Agents of Mayhem PS4 review
Not everyone appreciated the course change of Saints Row. The series changed from a rather serious, tough gangster game into an over the top parody of itself. Good news for whoever loves that new style: Agents of Mayhem adds a little bit more overkill.
Agents of Mayhem is a spin-off of the Saints Row series and is about a (not so) secret agency that protects the world from all the evil that lurks around the corner. That evil is, in this case, the diabolical organization with the not so original name Legion, who wants to invade the South Korean capital Seoul. It's up to the Agents of Mayhem to stop them. The fact that the agents also cause considerable damage, chaos and victims is a little sidenote.
The Agents of Mayhem are a kind of Avengers, with more superpowers than Batman and Superman combined. There's a guy named Hollywood, who likes to just blow everything up, a pretty lady on roller skates with a giant minigun and a German soccer hooligan with a shotgun. But there are also subtle Agents, such as an Indian assassin using her arrow and bow to cause mayhem with biological weapons, and a female ninja who changes the game from a shooter in a real hack and slash party.
The thirteen different Agents all have their unique abilities, with their own weapons, secondary attacks and powerful Mayhem action. It is therefore a pity that the three Agents you start with look very similar to each other, and all of them are kind of specialised at shooting. As a result, the game leaves a bad first impression, which is happily adjusted later after unlocking more diverse Agents and upgrades. It becomes a whole different game.
Luckily the game has these different characters, because Agents of Mayhem offers very little variation otherwise. Discovering the environment is pushed completely to the background in this spin-off. Seoul is free to explore, but is not much bigger than a stamp and except for some races and destroy-these-objects quests there is nothing to do. The emphasis is placed on - much more than in the Saints Row series - missions.
And these missions are all the same. You are always on the streets blowing shit up or shooting at the Legion. Small highlights are missions where you escape the streets of Seoul, such as the bossfight during a pop concert and a shooting in a disco. Many other missions are very similar. The same with the dungeons, called "Legion Lairs". After clearing one of them, you've seen them all. The assignment here is usually literally "go to the next room". No, apparently, after the last Saints Row games, the creators just had no more inspiration.
Nevertheless, Agents of Mayhem is a small party, though you have to create the fun yourself. Always enter a Legion Lair with other characters. One time, you blow everyone up with more explosions than in the average Michael Bay movie, the other time you're going loose with a minigun or taking knives to a firefight. You'll end up winning anyway.
Agents of Mayhem makes a bizarre mix of The Expendables, James Bond, The Avengers / Guardians of the Galaxy and Sharknado. We see hints of games like inFamous, Crackdown and Sunset Overdrive, but then (still) ridiculous. The action is pruning hard, easily digestible and does not bother. Everything can break down and even in rescue missions it does not matter if you hit (not always accidental) some citizens. And just as you think there can't be more explosions, you'll release some sick upgrades, like space lasers or a mini nuclear explosion.
This is one of those games who are fun for a few hours, and get lost and out of sight afterwards. Is it worth spending $50 on this? No.