight a boss. Cut and paste this about five times, and you’ve finished the game.

Positives

+ The music is actually really solid and seems to be what the entire budget was spent on. Somehow this game lasts about 4 hours, but the 45-minute soundtrack didn’t get old. You can listen to it here if you’d like.

+ The art style has a lot of character.

Negatives

The game may have been a bit more tolerable if the moving speed of the main character didn’t start at a snail’s pace To go with that, leveling up is tedious and doesn’t seem to make much of a difference.

I hope you really enjoy playing identical levels that get slightly harder each round, because there isn’t much variety.

 Every couple levels forces a weapon swap that makes progressing an annoyance when you’re stuck with a bad one.

Conclusion

As someone who does not know how to make a game, State of Anarchy: Master of Mayhem made me feel hopeful. It made me believe that with a decent “How To” manual, and a couple of weeks, I could make something equally as mediocre. It is as generic as anything you’ve played in the twin-stick shooter genre. A decent, minimalistic approach to art style and a good soundtrack can’t save State of Anarchy: Master of Mayhem from feeling like it doesn’t matter if it exists or not.

Score – 4/10

 

Jake’s Second Opinion

Ironically, a game in which the studio is referenced in the title.

From top to bottom, Shawn’s review is pretty much spot on. State of Anarchy: Master of Mayhem holds no punches when it comes to sub-par content. The soundtrack is worth listening to, but the gameplay is so mediocre that the music can hardly be enjoyed. The art style isn’t terrible, and in its own way, it’s… alright. One of the more frustrating things I found in my time playing was the pace of the game. You move at a speed where someone could catch up to you crawling on their hands and knees. As the game goes on, you spend upgrade points to increase your speed and other stats at an almost unnoticeable amount. Truly some great stuff. The map is bland, enemies are copy/pasted into each level with slightly varying difficulty, and what the game calls “bosses” are uninspired and boring. Overall, State of Anarchy is a simple game that has almost nothing going for it.

*Reviewer spent 5-6 hours completing the game and grinding out the last couple of achievements.

*Achievements/Trophies - There's 26 in total (27 for platinum on PS4), and I had about 20 just by playing through the game. The last few require a couple hours of XP grinding in one of the later levels. Roughly a 6-7 hour completion.
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Written by Shawn Ryan

I've been gaming for almost 30 years, with a vast array of knowledge (and Gamerscore) under my belt. I play everything, and tend to find the good even in bad games. There will never be a game better than The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

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