Taking place after reality was changed in Gat Outta Hell, Agents of Mayhem presents the world of Saint’s Row as you have never seen it before. Do you remember Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon? The insane expansion that left the gritty world of a Caribbean island for a romp through a sci-fi 1980’s homage? That is what this game is like, although to be honest the world of Saint’s Row is already crazy!  Released on August 15th, 2017, the game offers an open world third person experience. Available on the Xbox One, PS4 and Microsoft Windows,. After a toss-you-in tutorial, things start to make sense. Mostly based in the city of Seoul Korea, three agents fight against the evil Dr. Babylon and his pesky aggravating soldiers and the looming super villain agency L.E.G.I.ON. The main story is like one of those late 80s/ early 90s cartons in which a secret organization keeps the world safe from an evil group of bad guys. Weapons and characters seem like homages to G.I. Joe, a not all ages appropriate version as I found out

Since getting my hands on the game I’ve been holding on tightly doing the best I can. The overall process of the game is shoot, swap, and repeat. If that doesn’t make much sense it will soon. Coming in to the game you take over as an agent and learn all your handy tricks such as aiming, shooting, and super abilities and other power ups. Those mechanics show up super fast, so good luck remembering all the controls by the time you need them and for three people. After doing your basic training, much like Overwatch in a way, your agent just keeps moving through the mission because the game is very mission based with cut scenes every block. The cut scenes however are very reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons mixed with superheroes and I caught a slight homage to anime as well and that got me excited.

This probably all seems confusing but that is literally how the game started. There was an intro of course but everything came fast and furious so information got missed. The plot seems pretty straight forward until someone throws in the shared universe part. Dr. Babylon destroyed the leader of Mayhem’s city (Paris) and now Persephone (the leader) wants revenge. Dr. Babylon however, wants anything and everything to that is involved with dark matter so he can basically take over the world. Babylon is on the L.E.G.I.O.N team and Persephone controls M.A.Y.H.E.M. That’s the gist of the plot anyway without getting far too detailed. Save that part for the play through on your own because the plot gets intense.

As an agent for Mayhem, there are twelve total characters to control but only three members at a time can be used per mission. By going to the armory, you can use your cash and other bonus items to upgrade characters and their abilities. Depending on who you choose to use the most, options will include weapon upgrades, cash grabbing abilities or epic Hollywood style fighting techniques. Most of these abilities are just plain funny but the game itself has some humor too. By humor, I mean language and more adult themes. After all, Mayhem is in the same shared universe as Saints Row and Red Faction series. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t recommend this for kids even though the characters seem cartoony and cute and right up their alley.

Overall I can see why the game got mixed reviews. This is mostly due to the plot being very detailed and almost too much to handle right away. Each agent has their own back story which is great but the banter back and forth gets old really fast. Usually the key comments are crude and not helpful so they get annoying. If a person were to say these things any other time in the real world, there would be a sexual harassment case or a fight right away. Before I knew this, however, a seven-year-old decided to shoot some bad guys and I inevitably told him to skip some cut scenes and decided to talk over the captioned parts where I knew there was language. Bed time was soon after that for him since I didn’t know what type of game I was getting in to.

Mechanically, the game functions in the sense that each character has abilities and weapons that everyone will like or dislike depending on the character. Like I mentioned before, lock on to your robot target, shoot, repeat and maybe fight a boss at the end of the level. Each level is short too and players fail their mission if they try to leave the main play area to explore. What’s the fun in a game that gives you the ability to explore and then takes it away? Sadly, something broke inside of me when I discovered this flaw.

The game is worth playing if you just want to stick to the main story and get to know what will come of that. If shooting is more your style then great! This will also work for you. Agents of Mayhem however, is not an adventure and exploration game. If I take the dive and continue to play then there won’t be much expected other than they story, maybe something good will come of that.  A minor issue was the reliance on knowing the Saint’s Row’s world and story. While I like a game that doesn’t talk down to the player, there were times I felt there were story going on I had no idea about If you are a fan of Saint’s Row, pick this one up. If you are not familiar, it is still a fast-paced game, although you might not get all the references. Now I just hope that seven-year-old doesn’t come back with a few questions…

Agents of Mayhem is available now Xbox One, PS4 and Microsoft Windows