Volition and Deep Silver and teaming up once again to bring us a brand new shooter. If this duo sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’re a fan of their successful Saints Row franchise. And if you’re a fan of Saints Row then you’re going to love Agents Of Mayhem…or rather Saints Row 5. Agents Of Mayhem follows the organization known as M.A.Y.H.E.M. (Multinational Agency Hunting Evil Masterminds) and their task of thwarting the plots and plans of the evil L.E.G.I.O.N. (League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Nations). The game is set in a neo-futuristic version of Seoul, South Korea. The game is also set in the same universe as Saints Row and Red Faction.
This game has almost identical gameplay to Saints Row, which is a good thing. I had a blast with Saints Row and the gameplay was one of the best things about the game. Agents Of Mayhem borrows upon the game DNA of Saints Row and doesn’t really add anything, but hey if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The gameplay is simple enough, fun, and extremely over the top. I love games where the gameplay is smooth, fluid, and so fast it’s almost too fast for human minds to comprehend, and luckily Agents Of Mayhem has all that.
There is so much customization. You could spend hours in Mayhem HQ customizing your heroes. There’s a bunch of abilities and gadgets that you can upgrade and customize as well as upgrades to your core. This is all done well through the use of ‘shops’ inside the Mayhem HQ. These can also be access at waypoints as you unlock them across the city.
There’s short animated cinematics that happen throughout the game to explain an upcoming mission or whatnot and these are done really well, not to get confused with the in-game cinematics which aren’t as good. The animated cinematics are done in a unique, animated cartoon style that almost makes me wish the whole game was done in that style and not the uninspired cel-shaded, almost shovel-ware quality it’s normally done in.
Again, like Saints Row, humor is a staple of Agents of Mayhem. This game isn’t afraid to get vulgar for vulgarity’s sake and that’s ok. The humor as well is vulgar, brutish, and even child-like at times, just like how I remember it from the days of olde (playing Saints Row).
My biggest gripe with this game (if you haven’t guessed it already) is that Volition doesn’t seem to want to try anything new. It’s painfully obvious that this is just Saints Row with a new coat of paint. It’s a little disappointing to be totally honest. I was looking forward to an over the top, action shooter in the same vein as Saints Row, not Saints Row 5 with a lineup of boring and unlikeable characters. I know they share a universe, but do they really need to share the exact same game DNA?
On multiple occasions I would perform and cool action move, but something seemed off, something was missing. Oh that’s it, there’s no audio effects. You would think jumping ass first through a windshield would make some sounds? Nope apparently not. I noticed this in more smaller cases, like something would explode and it wouldn’t make a noise, etc.
The game was a lot of fun for the first few hours, but then I realized just how repetitive the game is. Basically it’s run, shoot bad guys, run, hack this, hack that, run, shoot more bad guys, run then rinse and repeat, throw a bland boss in there from time to time for good measure. There isn’t much to do at all. Also the ‘vast open-world’ of Agents Of Mayhem’s Seoul, isn’t really that vast or open, more dull, cluttered, and uninspired.
On one hand I am disappointed by Agents Of Mayhem for being just a reskin of Saints Row, but on the other hand I’m happy because I love Saints Row. The game has some immensely fun gameplay that is extreme and over the top. There’s no lack of customization and the humor is top notch ‘Saints Row’ humor. But the game suffers from it’s boring flat characters, major audio issues, repetitiveness, and inability to differentiate itself from the Saints Row franchise. If you loved Saints Row (3 and 4 mostly), and have money burning a hole in your wallet, go ahead and get the game.