What Is inFamous Anarchy?

You may not think it but over the past few years Facebook, the world’s most popular social network, has grown into an independent gaming platform. Though games such as Farmville, Mafia Wars and Yoville are most commonly affiliated with social gaming (they are the forerunners after all) Facebook’s library has continued to diversify, recently standing as a platform for expansion of existing video game franchises. The latest app to follow this trend is inFamous Anarchy, developed by Mob Science, the same team behind other Facebook favourites, including Magic Mall, Snowball Fight, and Coffee Bar.

[boxout]Anarchy picks up at the beginning of inFamous 2. Cole has taken a hammering from The Beast, and flees to New Marais in hopes of finding stronger powers, his unbreakable foe hot on his tail. In the wreckage of Empire City you awake, a bystander now blessed with the same electrifying signature powers as McGrath himself. However, instead of hunting down The Beast, you vow to rebuild the broken city back to its former glory.

Jumping straight into inFamous Anarchy is quite daunting at first. There are no real tutorials and, unless you fancy reading the lengthy instruction manual, the only way you will get to grips with the game is by first hand experience. Each player is given a small section of Empire City, along with a power plant, “Amp” farm, and several properties. Aside from your own quadrant, you are able to visit other districts, including Zeke’s workshop and numerous zones in which you will be completing missions. Though your primary objective is to rebuild the city, you’re going to have to level up in order to unlock the very best properties and equipment to maximise your potential.

[drop]Jobs will likely be your main source of XP. Upon entering a district, a small bar will appear at the bottom of the screen, monitoring how close you are to “mastering” that particular zone. A portion of the gauge fills every time a “Job” is completed. Hovering over a building, enemy, or other object of importance will bring up a small info-box detailing how much Energy and how many Amps are needed to complete the task. Energy basically dictates how much stamina the player has, and once at zero you will either have to wait for it to replenish naturally (1 unit of Energy per 5 minutes,) buy units with Facebook Credits or employ workers at your power plant. Amps work in a similar fashion, though unlike Energy, they can be farmed and harvested, inventive players being able to maintain a constant stockpile. If you have sufficient materials all you have to do is click on the Job, wait for an on-screen loading bar (usually a couple of seconds) and you will then be rewarded with XP, cash, and maybe even the odd item here and there.

Once the completion meter reaches its limit a boss character will appear, creating a new Job which will require 3 units of Energy as well as 3 “Ice”. This material is hard to come across as it is only dropped when fighting in-game creatures such as swamp and fog monsters.

The left-hand side of the screen plays host to Anarchy’s quest log. You will always have four missions to attend, though these will be pre-selected and can’t be abandoned, forcing you to adapt to each challenge. On the one hand, it does mean that you will learn the ins and outs of Anarchy’s numerous mechanics, but on the other some quests may require the presence of Neighbours; your Facebook friends who also play inFamous Anarchy.

Not only can you sync with your Neighbours to increase your “faction” count, but friends can also be employed in your power plant, producing free Energy. It’s a great way to interact with your buddies, though if you have no one to neighbour with you will find yourself at a disadvantage. Firstly, some of the in-game quests are centred around friend integration and, even if they can’t be accomplished, will forever clog up your quest log taunting you. Secondly, not having a faction to back you up has a significant impact on your PvP performance.

[drop2]At any time during play, you can click on the “fight” icon to bring up a menu, composed of five or so characters of a similar level. Selecting one of these candidates will beam your character directly into their district, allowing you to battle other players just as you would NPCs. There are three statistics which are compared between combatants, the player with favourable attributes likely to be the one who wins, though luck also plays a part. Aside from your base strength (one of the three skills which can be buffed as players level up), your current equipment and faction size are also counted. One final aspect of PvP is the karma system. Attacking players who are evil will produce good karma and vice versa, though unlike the console titles there is only one karma level for either moral alignment, only adding cosmetic flair and not a lot else.

Becoming a property tycoon in Empire City will take both patience and tactics. To begin with, you will have a number of apartments scattered around your district which, like all buildings, can be powered with amps. After a pre-set time (it differs from property to property) you will be able to claim rent, giving you cash to spend on more profitable architecture. This element of the game may be Farmville-ish, but the inFamous aesthetic makes it tolerable for gaming fans, and it can still prove addicting.

I’ve only put a few hours into inFamous Anarchy so far, dropping in daily to harvest my amp plantations and collect rent as well as tackle the odd mission every once in a while, and so far I’m enjoying it. There’s plenty of variety and incentives to expand your district, including supposed in-game unlockables for inFamous 2. However, Anarchy is undeniably held back by a few niggling issues, namely the stagnant quest system, and unfair advantages having neighbours brings to the table. If these shackles were loosened, there would be plenty more freedom to play the game as the player sees fit, which is vital beings the game is developed for short bursts of play.

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17 Comments

  1. Something about the title already made me think this was a Facebook game. Lets see if its as good as the Assassins Creed one…

  2. I thought Cole was gonna appear in Anarchy Reigns (PS3 Version, obviously).

  3. In-game content? Have these been announced anywhere at all?

    • It’s the pre-order stuff from the various editions, etc…. Skins, golden amp and others.

      • I think Sly Cooper’s cane is another unlockable, though Sucker Punch hasn’t made it very clear how they can be unlocked :/

      • I was under the impression that he cane (as well as a couple of other variants of the amp) were going to be offered as paid for DLC?

      • They will be, but you can “unlock” codes for them through this game, or so it’s claimed in the promotional material.

  4. Unlocking the DLC for PS3 is still a WIP it seems, been with it for a week or two now, just before it went live to the masses, and despite being level forty I’ve yet to see any codes. All attempts to get any information on this have been met with a wall of silence too, which is frustrating.

  5. Ugh,….. I can’t stand facebook

    • See, I quite like facebook – As a communication medium. It’s a good way to stay in touch with some of my friends.

      I can’t even conceive using it as a gaming platform!

  6. Been playing it for weeks (i guess) and is level 20. It’s decent, but there it to much farmville clone over it and not a “real game” like Dragon Age Legends managed to be sometimes.

  7. so is it free or do you have to buy those credit things to play it? I play the free game every now and again but i draw the line at paying for play on FB

    • You don’t have to use FB coins. Two of the quests, is impossible to do without FB coins or a lot (8 or 9) of FB friends who play Anarchy, but you can ignore the quests.

  8. Will never use Facebook…..ever….

  9. Well I got the special edition which was suposed to come with the gold amp, classic cole and electrocution grenade. But when I put in the code it came up with all the unlocks so I got reaper, samurai sword, sly cane and the caveman club as well :D.

  10. seems like a good game, at level 5 at the moment though, could get repetitive

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