Agents of Mayhem is available now for the Xbox One and is priced at £49.99 on the Xbox Marketplace.
This review should have been up a while back. Yeah home life has been hectic, but actually the biggest problem I have had with this review has actually just been in the writing. I've had severe writing block where this game is concerned, because I'm still not sure where I stand with it. Helpful, right?!
Agents of Mayhem is an open world game by Volition, set after events in Saints Row 4: Gat out of Hell. On paper that game sounds amazing, an open world, with plenty of different heroes to play as in a battle against the guys who are trying to take over the world. But somehow, it falls flat.
I wanted to love it. I wanted to be dying to jump back in every time my playtime was rudely interrupted by yet another kid's party. But I just wasn't all that bothered about getting back to what basically ends up being a rather lifeless world. The open world of Seoul just doesn't seem very full, generally there are only a few NPC's, vehicles and just general signs of life. Don't worry though there are some collectibles dotted about to flesh out the world. Oh goody.
This is where my issue in writing this review started - who will believe that Volition have managed to make a world that's stale and boring after the first hour?! But everything about this game does feel stale - at least to me. The characters only ever managed to raise a slight smile, although mostly the attempts at humour made me cringe. Agents of Mayhem just doesn't hit the silly comical heights that the Saints Row games have managed to before.
There are a lot of characters to choose to play as in Agents of Mayhem, but again this just doesn't feel right. I wish they'd made a few less characters and put more effort into writing the ones that stayed. There are too many that just feel completely interchangeable. It's such a shame. Some of them are pretty interesting and have fairly decent backstories but these may only standout because of how dull the others are. You pick three of them to take with you to your missions, and can switch between them at will, utilising their different special abilities to wreak havoc on the baddies. Unfortunately there's no way to control the people you're not playing as, which feels like a big missed opportunity. If you'd had some squad control elements this game could have been a lot more interesting.
The gunplay is alright, it doesn't break any molds but it all works pretty much how you'd expect. I had some issues in some of the bigger battles with stuttering, but it wasn't too bad. The worst thing about the battles is how repetitive they feel, the same baddies will appear over and over and to top it off they feel a bit bullet-spongey.
The biggest problem with Agents of Mayhem is that it feels very much like a game that you'd stick on for half an hour or less to just do a couple of missions. Which would be fine if there weren't plenty of games like this already available that are better. I found myself playing this and dreaming of Overwatch and ultimately putting it on for a while afterwards to take the sour taste out of my mouth.