If you’re anything like me, then you didn’t even know this game was coming out August 15th (August 18 in Europe). Volition formally announced this game on June 6, 2016, but I just feel like it’s flown under the radar for the past year and some change. Let’s get right into it!
What You Need to Know
Agents of Mayhem is an open world action-adventure title developed by Volition. In case you need a refresher, Volition developed the Saints Row series. Agents of Mayhem is a spin-off of Saints Row, with characters (Kingpin aka Pierce Washington and Johnny Gat) and plot crossovers.
The game takes place in a futuristic Seoul, Korea known as the City of Tomorrow. The world has fallen under the control of LEGION; the League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Nations. Persephone Brimstone organizes the MAYHEM group, funded by Ultor, and recruits members with unique skills from all over the world to fight LEGION. It’s time to save a city!
The game handles like Saints Row, but with some differences.
You take control of a three man squad of agents from the twelve available. Each agent has one ability and a MAYHEM ability (which is fancy for your Ultimate move). You can switch between the three agents on the fly with the D-pad.
In the beginning of the game, players have access to three characters; Hollywood (the guy with assault rifle), Hardtack (the guy with the beard) and Fortune (the woman with the red bandana). You unlock more agents by completing side missions. Money is earned that is used to upgrade your MAYHEM Ark (your home base), as well as experience points for leveling up your agents, and gadgets that offer boosts to their abilities. You can also collect crystal shards, which upon collecting ten, turn into a core upgrade. This upgrade dramatically changes your agents abilities such as giving Hollywood unlimited ammo and more explosions in his Blockbuster Mayhem ability.
There’s a crafting system in the game, as you can pick up materials that can be crafted into an equitable item. For example, you can craft a Gutterball Gun which shoots electrified balls at enemies or status boosts such as the Hardened Hull which grants Fortify. Collecting LEGION tech provides you with the ability to tinker with gadgets.
Each character has a skill tree that provides upgrades for them. The skill tree is pretty basic, as you invest multiple skill points into an upgrade to provide better stats. For example, upgrading Hollywood’s magazine size increases it by two while the next tier upgrades it by four (avideogamelife has a good video showing the skill tree).
The game moves fast as characters can triple jump, dash, sprint, and drive cars. The combat bears that traditional Saints Row chaos; gun fights are hectic, explosions pop up frequently, bodies hit the floor. To go with all this movement is a decent size map. It’s zany (I think that’s a word).
Players can participate in a variety of side missions such as races, destroying equipment and liberating sections of the city. There’s also contracts you can participate in that will reward you upon completion. There’s always something to do in the City of Tomorrow.
I’m going to be honest; whenever I watched gameplay for this game I got bored. It just looked boring.
Having played it for a few hours, it’s safe to say it’s not as boring as it looked on YouTube. Combat is hectic and being able to switch between your three agents on the fly is a great mechanic. It offers a layer of strategy as your agent will heal while you’re using a different one or if you want to build up your MAYHEM ability for one character and save it for a later fight. Thankfully, each agent feels like they bring something different to the table ability wise. It’s simple strategy, but it makes all the difference as the difficulty ramps up.
The game does look pretty solid though. It has a style reminiscent of Fortnite, and it works well. The game does stutter a little bit when the action gets hectic, with the countless explosions and bullets flying. Expect to see a lot of purple.
With the abundance of missions available, there doesn’t feel like there’s nothing to do. There’s LEGION lairs you must infiltrate and destroy, save citizens, and unlock more agents! While you’re unlocking your agents, you’ll gain more background story about them. That way you aren’t playing as a group of ruthless killers with no personality. You can also collect skins for your characters and their weapons, my favorite turns Hollywood into Iron Man.
A minor complaint I have is that each time you want to change your squad up, you have to return to the Ark. It’s not a bad thing if you actually have to go there and do stuff, but if you just want to quickly change your load out it can be nuisance. There also is a lack of an online co-op/multiplayer feature which is a huge bummer.
As mentioned, this game wears its Saints Row influences on it’s sleeves. That being said, it’s a little disappointing that Volition didn’t make a sequel for the beloved series, but Agents of Mayhem is the same concept, just with a dash of RPG elements and more characters to play as. This game will definitely get overlooked for that reason, but with how dry this period is, title-wise, it’s a good filler until September hits.
There’s a lot of things to get done, and I have to build up my agent army! Are you going to check Agents of Mayhem out? Let me know what you think in the comments below!