Volition, the developers behind Saints Row, are back with a new franchise spin-off Agents of Mayhem. 

An open-world action game, Agents of Mayhem features 21 Agents of, uh, MAYHEM – the Multinational AgencY Hunting Evil Masterminds. It’s the agents’ job to destroy LEGION – the League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Nations.

As an agent, you’re tasked with taking to the open world (with two other interchangeable agents – more on that later), to conquer missions and defeat the LEGION.

STACK was recently lucky enough to go hands-on with Agents of Mayhem in Sydney, and first impressions prove it’s undoubtedly a Saints Row universe game; from the character and art design to the trademark witty humour, it has Volition written all over it.

Entering a level partway through the game, we were given a quick rundown on the controls: D-pad to switch agents, triggers and bumpers to shoot/use abilities, and so on. Each agent has their own unique kit and play style, so you’ve really got to play them all to find out which one/three work best
for you.

Starting out in your base of operations known as the Ark, you can elect to do whatever you want from there; our chosen mission involved hunting down a member of LEGION by driving (which handles really well, by the way) around town, following clues. Our three agents were Rama, Joule, and Hollywood. Rama was easily the favourite; a ranged markswoman, she’s the only agent with a bow, and landing headshots is extremely satisfying – so much so that we almost missed our flight back to Melbourne.

Switching between your three squad members is a good way to keep momentum flowing within the game, and you could conceivably spend hours working out a good team dynamic. Meanwhile, the level of customisation available in AoM is staggering – Agent skins, weapon skins, vehicle skins… and that’s without even touching on the technical augmentations available. You’ll need a lot of free time.

The dialogue – in particular the toilet humour – is stand-out, and a great way to tie the game back to Saints; the voice acting is genuinely good. Many of the character skins and voice-lines are heavily pop culture-inspired, so be sure to keep an eye out for references that even Steve Rogers would understand.

Worth noting, too, that the open world you exist in when not doing missions features a mechanic similar to GTA police; LEGION forces will respond to your actions in real-time and send out bigger and badder reinforcements to shut you up.

Full of self-aware humour and easy-to-grasp gameplay mechanics, Agents of Mayhem is a crazy amount of fun. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire…

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Johnny GatGAT OUT OF TOWN

While AoM exists as its own game – set in a futuristic Seoul, South Korea – you’ll still see some faces you recognise. Take Persephone Brimstone, referenced only briefly in one of the potential endings of Gat Out Of Hell DLC, or Pierce Washington, first introduced in Saints Row 2. And of course, the needs-no-introduction Johnny Gat himself.