Agents of Mayhem Review

Posted August 22, 2017 by Kyle Simcox in Video Games

Developer: Volition

Publisher: Deep Silver

Release Date: August 15, 2017

Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC

At the end of Gat Out of Hell, Johnny Gat defeats the devil and is presented with a few choices to make. One of those options is for God to reset everything and remake the Earth; however, such choice is not without consequence. Agents of Mayhem is set on that Earth, and it would seem that everything has changed, as if the ending from Gat Out of Hell wasn’t evidence enough…

Agents of Mayhem starts off with three of the Agents unlocked. Hollywood, the self-absorbed and generic action celebrity, Hardtack, the harpoon and shotgun wielding navy vet, and Fortune, a Brazilian pirate. As you progress, you’ll be able to complete special episodes to unlock more of the Agents of Mayhem, like the ex-yakuza assassin Oni or the sexy Italian engineer, Joule. The game features a pretty wide and fun cast of characters, all with their own reasons for joining Mayhem and fighting LEGION. Each agent also has their own specialty as well. Fortune is best at taking down shields and can eventually bypass lower-level hacks, while Hardtack is better at taking on armored units. This encourages you to plan out your teams when you leave the Ark so you can tackle any situation.

You’ll take on a variety of tough enemies while fighting LEGION.

Seoul, is a city that looks really cool on paper. In Agents of Mayhem, Seoul is a technologically-advanced city full of hovering construction equipment, futuristic looking cars, and holographic advertising everywhere. This however, doesn’t save the city from being bland and empty. Again, it’s a really cool looking city, and LEGION eventually starts attacking with gigantic doomsday and retaking Mayhem controlled outposts, but that doesn’t really make the city lively and the Doomsday devices can really just go ignored. It is however, fun to explore the city in an attempt to find loot chests and collect Dark Matter shards. I enjoyed climbing to the tops of buildings and searching my surroundings a lot.

The map is full of activities to do, but there isn’t really a problem that can’t be solved by shooting it. There’s civilians attached to bombs, LEGION Lair’s(which are small dungeons that don’t differ from one another), and plenty of smaller LEGION targets to deal with like LEGION tech, vehicles, and squad patrols. Story missions don’t bring anything exciting to Agents of Mayhem’s formula either. In fact, its problems are similar to Saints Row 3’s. The story missions are just a compilation of random side activities. One mission might have you race through the city, then kill a LEGION squad on patrol, and then invade a LEGION lair. The next might make you blow up some cars, then kill waves of LEGION, and then destroy a Hate machine.

The only thing truly unique about the games missions is that eventually you’ll fight a boss, but even then, they don’t involve a whole lot of depth.

There’s a story in Agents of Mayhem but it is entirely forgettable as it really just exists to keep you moving around the map and killing LEGION soldiers. It features a total of 57 missions, but those are mostly consumed by unlocking Agents and doing their personal missions. There isn’t a whole lot explained about Mayhem either. What we do know is their leader, Persophone, betrayed LEGION’s Ministry of Gluttony, formed Mayhem, and all the Agents are entirely dedicated to fighting them. If you’re interested, there is a section on the ARK that goes more in depth about Mayhem and the Agents personal lives however. The game is one big Saturday morning cartoon for adults though, and you may find the humor enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed the small conversation the Agents had with each other while I was playing around the city. It is a Volition game set in the Saints Row universe so expect a lot of language and a dick-shaped explosions fired from Hollywood’s crotch. There’s also plenty of Saints Row references hidden in the game which are honestly pretty exciting if you’re a fan.

Scheherazade is a huge Doctor Who fan apparently.

Gameplay in Agents of Mayhem is mostly rock solid. Shooting feels good, and the Agents feel unique from one another. Unlike Saint’s Row 4, you feel a lot more like a solider than a super hero. You won’t be leaping over tall buildings in a single bound and chucking cars at LEGION troopers, and you can easily get overwhelmed. Some of the tougher enemies will give a maxed-out Agent troubles. You can swap between your three agents on the fly giving you an edge you may need for certain foes or benching an Agent who took too much damage and needs to recover some health. The game also progressively bumps up the difficulty as you level up Agents to give you more of a challenge, but players are more than welcome to set it at a pace they prefer.

Visiting the Ark offers a place to collect your cash from Relic Stations, build tech for your Agents, customize them, take on global conflicts, and play around in the wreck room. LEGION and Gremlin tech are stats bonuses and powerful abilities Agents can use. Global Conflicts are missions you can send your free Agents on to find LEGION lairs, obtain contracts(think quests), and earn loot at the cost of Intel. Each agent is more proficient in certain regions of the world and will severely cut down the time it takes to complete a mission. The Wreck Room works much like the X-Men’s Danger Room. Agents will take on various missions set at various difficulties and earn prizes for participating. The Agency can also be upgraded at the Ark to help the player find loot, earn more cash, give a boost to experience points, etc.

To put it simply, the game is a whole lot of fun, and the energy involved in the combat keeps you on your toes as you hop around the city of Seoul kicking LEGION ass. This however, does not mean the game is without it’s faults. It’s riddled with bugs, and it becomes very repetitive too quickly. As stated above, the missions do not do anything unique, and even though the gameplay is mostly solid, the controls can be occasionally unresponsive after performing actions too close together. Cars appear and explode all over the city as they spawn into buildings or other cars, Agents might not use their special abilities when told to, or enemies may glitch into walls making a mission impossible to complete without restarting. The driving isn’t much either but it serves it’s purpose as far as transportation goes. It’s fun to summon your vehicles and watch as your Agents perform a flashy dive into the drivers seat.

Agents of Mayhem is full of jokes but car sex is not one of them!

Keeping to it’s cartoon inspirations, the game looks like you’re in one big comic or cartoon, much like Sunset Overdrive. Unlike Sunset though, you won’t be getting the stylized explosions complete with a large “KABOOM”. Seoul is a beautiful city too with it’s holographic advertisements and neon lights. Each character is fully voiced, including  Johnny Gat, who is a DLC character. Swapping between characters during the dialogue is a smooth transition, and it’s fun to get each Agent’s take on the missions they’re undertaking. What the game does lack is a fun soundtrack. You spend a lot of time in cars and probably won’t really notice it much, but the Agency cars don’t really sounds powerful nor is there anything to listen to during long drives. At one point in the story though, you’ll take on August Gaunt, who is a parody of Justin Beiber. He gets a fun track or two, but you only hear it during his missions.

I really like Agents of Mayhem despite it’s shortcomings. It is fun, and Voliton seems interested in fully supporting the game and fixing the bugs. Hopefully we’ll get more Agents of Mayhem titles in the future as I feel like there’s a whole lot of potential for the game to be huge. The lack of Co-Op is a huge missed opportunity, but with future installments it would be great to have as the game really is begging to be played with friends. It would be great to have a chance to take on the other Ministries that make up the evil masterminds of LEGION one day in the future.

About the Author

Kyle Simcox