Agents of Mayhem PC Review

Agents of Mayhem is the follow up to the Saints Row series of games from Volition, it’s an open world third person, hero style, action-adventure game. That’s a mouthful, but that accurately describes where this game sits.

The game centres around the player having 3 Agents at their disposal whilst they complete missions and travel around the map taking out the LEGION troops who have infested Seoul. The Agents can be hot swapped at any time, and the game gives you hints from time to time as to which Agent in your line-up is best for the current task at hand. Each Agent has their own area of expertise, meaning the Agent you have selected is not always going to be the best for the current enemy or task.

There are 12 Agents in the game to choose from, some of which are locked. To unlock them, you have to do special missions designed around that Agent before they are available and ready to smash up the open-world you’re running around.

The Agents themselves are very well thought out and span a wide variety of ethnicities, making them feel unique and completely different to play. This is something that Volition excels at, and they have done a fantastic job making each Agent feel unique.

Each Agent has a standard attack, a Special attack and a MAYHEM ability. This is the aspect of the game that makes it feel like a hero shooter. Each of the MAYHEM abilities are very different, from the John Woo style Johnny Gat MAYHEM ability that comes with the signature flying doves, to an invisible Ninja swinging her sword and cutting people up. The abilities are all really fun to pop off, especially when surrounded by hordes of LEGION.

It’s plain to see the Saints Row undertones in this game, but it lacks the fluidity of Saints Row and sometimes the game seems to slow down for no real reason. One thing to point out is when using the vehicles – these can be called at any time, no matter if near a road or not – the vehicle will speed as close to you as it can, causing a short car entrance animation with blown kisses, shots from guns and others things, then the car grinds to a complete stop after you have warped into it, making the car entrance animation seem pointless. This seemingly breaks the fluidity of some aspects of gameplay, leaving you feeling a little frustrated from time to time.

Driving around the open world, the vehicles definitely give you a feel of speed, and they are actually really fun to drive, offering XP reward for crashing into other vehicles and destroying them. This makes moving around the city of Seoul and dodging traffic much more fun. I can’t help but feel the crazy abilities, such as huge jumps, running up buildings and gliding that was featured in Saints Row 4 would have been ace in Agents of Mayhem.

The villains faced in Agents of Mayhem all seemed to feel like a slightly altered version of the previous one, all of the battles felt like a slog, as wave after wave of LEGION are thrown at the player until they ran out of troops and the villain fails. Villains are quiet forgettable, bar one or two of them. The whole game plays like an episodic TV show, where the Hero always wins. It great fun the first few times, but starts to feel repetitive the longer spent with the game.

On a side note, I did suffer some major frame rate drops whilst playing this on the PC. The issues only seem to last about a second, and I’ve had this confirmed by other people playing on PC as well. Hopefully this gets fixed in a patch.

Overall, Agents of Mayhem is incredible fun, but having played Volition’s other games, this title seems to be lacking a certain “panache” that their others games had in spades. The potty humour is there, and is funny in places, but it’s far removed from the hilarious stuff seen in Saints Row. Even the weapons leave much to be desired after experiencing the insane arsenal seen in Saints Row. There are some unique play styles and weapons included, but these feel a little too PG13 for an 18-rated game.

6 out of 10
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