Hands on with Agents of Mayhem at E3 2016

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One of the biggest surprises at E3 this year came out of the blue. Deep Silver’s Agents of Mayhem did a fine job of capturing the Volition charm into something that grows the Saints Row brand from here on out. I spent an hour of the 2nd day of E3 in a small room with a bunch of PCs and got a chance to try out Agents of Mayhem. So, I’m about to tell you all about that!

20160606_AOM_Announce_02_1080pBefore we get started, Agents of Mayhem is a squad-based open world action game that places you in the role of the titular M.A.Y.H.E.M. — Multinational Agency for Hunting Evil Masterminds, as they hunt down and eliminate the villainous L.E.G.I.O.N. — the League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Nations. The Agents or Mayhem are given an “by any means” directive to take the bad guys down, and if anything Volition has done in the past shines through here, Seoul will never be the same.

The mission I played had me choose 3 of the 4 available agents to hunt down and rendezvous with an AI pop-star. She basically deceides she is going to follow her dreams and joins LEGION so she can marry their android guy that is the boss of the mission. I destroy a base, kill scientists and crash a wedding, all while soaking in the personality of the characters I chose and taking in the beautiful scenery.

20160606_AOM_Announce_01_1080pAll Agents have completely customizable ability load-outs that allow you to make sure you always have all the tools for the job. Fortune is a light damage dealer that could boost her output with a drone that assists her. Hollywood has an assault rifle that deals good damage and a special that lobs grenades. He’s basically WWE’s  The Miz. There’s Hardtack, who is a big guy with a huge health pool, a shotgun and a giant harpoon. I found him the most unwieldy of all the available characters. Finally, Rama is a long range specialist that lays down heavy damage from afar and has all sorts of trick arrows. First time I played the demo, I took Rama, Hollywood and Hardtack.

Combat seemed incredibly welcoming. In some ways, it reminded me of Saints Row. The characters have a special ability and an ultimate ability. They are easy enough to use and straightforward. For a majority of the first half of the demo, I was just tearing through the enemy ranks. Then, a rep showed me that I also have a power-up I could use. It was literally the invincibility star from Mario Bros, using it made me invulnerable and also allowed me to kill enemies or knock them far back by simply touching them. The dialogue in the game was great. After launching an attack on an enemy lab, I climb aboard a flying ship for a boss fight and the end to the demo. I must have been pretty quick because I actually was able to play through the demo twice in my allotted time limit. I changed up my ability loadouts a little bit and took Fortune instead of Hardtack. During the parts with dialogue, I tried to make sure I had a different character out, and was surprised by the different dialogue that took place.

20160606_AOM_Announce_04_1080pOf the many games I played at E3 this year, Agents of Mayhem was easily one of the most polished and enjoyable experiences I had. The team kept pounding the point that this takes place within the Saints Row universe, so I took a moment to ask about that as well. I was told that there is a good possibility that we may see someone or something in relation to the Saints in the game. Being that this game takes place after Johnny asks God to reboot the series after Gat Out Of Hell, my money is on Captain Gat and Kinsey. Either way, Agents of Mayhem ended up being an absolute fresh breath into a brand that was getting kind of stale, and now may be the key to a reboot to an entire franchise.

 

Josh Knowles
7 year veteran of the video game journalism industry. Guinness World Record holder, Wordsmith extraordinaire, MOBA fan, devoted dad & husband.
About the author

Josh Knowles

7 year veteran of the video game journalism industry. Guinness World Record holder, Wordsmith extraordinaire, MOBA fan, devoted dad & husband.