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Agents of Mayhem (AoM) was defiantly an interesting title to play. It was quite refreshing to play something that took a lot of its inspiration from the 80's and 90's cartoons and action movies i watched growing up. With its over the top action scenes, seemingly endless waves of enemies and cringe worthy dialogue you would expect from those old shows mixed in with pop-culture references and movie quotes.
You take the role of MAYHEM (the Multinational AgencY for Hunting Evil Masterminds) building your team from three of the available agents each with there own unique weapons and powers. Such as Hollywood, an over the top, narcissistic, Canadian action hero who wields an assault rifle. His special includes him putting on sunglasses shouting his tagline before random explosions begin effecting the area you're fighting in. Your aim is to stop LEGION (the League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Nations) who in true bad guy fashion are trying to take over the world. This team building mechanic means you can take three characters who you like or plan your team for best effect.
I found there to be a great diversity of characters, many from different countries, making Mayhem feel more Multinational. Adding to this the location of the game, Seoul in South Korea the technological hub of the world. This however is where the diversity ended for me. Although the game was based in Korea, it didn't feel like you were quite in a different county. The citizens all seemed generic and despite being a team founded to save the world and a few missions where you had to save buildings or people from being killed, they were free game. They would get in the way in fire fights or get killed by enemies and that was it, no bad karma or negative effects for killing them.
I also found navigating the city to be a pain, I basically ran and jumped everywhere. It seemed faster to simply jump and climb over the buildings because driving felt so... clunky. You spent most of the time crashing into everything. The roads always seemed empty when you needed a car but full when you were in one meaning you spent so much time smashing through traffic, on the pavement or nose first in buildings or walls. The Agent car did have its perks, allowing you to stand in one place to gain access to it in a flashy manner and it would make remarks about situations, such as when you crashed or when you left it and a boost function to help you get up to speed. The issue however was it would come to a complete stop if you stayed in the sport for a flashy entrance which to me felt like the momentum of the game was lost. At least on foot you could look for collectables.
The combat in the game felt very fast paced keeping you on your toes. Each characters play style helped you deal with varying situations however you quickly came to realise that you were fighting the same enemies over and over and the only degree of difficulty was that more baddies would come in each wave. The AI seemed to be a little smarter than in some games, buffing there allies or holding back and taking cover rather than just standing in the open to fire on you. With this being a run and gun style game you were unable to take cover yourself and when faced with overwhelming odds you found it easy to lose softer units like Fortune which was frustrating when the enemies seems to spawn endlessly. This forced you to take a tougher character such as Hardtack but you hand to get closer due to shorter ranged weapons. Some battles felt like you simply didn't hit hard enough which drew me out of the game.
Customisation was plentiful. From each characters weapon effects and special abilities to costumes and weapon appearance. You could chose from a range of cars once unlocked them and then the paint job. All of this was available from completing missions around the map. Outside of most of the missions the world was an open sandbox. You could go where you wanted and take part in the many side missions and activities. These were great, to start with but became very slimier after a little while. The main missions were quite fun to follow but had a vibe of kill the wave on enemies and move on to the next. I did love unlocking new agents though. Having a set mission which introduced them, telling us a little it about the characters past. This was a great way of introducing us to them and helping us decide if we liked or disliked them.
Overall I liked playing Agents of Mayhem, it was a fun light hearted game with plenty of action but not without its issues. A game where you could blow off some steam. If you're into or grew up with the old action films and cartoons then i urge you to get a copy.
You can buy a copy of Agents of Mayhem on the Microsoft store.
Or you can follow me on twitter at @DamianTack
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