Agents of Mayhem REVIEW

Agents of Mayhem REVIEW

0 comments 📅06 September 2017, 19:19

Barmy open-world shooter Agents of Mayhem is exactly what you’d expect to see if you smashed together foul-mouthed Saturday morning cartoons and the over-the-top action of the latter Saints Row games. Volition’s spin off from that long-running series is definitely its own beast, but the DNA of Johnny Gat and company can be seen throughout. That will surely appease fans, even if Agents of Mayhem stumbles in execution.

A simple premise pits the titular agents of M.A.Y.H.E.M (Multinational Agency Hunting Evil Masterminds) against a supergroup of ne’er-do-wells named L.E.G.I.O.N (the League of Evil Gentleman Intent on Obliterating Nations) in a battle across the streets of Seoul, South Korea. The diverse roster of heroes and villains on each side of the conflict is where the game finds some personality, with an egotistical action star, ex-Yazuka hitman and mysterious ninja all teaming up for the greater good.

You pick three of these characters to stomp the streets with, each one bringing their own set of skills and abilities to fighting the bad guys. Rather than control all at once, though, you can switch between each agent at will, picking who is best for the task at hand or whomever you deem as a favourite. Stoic immunologist Rama, for example, is good at picking off enemies from long range with her high-tech bow. Meanwhile, Hollywood loves charging into packs of enemies to a chorus of gunfire and explosions.

This is where Volition should excel – with the action. At times they do, especially in an opening set piece that sees you raid one of Doctor Babylon’s hideouts and leaving a path of chaos in your wake. Yet, what Agents of Mayhem really lacks in its combat is a satisfying sense of feedback to all the carnage around you. There’s no impactful zip to the gunfire or shockwave from all the blasts. The problem is even more pronounced with damage to your agents, which means it’s difficult to notice when you’re under fire. What you have is something that’s serviceable, if underwhelming.

The open world is also a disappointment. For all its colour and vibrancy, Seoul looks like a ghost town. Streets are empty and the odd car slowly trundles by – you never get this sense this is a living, breathing place but just an open area to be littered with side-missions and accommodate the odd bit of shooting.

Technical issues mar the experience too, with the game regularly failing to track the completion of mission objectives and preventing progress. The dialogue will often hang or cut out completely mid conversation, leading to strange moments of silence as you drive around or wait for more information to complete an objective.

While some of these issues should be fixed in future updates it would still only leave a half-decent game worth playing. Somewhere deep within Agents of Mayhem is a fun and frenetic action shooter, but overall it’s a rough and ropey experience.

Developer: Volition
Publisher: Deep Silver
Release: Out Now
Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Price: £49.99

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