Hands-On: Agents of Mayhem

* Agents of Mayhem from Deep Silver is scheduled to release on August 15, 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Travel and accommodations for this Hands-On Preview in San Francisco were provided by Deep Silver. This alpha build of the game was played on PC with an Xbox One controller.


Agents of Mayhem was announced last year at E3 2016. The game is published by Deep Silver and developed by Volition, best known for the Saints Row series.

The Agents of MAYHEM work for a non-government sanctioned organization. MAYHEM stands for: Multinational Agency for Hunting Evil Masterminds.

Consisting of elite team members from all over the world and walks of life, their main objective is to stop LEGION which stands for: League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Nations.

As you can see, in typical Volition fashion, this game is over the top. Now if you’re looking for good versus evil, this is not the game for you. MAYHEM isn’t controlled by anyone and they do whatever it takes to get the job done. This is more of a Bad vs. Evil battle. MAYHEM is bad but LEGION is worse and must be stopped.

Agents of Mayhem is a third-person single player action game. It’s slightly disappointing that it doesn’t support co-op in any fashion. However, once I got more time to play it I realized why it makes sense. While playing the game you have the ability to use the D-pad to change characters at will. This allows you to change the way you’re fighting and also lets your characters heal. If co-op was available you wouldn’t be able to control or change how you were playing.

There will be twelve playable agents but as of right now we only know about nine of them. Each agent has their own special weapon, ability, and mayhem attack and each has a different range on their attacks. Some will be close range, some will be mid-range, and others will be long range. This goes for all of the attacks.

Each agent has a gun, a special ability, and a Mayhem ability. The special ability provides you with a quick change when you’re feeling overrun or near death. However the Mayhem attack changes the landscape of the current battle. These attacks are over the top with brief three second cut scenes giving you a glimpse into the personality of the currently equipped hero.

… There is a level system in the game …
When you begin most of the missions you have the choice to build your team of three from the twelve playable characters. Balance is very important when picking your team. You will want to have a close range, medium range, and a far range agent.

The game controls much like every other third party action/shooter. Back triggers allow you to aim and fire better while front triggers allow you to use your abilities or the gadgets you have equipped. Reload is Square, jump is Cross, alternate ability (dash/cloak) is Circle, and interact/scan is Triangle. Also, every agent has triple jump ability and you’ll be using this a lot in the game to get around the world.

Upon the completion of each level, your team gets equal XP. There is a level system in the game, but what that is for is unknown at this time. Also, as you progress through you unlock gadgets on a per character basis.

As an example, agent Hollywood has a gadget that can increase instant refill of your weapon magazine by 15% but it lowers your base magazine size. You also pick up cash upon killing enemies. What the cash is used for is also unknown at this time. However, I believe that you will use the cash for character skins and weapon skins.

… The interaction between characters via dialogue and cutscenes in general is hilarious …
I was able to get hands-on time with multiple missions throughout the campaign. We didn’t play them in any particular order so as to not spoil anything. I was able to play a few missions that unlocked new characters as well as story missions with my team of three agents that can be changed at will by using the D-pad.

You’re always playing as only one agent and the other agents aren’t even on the screen. Killing enemies and causing damage builds your special ability and then, over time, charges your mayhem attack.

The game plays and controls great. I was still playing just an Alpha build but so far I’m very impressed with what I have seen already. The game looks great even with all the things going on while I was jumping and shooting. The music is awesome and fits with what you’re doing at the current time.

The interaction between characters via dialogue and cutscenes in general is hilarious. It’s classic Volition style – it’s way over the top, with ability and specials, along with the weapons and the dialogue. Each Agent has a catchphrase used during their mayhem attack.

Agents of Mayhem, while feeling similar to other third person action games still somehow holds its own identity. Each Agent truly feels unique. The story they will be telling has a lot of humor and charm to it. Based on what I’ve seen I’m looking forward to the game’s launch in August.

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