Deep Silver Volition went in a different direction from their Saints Row series and decided to make a game focused on a team of action heroes. Find out if that was the right decision in our Agents of Mayhem Review!
|Release Date||August 15, 2017|
|Genre||Open-World Action/Third-Person Shooter|
|Developer||Deep Silver Volition|
It’s always a scary thing for a developer to leave a well-known series and move on to a brand-new IP. There are so many unknowns that come with a new project and a bad game can wipe out a studio in the blink of an eye. Volition decided to take that chance and move take some time off from their Saints Row series to concentrate on their new game Agents of Mayhem.
Agents of Mayhem does a fantastic job setting the tone from the very beginning. The game takes place after a hostile global takeover by the evil LEGION (the League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Nations). You play as a team of agents known as MAYHEM (the Multinational AgencY for Hunting Evil Masterminds) and you’re tasked with taking LEGION down. AOM has beautiful cartoon cutscenes to help tell the story which is set up like episodes of a TV show. There are even “The More You Know” type life lessons between loading screens. It’s a good set-up for the adventure you’re about to embark on.
The setting of Agents of Mayhem is Seoul, South Korea which has become the central location for technology on Earth. It’s a different type of setting than we’ve seen in a lot of game and it helps make AOM stand out. It’s not just another city in America or Europe like we see in many of today’s top games. As good as the setting is, there isn’t much going on inside it. Sure, there are civilians everywhere, but they never feel like more than random objects. It just doesn’t feel alive, there’s no incentive to save this place from the evil forces that have taken it over.
If you do want to do a solid and help out some civilians, there are a lot of random activities to do around Seoul. Some of these activities include saving hostages, capturing outposts, races, destroying hate machines and ice barrages, etc. While all of that can be fun for a little while, it’s all filler content and it doesn’t represent any real challenge. I felt the same way about LEGION’s underground bases which were literally copied and pasted over and over again. It’s the same metal bunker with multiple rooms and hallways in addition to waves of enemies.
While Agents of Mayhem can get repetitive, it’s still incredibly fun to play. The campaign missions are much better and more diverse than underground bunkers that you have to clear and the other side activities. You’re still essentially clearing wave after wave of enemies, but I really felt like they weren’t as monotonous as the other missions. The campaign missions are multi-faceted and keep you running around the city doing different tasks before facing off against different bosses. Each boss was unique from an auto-tuned pop star to a deranged cyborg. I still felt that the campaign portion was a bit short only taking around 6-8 hours to complete depending on your skill level (if not quicker).
My favourite missions in AOM had to be the special character episodes. One of the ones that stand out most to me is the minigun-wielding Daisy trying to retrace her steps from the drunken time she had the night before. All of these missions provide a little backstory on the characters of Mayhem and I really enjoyed playing through them. It made a big difference for me because up until I started playing through them, I didn’t have much reason to care about the characters. Volition did a great job giving them all unique identities from different backgrounds and no two characters feel all that similar.
The strength of AOM is in the diversity of its combat. Each character has their own specialties that can help in the thick of battle. Some characters can pierce armour, others can break shields, and others are better versus stronger enemies. Each one also has their own distinct weaponry. Some of the characters are better at close quarter combat like the quick-striking ninja Scheherazade while others are better at long range, like Rama with her bow. The characters in the game even have a different feel with the bigger characters being more sluggish and easy to hit, but having a higher health and shield bar. The smaller characters are faster, but also lose health and shields much easier. I much preferred the faster characters as I was able to get out of trouble much easier. I had trouble using the bigger characters and I only used them when I absolutely had to.
The character differences go far beyond just size and weaponry. There’s actually a lot of substance with each character. The characters all have different special abilities and MAYHEM abilities that they can use once they refresh and once they power up their MAYHEM meter. These can range from Fortune’s Cannonball attack which creates an explosion in a small area to Joule’s sentry turret which emits shockwaves in addition to shooting enemies. There are even different gadgets that afford them things like buffs in certain conditions. They can also add Legion Tech to their gadgets to add even better buffs to what they already have. If you’re in a particularly sticky situation, you can call in a moon laser to take out a bunch of enemies from space when you unlock it with Gremlin Tech. The possibilities are endless and that’s what keeps AOM entertaining.
Much like the Saints Row series, the thing I enjoyed most about Agents of Mayhem is that it never takes itself too seriously. The game plays out like an episode of The A-Team and the witty banter between the characters keeps everything from becoming a slog. I especially found the romantic banter between Braddock and Friday entertaining and Hollywood never ceased to surprise me with his brash celebrity mentality.
|Tons of characters||The setting is constantly recycled|
|Diverse combat options||No multiplayer|