E3 hands-on: Agents of Mayhem
The Saints Row universe is expanding. If you enjoy the wacky humour and loony fun of Saints Row, you probably don’t need to read any further than this. Just go watch the cinematic announcement trailer at the bottom of this post and fall in love with Agents of Mayhem. I chuckled quite a lot while playing this game.
The game is mostly set in Seoul, South Korea. Robots roam the streets, a technological utopia. The city was rebuilt after a LEGION (League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Masterminds) attack and this is the open-world arena that you will play the game. You belong to MAYHEM (Multinational Agency for Hunting Evil Masterminds) an agency funded by Ultor, a corporations Saints Row fans will no doubt be familiar with.
You will tackle missions with a squad of three, switching between the characters the way most games have you switch between weapons. The other two aren’t there when inactive, teleporting into position as you need them, making you feel like a hero taking on crazy odds without having to worry about companion AI. There are 12 agents and you will want your squad of three to be a balanced group. I could only see four of the agents, three of which you can meet in the video below. Hardtack has a shotgun and a lot of health, and his harpoon pulls enemies closer to you for maximum damage with his shotgun. Hollywood is really great at medium range combat with a grenade for taking out groups of enemies. Fortune also works well at medium range, her dash ability keeping her out of harm’s way as she sends her drone out to do damage. I also played as a long-range sniper with that could place traps in the world and take care of other snipers or pesky targets at range. As you use each character’s ability you charge their Mayhem meter, which allows you to dish out massive damage while having fun. For example Hardtack gets the equivalent of eating a star in Mario Bros, complete with shiny lights and new music. He becomes invulnerable and running through enemies kills them. It is really fun to pull off.
Which character you are playing dictates the conversations that happen as you play, which already gives a tiny bit of replay (or at least something new if you die and return to a checkpoint) to the game. As you play you upgrade your agents and you can choose between special abilities. Do you want everyone blind and stunned for a while, or is damage your main goal? Choices like that give each agent a role in your arsenal, while giving you a good laugh as you play. It is Saints Row but with more character for the protagonists. If the game feels this fun and makes me laugh as often, 2017 has a real gem heading our way.