Agents of Mayhem Hands-On Preview – A Fun Game For Just About Everyone
Get ready to run, shoot, dodge and “triple” jump in this crazy new adventure from Volition.
Developers Volition came back to E3 2017 with an updated preview version of one of their newest games, Agents of Mayhem. During last year’s E3, the game was still very much an infant…a shell of what it is today. But the latest build was a ton of fun and more sophisticated than it ever was. With an extensive roster of characters, amazing new abilities, and a fun new triple-jump, there’s no saying how far this game can go once it’s released later on.
Agents of Mayhem is a third-person action-shooter game with tons of platforming thrown in. Along with that you lead a team of three to go out and take out the evil organization known as Legion. Before the adventure begins, I was prompted to choose a team. There were so many options to choose from in this preview build; so I decided to go for Daisy, a woman on roller skates (who doesn’t have fun in those?) and carries a massive Gatling gun, an assassin who’ve good with melee, and some big guy who looked mean but carried a massive gun.
There are strategies to choosing characters to help the game become a little easier, as well. For instance, there are some character builds that are skilled in long-ranged attacks, others in mid-range, and others in melee. It’s almost constructed like a rock, paper, scissors-type scenario. Of course this game is from the developers behind the wacky Saints Row franchise… that means that nothing is set in stone. So feel free to choose any types of characters you want and you’ll still feel as though you have a fair chance. My characters were both mid-ranged attackers with my melee assassin. I chose based on who I thought was cool looking, not their skills or weapons. After choosing the characters I received some points which I was able to spend in the abilities tree.
"After finally entering the world through a few load screens, it was immediately apparent that the game was already light years ahead of last year’s build."
After finally entering the world through a few load screens, it was immediately apparent that the game was already light years ahead of last year’s build. The colors were dim in the dark city of Seoul, South Korea where the game takes place but the abundance of night-shaded streets and alleys were lit by the colors of bright lights all around the level. The game is wonderfully lit in surrealist colors — it’s too dark and too light at the same time; much like comic book art. I think that’s what the developers were going for in the long run: a game designed around the crazy antics of misfit characters, tied to a setting that looks like everything takes place in a comic book. What you get from the output are zany enemies, and weapon explosions that are interesting and a lot of fun to see.
The objectives I received were about running from one location to another; retrieve some information and kill the enemies I face. The location within Seoul was, of course, Asian influenced in many parts with nods to the culture everywhere. From the architecture of the buildings resembling that of Gyeongbokgung Palace to more traditional modern-style towers; the feel of the culture feels great in many different ways. Then there’s also the streets teeming with cars and citizens who are okay with dying. Seriously!
Enemies are often dumb and non-intelligent. Unfortunately, they’re a standard for some third-person shooters these days: they shoot, run towards you, and shoot some more. They die easy, they’re inaccurate at shooting, and they’re way too easy to fool. But the game was designed to be a crazy adventure and not necessarily a science of well-balanced characters.
"Overall, Agents of Mayhem is turning out to be a fantastic and brainless experience."
Speaking of well-balanced characters, my characters were crazy strong, insanely good, and way over-powered. But that’s what this game is all about. Daisy’s gatling gun is huge, and it feels like it weighs nothing. She skates through the streets without a care in the world shooting off her gun. As I was getting close to overheating the gun, I was told by the developer to keep shooting and let it overheat. What? Most games discourage you from overheating any gun or rifle which results in slower shooting or stalled weapons. But once I overheated it the gun became even more powerful. After a while of shooting and taking a few shots myself, I was ready to release a super attack I had saved up. It was funny because the super attack was a series of bubbles and trapped the enemies within it. They were helplessly stuck inside and I just hammered away them with my gun.
I was also told that double jumping is so last year! Agents of Mayhem has now evolved the triple jump, and it feels fantastic. Jump, double jump, then triple jump to locations that are far up. It’s important to mention that switching between characters is simple and fun. Being able to play around three characters, and switching between them makes the game feel so much more open and versatile. Mixing and matching which characters you like makes the experience that much better.
Overall, Agents of Mayhem is turning out to be a fantastic and brainless experience. Don’t care about story? The game doesn’t force it on you. You just want to shoot or melee all the way through? The game gives you plenty of characters that just do that. There are so many variations and classes for characters, so many different move sets you can unlock, that Agents of Mayhem feels like it could be a fun game for just about anyone.