The best way I can describe Agents of Mayhem (AOM) is that it’s a mix between ‘Saints Row’, ‘Crackdown’ and ‘Battleborn’. In fact, due to it being developed by Volition, the same studio behind ‘Saints Row’, I pretty much consider it a spiritual successor.
In AOM you get to control up to twelve different people from a specialised task force known as ‘M.A.Y.H.E.M.’ (Multinational Agency Hunting Evil Masterminds). The agency is made up from a ragtag group of mis-fits who act on their own accord to doll out justice against ‘L.E.G.I.O.N.’ (the League of Evil Gentleman Intent on Obliterating Nations), and with the ability to switch between three characters at any time, it’s your job to cause chaos with a variety of weapons and move sets. There are a wide range of abilities to try out across its robust roster.
Whilst not every agent is available from the get-go, the more you progress through missions, the more agents you will unlock.
Each agent features his or her own experience points (as well as an individual rank up to 20) and there are also character skill trees to manage too. At the beginning of the game I have to admit I was a little let down by the variation of my first three characters, but rest assured that the nine agents that lay beyond the opening act are a lot more interesting to deal with. Furthermore, at the end of each level you’ll acquire scrap and cash to help further the progress of your favourite agent(s).
The city of Seoul, South Korea, is a relatively grand playground to explore and in typical sandbox fashion it’s filled with collectables. It helps that every character you control can perform a triple-jump to spring around each environment. The streets are teeming with NPCs and whilst the roads are occupied with pedestrians I strongly suggest you stick with your provided ‘Mayhem’ mode of transport – pretty much every vehicle roaming the city is shockingly poor. Overall, it was a little disappointing that there weren’t any hidden gems lurking around the city streets to add to your garage, but at least the main game vehicles are instantly accessible via a touch of a button, a la’ ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’. You also have a main base of operations named the ‘Ark’ and from here you can select missions and manage weapon / vehicle upgrades – as well as a lot more!
To sum up, Agents of Mayhem’s twelve character selection is a neat idea but its gameplay mostly consists of killing waves of enemies, clearing out enemy bases and hacking computer terminals. It grows stale after a few missions and the city quickly loses its appeal, least of all because every vehicle on the road is an underpowered brick on wheels. I was also sad that online co-op wasn’t supported in the campaign (something that has been supported in the ‘Saints Row games). The only feature that I adored was the game’s cartoon cutscenes – if you stitched them all together, I’m sure it would make a fantastic mini movie.