The team at Volition, who is responsible for the highly successful Saints Row franchise, is expanding its universe with its newest game Agents of Mayhem. During an event hosted by Deep Silver in San Francisco, we were able to get some hands-on time with the newest game that will take place in South Korea and within the Saints Row universe. Agents of Mayhem will introduce a gameplay style that is as over-the-top as the Saints Row franchise, while including a new mechanic that allows players to choose between three different characters with specific attributes on-the-fly. There is strategy involved as players will need to select their characters based on the best matchup for the enemy.
While the location for Agents of Mayhem is in South Korea, the city is billed as “the city of tomorrow”. It takes place in the near distance future, and the crew is part of a coalition known as M.A.Y.H.E.M. (Multinational Agency Hunting Evil Masterminds). The plot involves stopping the evil terrorist organization known as L.E.G.I.O.N. (League of Evil Gentleman Intent on Obliterating Nations). While there may be a plot, Agents of Mayhem will mostly involve the characters in the game and the fun involving blowing up an open-world city.
Playing through a few missions, we were provided with three characters. The most notable was the cocky reality television star known as Hollywood. He wielded the typical militia setup with an assault rifle. He was teamed up with Fortune, who dual-wielded pistols and featured a droid, and Hardtack, the big tough guy with the shotgun. What adds a deeper element is the ability to build up Mayhem abilities, much like a finisher in Street Fighter. Once the bar fills, the Mayhem ability can be activated with a brief cut scene and all hell breaks loose depending on the character.
The game will come with twelve characters. Some of the others include Daisy, a mini-gun wielding, beer drinking, roller derby girl that can never seem to remember the night before. Rama, an immunologist who fires energy arrows for those distance kills. Another is known as Red Card, a German Soccer hooligan who can cause crowd hysteria. The idea is getting the right mesh with the squad to have someone who can handle different tasks. Agents will heal when they are not being used.
Agents of Mayhem will keep the sense of humor that Volition introduced to the likes of Saints Row IV. The developers state there will be plenty of easter eggs and references to the previous Saints Row games, including a character brought directly from the last game. It will feature explosions that would bring a tear to Michael Bay’s eye as the whole idea from the developers was to create a G.I. Joe game that is set in the Saints Row universe.
The third-person open world allows players to easily traverse and parkour around the city. Double and triple jumps will help players get around along with the ability to drive vehicles and complete vehicle-based missions, as well. On paper, a game like this would seem to feel like Gearbox Software’s Battleborn, but that is not the case as the sense of the Saints Row universe is heavily influenced. Plus, the ability to swap characters on the fly for specific purposes plays a key role in the success to stopping L.E.G.I.O.N.
As for the story behind the origin of M.A.Y.H.E.M., it is not affiliated with any government agency. Its founder, Persephone Brimstone, was originally with L.E.G.I.O.N. but defected due to the disinterest in its intentions. The base of operations is the ARC as it floats similar to an Avengers Ship. Her second in command, Friday, handles all the logistics for M.A.Y.H.E.M. and will be the players’ main point of contact in the game.
Agents of Mayhem will mainly be a single player experience and not in the least bit a MOBA. There will be a multiplayer aspect that involves contracts, but the game will focus mainly on the single player experience. It will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC on August 15, 2017. Volition is highly motivated to bring the humor it is known for to the characters and the chemistry between them.