Agents of Mayhem is a game that was full of potential but one that wasn’t fully realized by Volition. Despite being a fun, super hero action title, the game got a few things wrong due to its repetetive mission structure and unbalanced level design. But from a graphical standpoint, Agents of Mayhem has managed to surprise us, at least in regards to what is happening in the immediate vicinity of the player.
Traditionally speaking, players do not associate Volition with high end graphics that set new benchmarks and Agents of Mayhem doesn’t change that. However, what stands out throughout the gameplay experience are the particle effects and the engine’s destruction simulation. And you can expect a ton of destruction in this game resulting into some breathtaking particle effects. Whether it’s the player shooting bullets or a vehicle being blown to bits, the on screen effects can be quite mesmerizing. And although the destruction effects aren’t up to the level of say, the Frostbite engine, the effects match up quite well with the semi-cel shaded art style the game employs.
Agents of Mayhem uses a rather unique style for telling its story. Instead of focusing on in-engine cutscenes, it emphasizes on comic style cutscenes. This kind of effect really works well with the theme of the game and fans of the game will really appreciate Volition for going the extra mile to get this done.
Unfortunately, other than what is in your immediate visibility, the rest of the world feels quite flat, specially when you are looking at it from the top of a building. Vehicles feel like cardboard boxes and NPCs are quite less. The world feels quite empty at times. And this to be honest is quite disappointing.
On the base PS4 and Xbox One front, we see a target resolution of 1080p and 30 frames per second, and both versions see very little impact to performance. However, it’ the PS4 build that sees the most benefits as far as console versions goes. Agents of Mayhem is a PS4 Pro enhanced title and Volition have implemented a couple of features that push it beyond the base PS4 version. There is a decent amount of boost to level of detail along with 16X Anisotropic Filtering compared to 4X on the base PS4. This results into much more detailed and sharper texture work.
The PS4 Pro’s extra power also allowed the developers to implement higher quality shadow effects along with better resolution for particle effects which makes them look even more better that the base versions. There is also an improvement in NPCs and vehicle density. However, the biggest improvement comes in the form of frame rate boost. The game runs at an unlocked frame rate up to 60fps. Now this is completely subjective and some players may not appreciate the unlocked frame rate, but we found the game to be much better in this mode. It would have been nice if Volition would have pushed for a complete locked 60fps experience but given the on screen action the game aims for, we doubt it would have achieved that without taking a big hit to the resolution.
At the end of the day, Agents of Mayhem is a decent looking game on consoles. It certainly doen’t set new graphical benchmarks and its flat world design doesn’t do any favors to gameplay, but its solid visual effects along with some fun filled gameplay will definitely attract new players.