The latest release from Platinum Games is something different. The studio that brought you Bayonetta and Vanquish are trying their hand at a game with a big online multiplayer component. Rather than compete in the crowded shooter or sports genres that dominate online, they’re bringing something different to the table. Anarchy Reigns is a four-player fighting game that could make folks who fondly reminisce about Power Stone quite happy.

I got to play a bit of the multiplayer, and it was a frenzied experience. I picked a character named Durga for the match from a pool of 11 announced characters. Zero the ninja looked appealing, the warhammer-wielding robominotaur Big Bull seemed powerful, and the lithe frost warrior Sasha looked, well, she was wearing a very tight bodysuit. Still, I thought Durga, with his bouncy stance and mechanical leg, was a good pick.

As it turns out, his leg was more than just a run of the mill prosthetic. I was able to blast the other combatants with it at range, or use a point-blank attack up close. Just like Power Stone, much of the game centers on figuring out who to focus your attention on. A score display is on the side of the screen, so you can tell at a glance who poses the biggest threat.

The battle I fought on consisted of two platforms, with one suspended high above the other. On the lower one, there were a variety of crates and items that I brought to the smaller zone by catching a ride on a gusting air current. Some of the items I spied were machine guns and a bear trap.

The game doesn’t end when your character is killed, though you take a hit to your score by dying. Players can also build up a rage meter, which allows them to use particularly strong combo attacks, such as a sped-up flurry of kicks to the gut.

Platinum is known for its intricate combat systems, and from the little time I spent with Anarchy Reigns it seems as though it comes through here, too. I’m interested to see what some of the other stages contain, as well as what the unannounced characters bring to the ring.

There is also a single-player mode, which unlocks characters for multiplayer. Judging from the selection of playable characters on hand, it’ll probably be completely insane. It is Platinum, after all.

Look for the game on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in January 2012.