Agents of Mayhem is the spiritual successor to the Saints Row series and boy can you tell. From the colour schemes, to the general craziness of the characters and storyline and from the constant use of innuendo, to the use of the 3rd Street Saints emblem. There is even the inclusion of the one and only Johnny Gat. But let us make one thing clear, this may be a game that revels in the past but it is also a game of the future, it takes what Saints Row built and improves upon it ten-fold.
Agents of Mayhem is set in a futuristic Seoul, South Korea after the events of the “recreate earth” ending of Gat Out of Hell.
For the purpose of clarity we need to let you know something. We played the Saints Row games, we enjoyed the Saints Row games but we were also well aware of their flaws. That been said, enough about Saints Row, lets talk Agents of Mayhem.
The graphics and animations in Agents of Mayhem are slick, smooth and gorgeous. They take a cartoon style look and give it a realistic, stylised spin. Every game has a major theme to it and the major theme of Agents of Mayhem is cool. This is shown of perfectly with the first of the initial three characters that you play as, Hollywood, a reality TV star. He is the definition of cool, from his quick one liners to the way that he puts on his sunglasses when you unleash his special ability.
The characters are one of the main parts of the game. You start out with three agents at your disposal, the aforementioned Hollywood, Fortune, who so happens to be a pirate and Hardtack who is basically a tank with a shotgun. As you play through the game you can unlock more agents, each with their own specialised weapons and abilities. Once a character has been unlocked you can pick them to be part of the team of three that you use to complete missions. When playing a mission the game will give you hints if you are using the wrong character at any moment. You can change between your selected three agents at anytime using the D-pad. If an agent is hurt they will heal if you switch away from them, that is as long as they haven’t been downed. If one of your agents does get downed then they can be revived by either picking up one of the Saints Row fleurs that occasionally appear or by returning to the Ark.
The Ark acts as a hub. There you will find services that you need to make your adventures more complete. There is an armourer, a R&D department and much more. One of the main reasons to use the Ark is to use the objective board. This board allows you to see your progress and to select a mission. You will also use it to teleport to Seoul to complete missions.
You are equipped with special Mayhem abilities that are available once you fill your Mayhem bar. Each agent has their own Mayhem ability and their own animation that goes along with it. These animations play out any time you activate your Mayhem ability. The first few times that this happens is cool to see, but when it gets to the fiftieth time it starts to get a little tedious but hey, this game is all about style and you can’t compromise on that. These abilities can turn the tide in a fight but can also get you into a lot of trouble when they suddenly run out in the middle of combat so they should be used wisely.
As you progress your way through the game, you will start to unlock new abilities, perks and gadgets meaning that your agents are continuously improving and you can mix and match them to suite your play style. Some upgrades are unlocked through completing missions while others are unlocked by collecting items and collectibles.
When you are out and about in the world you gain a Mayhem rating by killing people and destroying things. This rating works a lot like the star rating in GTA. This means that if you want to unwind after completing missions then you can go on a little rampage and watch the intensity rise.
You can also steal almost any car in the game. The only ones that seem to be off limits are the ones that belong to enemies. We tested this almost immediately and got out of the little car we had acquired and found ourselves riding around in a futuristic bus. No mention was made as to what happened to the passengers. The animation is slick when stealing a car and after a stylised jump you find yourself teleported to the drivers seat without a window being cracked, not even a little whilst the previous driver is left in the road with a bemused look on their face.
As well as main missions there is an incredible amount of side missions for you to complete. These range from races to mayhem missions. You also unlock new agents by completing their special missions, each one giving you a little idea of the back story that led them to joining the Mayhem organisation. This gives the game an incredible amount of depth that we weren’t expecting. Each mission type has a lot amount of variety even if they are based around the same theme. This means that even if you feel like you are grinding through side missions, you don’t get bored.
Agents of Mayhem is a game that is completely over the top and absolutely bombastic and that is all we can ask for. If you played and enjoyed the Saints Row series then this is certainly the game for you. If you have never touched a Saints Row game then this is still a game that you should try out. The story is fun, engaging and filled with humour. The game overall is so over the top that you can’t help but laugh out loud at times. This been said, don’t get us wrong, there is serious stuff included here and you will find yourself immersed in the gameplay, action and Mayhem.
Agents of Mayhem is available to purchase from all good retailers come 18th August, or you can download it from the Xbox Store, priced at £49.99.
Agents of Mayhem is the spiritual successor to Saints Row and it has all of the fun that that franchise included. If you enjoyed Saints Row then you will love Agents of Mayhem. If you are new to this type of game, once again, you will love Agents of Mayhem. This is a game all about style and it is bursting with it. This is a game that is fun and intense and definitely worth a look for anyone who likes to look and feel cool as your killing everything in sight.