E3 2016: Agents of Mayhem is a Raucous Saints Row Spin-Off With Oodles of Character
I was going to ask Volition why it chose to make a new Saints Row game without using the franchise's name in the title. That was until I actually got to grips with Agents of Mayhem and realised that it's not really a Saints Row game at all. Taking Saturday morning cartoons, superheroes and comic books as its inspiration, Volition regards Agents of Mayhem as a new IP that's part of the expanded Saints Row universe, but still possesses what Lead Writer Jason L Blair calls "Volition's secret sauce."
"It's fun, funny and over-the-top," Blair assures us, before we're offered the chance to go hands-on with the game for the first time. Described as a "no holds-barred" super agent operation, Agents of Mayhem presents you with 12 agents to choose from, all reporting to Mayhem founder Persephone Brimstone and head of logistics, Friday, in the wake of Gat Out of Hell, as you take on the evil forces of Legion, headed up by the nefarious Dr. Babylon and his second-in-command, Steeltoe.
Mayhem, as an Ultor-funded counter-Legion operation, have access to some pretty impressive hardware, ensuring your team of agents is always equipped with the most cutting edge gear and weaponry. And with Legion launching an assault upon Agents of Mayhem's tech centre of the world, Seoul in South Korea, it's down to you to save the day using a range of Ultor guns and gadgets. Our hands-on offers up four different agents to choose from, and we have to time to try them all out. The other eight have yet to be revealed.
Kicking off with archetypal clean-cut, chiseled hero Hollywood, we take shotgun-wielding tank Hardtack and nimble archer Rama along with us for the ride, taking the fight to Legion. Our mission involves rescuing pop singing AI celebrity Aisha from the clutches of Legion, which means venturing into the Seoul underbelly that has become their wholly owned domain. Vibrant animated cut-scenes set things up, as we're let loose on the streets to do battle in Agents of Mayhem's cutting edge, urban open world.
Using the d-pad to switch between your three agents on the fly, you're able to make use of their various abilities, busting out Rama's ranged bow and powerful Plague Arrow ultimate skill; Hardtack's beefy shotgun and sticky mines Mayhem ultimate; and Hollywood's assault rifle and devastating gung-ho rampage ultimate ability. Whatever combination of Mayhem agents you choose, it seems that you'll have a formidable set of tools at your disposal, alongside 'Gremlin Tech': handy consumable items acquired as you progress.
These include items that grant temporary invulnerability, lighting you up like Mario when he collects a star, and enabling you to wade into a fight without worrying about taking damage. Despite a spread of weapons and skills, you'll no doubt discover a balanced squad of agents that works for you, as we find when drafting Fortune in during a second playthrough of the same demo. A female pirate type with dual pistols, Fortune's speed and agility make her a worthwhile member of the team, summoning her drone to provide supporting fire, while swiftly dashing around.
Speed and accessibility is ostensibly at the core of Agents of Mayhem, as you're able to execute quick dodges and special, secondary weapon functions like grenades and such to keep the onslaught of Legion-affiliated 'Ministry of Pride' tech fetishists at bay. As we descend into Legion's underground base via the secret switch inside an 'evil trashcan', we're able to scan for enemies at the push of a button, hacking computer consoles to locate Aisha.
A twist in the story takes us to a location high above the city for a showdown with Steeltoe, deactivating dark energy cores, shutting down their defences to expose a final dominator core and blow it up. All that's left is to prevent a sinister wedding from taking place, before leaping to safety from an exploding construction barge.
Volition's promise of OTT action certainly doesn't come up short for our first hands-on with Agents of Mayhem, and we come away with a sense that the Saints Row dev is crafting another game that goes big on personality, guns, a bold sense of humour and the fun factor.
Agents of Mayhem will also include a nice bit of depth on top of its out-and-out bombast, as you improve your team of agents, while upgrading and building your Mayhem base of operations to escalate the fight against Legion. If Volition can weave an entertaining story to go with its enjoyable third-person shooter gameplay, Agents of Mayhem could be a Saints Row spin-off that's just as appealing as its big brother.
Agents of Mayhem will be wreaking havoc on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in 2017.
Sunday, June 26, 2016 @ 03:06 AM
Sunday, June 26, 2016 @ 08:54 AM
Monday, June 27, 2016 @ 11:09 AM
Thursday, July 07, 2016 @ 05:00 PM
Friday, July 08, 2016 @ 04:28 PM