I literally knew nothing about Agents of Mayhem going into the game, it was one of those ones that, had I not been looking into it around the time of release then it would have completely passed me by… which would of been a damn shame.
Agents of Mayhem is a weird one, I think the only way I could possibly describe it is if you think of the old 80’s/90’s kids cartoons that we used to watch (Biker mice from Mars, Powerpuff Girls and Gi Joe etc) and throw in a huge helpful of Saints Row then you get to something closely resembling Agents Of Mayhem.
Prior to this review, I read a few others to do a bit of research and one thing I feel I must say is that I feel that so many of the other reviewers have become a bit cynical and are simply trying to make the game more than it ever intended to be: Mindless, Crude saturday afternoon fun.
I’ll start this section of the review by outwardly stating that the story won’t blow you away, it won’t have you reaching for the tissues like The Last of Us or make you feel… feelings like so many of the mainstream games cropping up these days – but this is a good thing. The whole point of Agents of Mayhem is that is borrows all the tropes from the cartoons we grew up with as kids but makes them as crude as possible.
You are the Agents of Mayhem, a group of special agents with special techniques and powers who are tasked to take down the group of supervillains known as “L.E.G.I.O.N” (League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Nations), Original name huh? – But this is one of my points, its not supposed to be original its SUPPOSED to borrow directly from the kids cartoons we remember so fondly – As you progress through the story you will unlock other agents, each with their own agenda’s for joining Mayhem, which you will get to add to your roster of 3 (more on this in a moment).
The two big narrative players between the two opposing agencies are your boss “Persephone” who is an ex member of L.E.G.I.O.N and the main reason you have been tasked with taking them down as some sort of revenge mission for kicking her out of the group against the other opposing force: Doctor Babylon who is believed to be the leader of L.E.G.I.O.N but SPOILERS is OBVIOUSLY revealed to just be a puppet for Morningstar, the true villain.
One thing i noted when researching the game was that many of the other reviewers found no humour in the games many, many, MANY characters but I personally loved them and found the groups that I liked to use to be quite charming and humorous, with this in mind though Some of the character dialogue warrants that 18 rating, one of the first interactions i had with this was in the games tutorial section, playing as hollywood – i had to shoot a reactor which inevitably went into self destruct – to which i was shouted at “Why the fuck did you shoot the fucking reactor!”
Like I said, this is no narrative that is going to win any awards but if you want something in between all the serious games that we are getting at the moment you could do a lot worse than the story in Agents of Mayhem.
Except the repetetitive talking car, I don’t want to talk about the car much but: Fuck the talking car.
In Agents of Mayhem you control 3 agents (there are 16 in total you can switch in before missions) whom you can seamlessly interchange with left and right on the dpad which is really useful for when one of your agents is close to death as all the passive characters slowly regenerate when off the front line (which can be a little gamebreaking in all honesty).
I really like the 3 agents mechanic as it adds some much needed variety into the game as, unfortunately, Agents of Mayhem suffers from “Open World Syndrome” in that when you have done the first few side missions it is all just more of the same that the game offers up on a plate – luckily there hasn’t really been a reason for me to do these so I have just pretended they don’t exist and focus a little more on the fun aspects of the game.
One of the best things about the different characters is the ability to smash out a whole bunch of special attacks against any troublesome foes which also helps to build up the “Mayhem Meter” and unlock the ability to do a special mayhem attack, accompanied with a sick theme track for each character, and do some real damage. I also thought the ability to equip new gadgets and additional add ons for these special abilities was a nice touch.
As you progress through the games 25 hour story mode (with a few extras) you will unlock additional agents that you can add to your roster of 3 and take into missions. All of the agents also come with new skins as well so even if you play a particular agent the whole way through you can change the way they look so it never gets too stale.
The main bulk of the gameplay is your standard third person shooter fare (did you play Saints Row 4? That.) of go here kill this then go here and destroy that – it doesnt break any boundries but in all honesty, after back to back 60 hour RPG’s I was quite happy to just go and shoot some shit.
One thing I HAVE to comment on is that this game is NOT coop. This is a crying shame as I couldn’t help but imagine the amount of fun I would of had playing this with a buddy and just destroying everything. I found some of the most fun I have had in ages just springing around the battlefield shooting anything that moved.
Presentation & Music
If there is one thing that Agents of Mayhem NAILS is the feeling of playing a Saturday morning kids cartoon, everything from the silly narrative down to how perfectly they have nailed the animation:
Whilst the in game design is somewhat lacking in graphical polish – think the cel shading works in the games favour as I think it the animation was consistently like this the whole way through then it would have got a bit much.
The music is quite techno heavy when in the cars which isn’t really my jam but it was never overly annoying. There honestly isn’t much more I can say about the music in this game as The ambient music just sort of sits in the background, nothing i would really go out of my way to listen too like a lot of other soundtracks but again this is fine and not the intention that Agents of Mayhem sets out to give,.
The music does REALLY shine however when you use a mayhem special move and each characters special theme music kicks in – this feels rad as hell and makes you feel like you are a full on super powered agent badass.
I heard tell of a lot of people reporting bugs and framerate drops but so far in my 15 hours of Gameplay I have yet to experience any of this and the framerate holds up pretty well considering I spend so much of my time in the midst of blowing up 10 NPC’S at a time.
I’m having a blast with Agents of Mayhem and find it to be the perfect nonsense game to just turn my brain off, have a bit of a laugh and blow shit up.
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*Reviewed with a code provided by LickPR on behalf of Deep Silver.