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Xbox One Review: Agents of Mayhem

August 30, 2017 by  

Crackdown Row?

Agents of Mayhem is the latest game from Volition. It is set in the Saints Row universe, but is more of a spin-off, only making quick nods to the past, while carving out its own identity with a group of agents fighting the evil LEGION organization with cutscenes that are reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons. The gameplay will feel at home for those who have played Crackdown, but is there more to it?

The story itself is a mixed bag of craziness and sadly, some unfinished storylines when the campaign is over…which makes me think they’ll either be resolved through DLC or a potential sequel. The game comes with 12 agents and more are coming through DLC. You pick a group of 3 agents to go on missions with and switch between them with the D-Pad, while only one is in action at any one given time.

It’s a curious idea, one that might have benefited from co-op play of some kind. Still, the game is fairly easy to get to grips with and it’s an excellent shooter. The interface and characters obviously take nods from Overwatch, while the city of Seoul is nicely detailed and full of collectibles, side-quests, and enemies to defeat.

One major problem is that during the course of the game, you’ll enter LEGION Lairs which are just rooms where you have to defeat all the enemies, hack computers or rescue hostages. The problem is that each Lair is more or less identical in its layout and since there’s quite a number of them to get through, it becomes repetitive and predictable.

Outside of the Lairs, the rest of the game is highly enjoyable. You gather resources to build blueprints for buffs, upgrades, and new vehicles. There are also Contracts to complete alongside other players’ progress with a time limit for all of you to reach the total by. There are 350 shards to collect and are hidden in the most frustrating places…you can upgrade your scanner so you can see chests and shards through walls, but it’s not the best help…I had to resort to a video guide in the end.

The agents themselves are a nice mixture of personalities. Each has their own unique skill set and making your team of 3 is not an easy decision, since they all are handy in tough situations. I personally preferred Oni, Fortune, and Scheherazade. The latter is a devil with blades, Oni is great at close range with his pistols and Fortune has powerful pistols too. Each agent also has a special ability that can be used once the meter is charged, which will give you a nice advantage over the enemy.

Visually, Agents of Mayhem isn’t going to win any awards. It’s not a terrible looking game, but it is basic and lacks detail when compared to other open world games. I also came across a number of bugs such as enemies getting stuck in walls, I’ve fallen through floors and there have been times that the game has just completely locked up.

Also, Mission Replay is glitched so you can’t earn the Hardcore Gamer Achievement for doing every mission of Difficult 7+ unless you do it straight away. I’m sure it’ll all be fixed through patches, but still, it’s a little disappointing. The voice-acting is hit and miss with some one-liners that either hit the mark or completely miss it. While the soundtrack isn’t too shabby, the sound effects are pretty decent too.

The Verdict

Agents of Mayhem has some great qualities. It’s a competent shooter, full of destruction and well…mayhem. It is, however, glitchy, repetitive at times and the story falls a bit flat towards the end. Each Agent seems to have their own story, but it never really gets wrapped up, which partly makes me hope for a sequel or DLC to give them closure. I just hope that if that happens, I don’t see another LEGION Lair anywhere…

Score: 7.5

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