Agents of Mayhem is like Crackdown had a baby with Saints Row and that’s a very good thing

What a beautiful baby...
Agents of Mayhem

Agents of Mayhem is one of my most anticipated games in 2017. From the makers of Saints Row, I’ve been longing for Volition’s new IP – a comedic, action-packed, irreverent superheroic shooter set in Seoul, South Korea.  It’s a massive, content-filled open world game,  but instead of controlling one character through the opus you’ll unlock, level-up, and play with a cast of at least 12 (13 if you pre-order to get Saints Row’s Johnny Gat). Each hero has their own story-based missions, their own skills, weapons, and so forth. You can only have three in your squad at once, and you swap between them with the game’s teleport technology at will. In my first few hours with Agents of Mayhem, I’m finding a single player game that’s a great hybrid between the over-the-top action of Crackdown and the shenanigans of Saints Row.

When you start a new game in AoM, you’re greeted with an animated intro that highlights MAYHEM (Multinational AgencY Hunting Evil Masterminds) and LEGION (League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Nations), the two warring factions. Immediately, the MMO addict in me wished that Agents of Mayhem was an online game. You won’t play as LEGION, but I’m praying to god that Volition adds some of their villains to the game as DLC or in a sequel. I’d kill to have this massive open world and its crazy action in a persistent online experience too.

Agents of Mayhem

In any case, Agents of Mayhem doesn’t NEED multiplayer. That’s just a dream item for me if the IP sells well and gets sequels. On its own, AoM is a stellar single-player experience with a cast of characters that are worth loving up on. You’ll start with Franchise Force – Hardtack, Hollywood, and Fortune – a big bruiser with a shotgun, a former movie star with flashy moves and an assault rifle, and an agile gypsy with twin pistols and a drone helper. All three play unique, and all three are useful in different situations. That’s where the beauty of the teleportation system comes in. You swap characters on your three man squad in and out at will (with a short cooldown) and this basically gives you extra lives and different tools for different fights.

I also unlocked Rama, an arrow-sniping doctor from Mumbai that’s looking for help with a cure for a disease LEGION spread over her country. She’s even better than the first three, and what’s nice is finding out that while Deep Silver has been positioning the heroes of MAYHEM in threes, you can mix and match them to suit your tastes. This is deceptively harder than I expected, as by the time I finished the first couple of missions, I’d grown fond of the three starting heroes. The good news is you can swap them easily back at “base” known as The Ark – a sort of central hub where you can craft consumables, tweak hero builds, and bunches of other stuff away from the main open world content.

I’m really enjoying myself in Agents of Mayhem so far. Launch is next week, and our review is coming on August 15th at 1201am PDT (301am EDT). There are some floaty issues I had with the controller, but since I’m on PC, I’m fond of the Mouse and Keyboard anyway. On the controller, it felt like the view/camera swung too easily around my character, though this could probably be remedied with settings. The PC version has oodles of customization options for display too and smartly tracks your GPU memory usage as you tweak them too. Oddly, the game would still slow down a bit in High/Ultra at times, even though my Maxwell Titan should more than smash the required processing power. It could be my i7-4790, but I doubt it. It’s possible optimization is still a bit rough on PC.

Keep an eye on this one folks. Agents of Mayhem may just be the lighthearted open world action game you’re craving when it launches next week.

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