Agents of Mayhem, developed by Volition and published by Deep Silver, is a spin-off title based on the Saints Row universe. Agents of Mayhem is an open-world third-person action adventure game and is currently available on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, Saints Row IV’s standalone expansion, hinted towards this title as one of the endings featured the end of Saints group and the rise of a superhero organisation to take their place.
From the moment you step foot into Agents of Mayhem’s world, the Saints Row vibes hit you. The Agency was created for the sole purpose of defending our planet against the evil plans of L.E.G.I.O.N. One of the major advantages and most enjoyable aspect of the game is its vast and well created cast of characters. Not only the characters players get to choose from, but even villains, partners and your boss at the Agency. The game’s pool of characters includes everything, ranging from a betrayed army general and a gun-loving roller-blade woman to a former Yakuza member and a gang leader. Each one is well created, with their own background story, special abilities and unique playstyle. Players get to choose only three of the available twelve agents each mission. This is where Agents of Mayhem shine, because I found myself spending time carefully picking which agents to take on each mission, something I don’t usually do in games like this.
Each character out of your selected three has their own special ability and Mayhem ability, that can be charged up through killing LEGION officers and commanders. You can freely switch between your three Agents, allowing for some epic moments of action if you have the right combination of characters. I mainly used Hardtack, Rama and Braddock, a combination of two heavily armed characters with a long-ranged partner to take enemies out from distance. I managed to take down a number of LEGION commanders by sneaking up on them using Rama’s stealth ability, only to switch to Hardtack and shotgun them right in the face. These moments are the pinnacle of my Agents of Mayhem experience.
However, not everything about Agents of Mayhem is as cool. In true Saints Row fashion, the game was full of bugs and glitches. For example, after finishing a couple of missions in the Agency’s wreck room, the game turned completely unresponsive, even though I was able to move my character around and hear the menu’s pop-up sound. Not only that, a purple glow surrounds your character while you are switching between your group members, unfortunately, sometimes your character just gets stretched vertically and the new character pops out as if it was living under its partner’s skin. In addition to that, when you call your car, it comes speeding through traffic and your character jumps into the car in a very cool animation but then the car comes into a complete haul until you accelerate it manually. I know this isn’t something to dwell about but when you experience it a couple of times, you will get to understand my frustration.
As much as I wish that my car problem is the biggest issue I faced, but it is not. The game’s vast pool of characters, wonderful world and relatively solid storyline is ruined by bland jokes, repetitive missions and even reused assets. Before getting halfway through the game’s storyline, you have practically done everything Agents of Mayhem has to offer. The mission structure is rather poor. Most main missions, no matter how significant its impact on the storyline will probably include hacking your way through something, clearing out some enemies, dropping off a vehicle, clearing out some more enemies and taking an outpost or something along those lines. These are around 80% of what you will do in Agents of Mayhem’s main missions.
The game’s side-missions won’t provoke you enough to finish some before continuing through the storyline, as they will practically offer the same thing you will do in the main mission so might as well make some progress in the story. Side-missions range from simple car chases and takedowns to vehicle drop-offs and taking down outposts. Basically the same things you do in the main missions but singled out. Something I found myself unable to forget is a reused room in every LEGION lair. You will enter from the door, no enemies will be waiting for you, and all you have to do is double jump to the other door, which will be located towards the top right of your screen. I literally found myself running through the same exact room in four different LEGION lairs.
Agents of Mayhem fails to take advantage of its incredible cast of characters, wonderful universe and chaotic gun fights, mainly due to its bad mission structure and lack of charisma. The jokes and humorous one-liners from your Agents seemed rather forced and failed to imitate its parent franchise. In terms of bugs and glitches, Volition will surely update the game throughout the upcoming period, but if you can overlook the missions’ repetitiveness and all you want is brainless explosions and endless fun, then definitely try out Agents of Mayhem.