Saints Row meets The Avengers
I love the Saints Row series. I also love Marvel’s The Avengers. It’s hard to think of anything that would bring the two together and whilst The Avengers have nothing to do with the Avengers, when you’re playing it you instantly can’t help but think of it (that or I’m literally going crazy!). Yup, Volition are back with a brand new IP which sees a team of agents take on the evil Legion and Doctor Babylon. There are some issues with the game currently that I’ll go into a bit later on, but on the whole, Agents of Mayhem is yet another success for the talented developers and Deep Silver as a whole.
First, I’ll start off with the overall story. As I just mentioned, you take on the role of a team of agents, known as the Agents of Mayhem. You have to catch the tune they song when you return to the AoM base (known as the ARK), I’ve literally not got it out of my head since. Back to it, you are given special missions to take out in order to stop Legion and Doctor Babylon from destroying the world. A very much Saints Row-esq story but it’s really enjoyable. When you first start off, you control three agents; Hollywood, Hardtrack and Fortune. Again, Hollywood reminded me so much of the good old Johnny Gat, another throwback to the Saints Row series.
As you go through the game and each mission, you have control of all three agents; the agent you want to control can be determined by the press of the left or right direction button. Each agent has a specific skills, Fortune is quick, Hardtrack is slower yet powerful and Hollywood seemed to be a bit all round in terms of performance. As you get all of the other Agents throughout the story, all of these will come with their particular set of skills.
Skills are really important to your Agent. You’ll have a special move which can be performed by pressing the R1 button which will cause more damage and leave your enemies having certain status effects such as blind etc. You will then have the Agent’s main MAYHEM move which is powered by pressing both the L1 and R1 buttons together. You’ll get a notification when your MAYHEM move becomes available. This will only become available after the relative bar is filled all the way. You can also collect special M items which will occasionally drop from Legion Troopers once you defeat them. These will either revived a KO’d Agent mayhem or fill up your Mayhem bar more, in order for you to get the attack out quicker. These attacks are the most powerful of all, with each Agent having a different Mayhem move, keeping them all unique from each other.
Visually, Agents of Mayhem is decent enough, but I feel could of been a lot better. Remember me discussing the issues in the game? This is where unfortunately it creeps up. The framerate does suffer badly, especially when there is a lot of action happening in the game. You’ll visually see the game stutter at times when a lot is going on. There was one instance when fragments of a comet were coming down on the city of Seoul and I was avoiding them using the Agents of Mayhem vehicle yet the game couldn’t handle what was happening on screen at the time. It was frustrating to say the least but I do fully expect Volition to release a patch fixing this issue at the games’ launch on the 18th.
Sound wise, it’s exactly what you’d come to expect from the folks at Volition. Agents of Mayhem is a brand new IP but once again, it’s very hard not to draw comparison on what Saints Row brought years ago. This has that same quirky humor and really is a joy to listen to throughout the story in Agents of Mayhem. There were once again a slight issue with timing on some of the conversations. By that I mean one of the characters would ask an Agent a question, only for the Agent to respond somewhat 10 – 20 seconds later. It did seem a little off but just like the visual issues I had, I fully expect this to be fixed upon or just after the full release.
Gameplay wise on the whole, it’s really fun. It doesn’t take it self too serious and that is definitely one of the plus points when reviewing this game on the whole. The driving mechanics are fairly decent, with drifting being an art to master. I seem to have it spot on at the moment. Missions could be a bit more varied, they normally are just go to a place and kill a few troopers. However, the game stays fun enough to stop this from becoming stale in the long run.
There are definitely some RPG elements in Agents of Mayhem, which I was pleasantly surprised with. You level up each of your agents, with you getting upgrade points in which you can spend in order to improve the Agent that you are controlling. After each mission, you’ll also obtain different gadgets and weapons to improve your agents, which you can equip quickly in the squad menu. It’s not the deepest, but it still adds much longevity to the game, especially if you were to try and level up all of the Agents available, with there being quite a few! However, you can only deploy 3 Agents at a time, so be careful when selecting your best three in terms of performance and variability.