What is Agents of Mayhem?
With its tongue firmly in its cheek, and with heapings of crude humour, Agents of Mayhem is a third person, single player action game from the makers of Saint's Row. Playing as an agent of the titular Mayhem organisation - that's the Multinational Agency Hunting Evil Masterminds to you and me - it's up to you to take on the nefarious Dr Babylon and his cronies across both a series of story driven missions, and an open world recreation of a futuristic Seoul.
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How do you play Agents of Mayhem?
The story missions in Agents of Mayhem form the main bulk of the gameplay, and are heavily combat based. Whether you're searching for bits of rocks that have smashed into the city, infiltrating a Legion base, or taking on a Legion boss in the middle of a planetarium as the game lectures you about "The wonder of Uranus" (with plenty of room for double entendres), you'll find yourself facing off against hordes of Legion's finest as the story unfolds.
With 14 agents on offer, you'll play each mission as a smaller team of three of your choosing, with the ability to cycle between team members on the d-pad. Each agent has their own very specific set of powers and play style - of the three you start with, Hollywood, a reality TV star turned wannabe actor, is the all rounder, who attacks with a machine gun from a medium range; Fortune is a lady thief who attacks from a distance with dual pistols (and has a drone called Glory that goes around zapping enemies to stun them for you); while Hardtack is a man mountain, ex-Navy guy who prefers to get in up close with a shotgun. The more you play, the more agents you'll unlock, with each having their own set of skills for you to make use of.
How easy is Agents of Mayhem to pick up and play?
Although it may be aimed at experienced players, Agents of Mayhem does come with an incredibly scalable difficulty, with a choice of 15 (!!) difficulty levels to choose from. Ramping up the health enemies have on an exponential scale, you'll find almost all foes can be dispatched in only a few shots on the easiest difficulty, but they'll quickly start to put up much more of a fight on level three or four. With an adjustable auto-targeting assist meaning new players can make it so they don't have to worry about being 100% accurate, when combined with the level 1 difficulty level, Agents of Mayhem's gun based combat is designed to be really easy to get into. The only thing to watch out for is that the game increases the difficulty level as you level up your characters, so you'll want to keep dragging it back down if you're after an easy ride. Handily, you're always given the opportunity to turn the difficulty down should you fail a mission.
However, the missions themselves do often require a fair amount of exploration and instinct, as you often have to figure out how to get to your objective on your own. With some missions asking you to scale huge skyscrapers, actually working out how to get going can sometimes be a challenge - especially as you'll sometimes have to work your way up a series of adjacent buildings in order to reach the top, with no markers to tell you explicitly where you need to go. A game best suited to those who like to experiment, Agents of Mayhem relies on your observational skills and problem solving to get around.
For the hard of hearing, Agents of Mayhem is all but fully subtitled, with only background/incidental dialogue in missions (all non-critical stuff) going without. On the other end of the scale, the game is also mostly fully voiced, with only tutorials delivered through text only.
In terms of mature content, Agents of Mayhem contains frequent strong language, moderate bloody violence, and moderate sexual references and imagery.
F*ck, sh*t and as*hole are all used regularly throughout. There's also some Spanish swear words thrown in, like "pendejos" or "as*holes".
Violence and Gore
Enemies give off moderate spurts of red blood when shot, although combat doesn't stain the ground or enemies. While it is possible to run over civilians and pedestrians, there's no reward in doing so. There's also no dismemberment or decapitations here, placing Agents of Mayhem somewhere in the middle.
An in-game animated video clip parodies a pornographic tape, showing stills of a naked woman with "drugs" taped to her breasts, and a naked bloke handcuffed in a hog tie position (see gallery for examples). There's also regular crude humour throughout - one enemy attacks you with giant balls, triggering plenty of jokes about how "big his balls are".
Format Reviewed: Playstation 4