Agents of Mayhem
Developed by Volition
Published by Deep Silver
*Please Note: This review is based on the PlayStation 4 Version*
In a simultaneous global assault, LEGION has taken control over the nations of the world and the only force left to stop them is MAYHEM. Led by the mysterious and no-nonsense Persephone Brimstone, MAYHEM’s elite Super Agents are called to the city of Seoul, South Korea. Led by LEGION Minister Doctor Babylon and his diabolical lieutenants, a nefarious plot is set in motion to build a world-altering device that will grant unrivaled power to the supervillain organization. In order to stop LEGION and take back the world, the Agents of Mayhem will traverse a sprawling urban battlefield from the ground to the rooftops and team up as a super-agent collective to stop LEGION at any cost.
The story for the game is very fun and action packed and seems almost like the old X-Men cartoons but with guns instead of mutant powers (The game even pays homage to this in the opening sequence). The game features a very fun and explosive story that provided me with hours of entertainment but at the same time gave some of the characters very powerful reasons for joining the organization such as Rama for example; who joins to stop a plague that is infecting people in her home country.
The gameplay for Agents of Mayhem is very similar to that of the Saints Row series in that it is an open world third person shooter but while it bares many similarities to the well known series; it has it’s own unique features to make it stand on it’s own two feet. The game gives you three different playable characters at a time with the ability to switch between them at will meaning that you can play it strategically by maybe picking a powerhouse character like Hardtack to do more damage and then switching to a character like Rama who can shoot an arrow at the enemies and deal poison damage. The game features 12 Playable Agents (14 if you get the DLC containing Lazarus and Johnny Gat); with each of these agents having their own unique abilities and moves aswell as different mechanics to their movements such as being able to run up walls, do air dashes and more. One thing I really liked about this game was the use of a skill tree which helps to give each individual agent better stats to their moves allowing them to do more damage or have better fire rates just to name a few examples. These are upgraded by finding various types of collectibles throughout the city of Seoul ranging from collectibles that upgrade specific moves and abilities to a type of collectible which is gathered that helps towards getting more common upgrades in addition to health upgrades.
In addition to the open world of Seoul; The game also has a fully explorable HQ for the agents which also has it’s fair share of things to discover. These things include the Agents’ weapons dealer who can buy supplies off you and also supply you with resources and ideas to help you craft special usable weapons which I found to be a very interesting feature and something that is always nice to see in a game like this. There is also a simulator in this HQ which allows you to take on many different missions to hone your skills against the A.I. which allows you to up the difficulty and take on different types of enemies from the game. I also liked how each Agent got their own individual stories and missions to explain what they were fighting for and why the joined Mayhem. One of my favorite ones from the game was Rama who joins the group to try and find a way to stop a plague that’s infecting the people of her country (As I mentioned under the Story section) which I thought was a great mission structure since it not only introduces you to the character but it also allows you to explore the depth and emotional levels of the character while also making sure each character has a different play style. Another thing which I found made the game a little bit more fresh is the inclusion of online contracts which you could take part in where you have to achieve a certain score in a challenge. While the game has no co-op function or the ability to play with others online; all players who undergo a challenge in an online contract will have their progress counted together with other players to complete the contract. As I just mentioned; the game doesn’t have co-op which to me is the only really disappointing aspect of the gameplay since I always find these games to be more fun with friends (Like I had when I was playing the Saints Row games) and so at times while the game is really fun; it does tend to simmer after a while.
All in all, The gameplay for Agents of Mayhem is fun and chaotic with additional emphasis on Crafting, Upgrading and Exploration however the lack of co-op does make the game a little less fun than it could be.
I will personally say that for me; the sound section of this game was probably it’s biggest downfall. The primary reason behind this decision in my opinion is because of a lack of real songs which is a massive disappointment given the music in the Saints Row games (Especially 3 & 4) were superb and some of the best things to put on in the background as you travel between missions and collectibles. This game could’ve had so many fun songs such as Push it to the Limit or even the music used in the trailers such as the theme tunes for The A-Team and Knight Rider. There is licensed music in the game however I just feel that not much of it is memorable and for me it makes the game a little less enjoyable. The voice cast on the other hand consists of a very talented set of individuals and is truly the redeeming factor for the sound section of the game. The cast includes Terrence “T.C.” Carson (God of War) who voices Hardtack, Trevor Devall (Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite) who voices Hollywood, Robbie Daymond (Final Fantasy XV) as August Gaunt and Daniel Dae Kim who returns as Johnny Gat (in the DLC) just to name a few of the talented names.
All in all, the sound section is incredibly weak compared to the studios’ previous games like Saints Row IV however their voice cast is superb. The only good song on the entire game’s soundtrack is the theme for Franchise Force which you can find below.
In terms of the visuals; I do have to say that I feel Agents of Mayhem is a little bit behind with the times with the visuals looking very dated and having the appearance of a PS3 game. The character designs are really good and really help to recreate the whole feel of an animated superhero show like X-Men with the villains looking like comically over the top antagonists which I did love. Another thing which I really liked about the games visuals was some of the cutscenes which were done in the style of animated cartoons and comic book style imagery.
All in all, The game does have some high points to it’s visual section with it’s animated cartoon cutscenes and the character designs however the fact the game looks outdated and there isn’t too much more interesting to the visual section apart from a few different weapon designs and a fresh color pallet.
All in all, I’d say that my time with Agents of Mayhem has been a bit of a mixed experience. The story is great with the typical Saturday morning cartoon feel to it along with the individual Agents stories and personal missions which I feel explores the characters in greater depth which helps with my enjoyment of a video game since I love character development. The gameplay is fantastic for the most part since it not only takes what was great about the previous Saints Row games but also improves upon them with all the features mentioned in the gameplay section. The voice cast did a superb job, The cutscenes and character designs were great and there is plenty of replay value however the lack of co-op, a memorable soundtrack and the outdated visuals really let this game down from what it could’ve been.
While I always recommend that you try a game for yourself to make an opinion; for this game I’d say wait until the price lowers or rent it if you can since this can be disappointing even to die hard Saints fans.
Score = 6/10
- Story is a fun and enjoyable ride
- Reminded me of Saturday morning cartoons such as X-Men
- Each Agent had individual stories
- Gameplay all around is fantastic
- Voice acting is great along with the Franchise Force song
- Beautiful Animated cutscenes
- Well designed characters
- Plenty of replay value
- Lack of co-op
- No Licensed songs
- Other songs on the game are not memorable (apart from Franchise Force)
- Very dated visuals
Agents of Mayhem is available now for PS4, Xbox One & PC. Thanks go out to Deep Silver for supplying the game and assets used in this review. Be sure to let me know what you thought of the review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Review by Matthew McNamee