Agents of Mayhem, the new action game from the makers of Saints Row, pits a group of Saturday morning cartoon-worthy heroes (the titular agents) against the nefarious organization known as L.E.G.I.O.N.. Initially, players control the Franchise Force: Hollywood, Hardtack, and Fortune. We’ve unlocked a few other characters as well and have sat down to look at the crazy arsenal available to these do-gooders.
He greets his LEGION of fans (get it?) with his Assault Rifle, a fully automatic weapon with sizable clip and decent range. Players can usually use it to get the job done, but when you want that bit of extra bang, how about launching an Attention Seeker at your enemies? It deals high damage when it hits or after a set time, so feel free to lob it in someone’s face, drop it in the midst of a bunch of “fans,” or ricochet it around corners.
And what really amps up the fun is his Mayhem ability, Blockbuster, which sets off a firework of explosions everywhere. You can add to the carnage by targeting explosive objects and lobbing a grenade, all while wearing a slick pair of shades.
Hardtack's shotgun is an up close and personal affair, dealing a package of power that obliterates enemies and damages their friends. A tanky guy, he can use his Teleharpoon to latch onto pesky snipers or those annoying Blitztroopers to bring them in close for a Shotgun “hug."
But what’s way more fun is to give it a slight upgrade to become the Boomharpoon. This sucker impales the target, stuns them, pops them back into their friends or a nice unstable object, and then explodes, taking everything nearby right along with it. And if you’re dealing with a large group of wanna-bes, chuck a few Depth Charges their way with Hardtack's MAYHEM ability and plaster a big grin across your face as you tap the detonator.
The centerpiece of Fortune's arsenal is her drone Glory. For maximum devastation, unleash Stunning Glory whenever you can. The drone will send out purpley electrical blasts that stun anyone in the vicinity. While not deadly, it does give her enemies time to contemplate their life choices as they wait for Fortune to deliver some awesome follow-up combos. Her basic weapons, Dual Pistols, deal bonus damage on stunned targets.
But if she really wants to make an impression, she should upgrade her special Powder Keg to Cannonball. Tap her pistols together and bada-BOOM -- bodies and debris everywhere!
Rama's Energy B.O.W. might not seem impressive at first glance. After all, who brings a bow to a gunfight? But this isn't a normal bow. Draw back on the string and hold it, and the damage increases exponentially, allowing you to head-shot those snipers and soldiers just dallying around.
Of course, plunking off enemies one-by-one can become tedious, so why not speed it up with a Death Trap? Fire it into someone strolling toward his friends, then watch the fireworks when he explodes.
And there's more: LEGION destroyed Rama's home, so she’s got a little payback in the form of her MAYHEM, Patient Zero. It’s a simple little shot that infects its target with the plague. Then it hops to one host after another before ending in a nice, blood-splattering explosion of gore and blood.
Like Hardtack, Gat likes to wade into the thick of things with a shotgun, dealing heavy damage to those unfortunate enough to stare down its barrel. And when he’s got a cadre of LEGION soldiers in front of him, he can Spray and Pray, quickly swapping his shotgun for an SMG to send a brief arc of bullets out in front of him.
But Gat really shines when fully surrounded. His Cannonization MAYHEM ability turns him into a complete badass, swiveling around repeatedly to lock onto every target in range, no matter where they are. Just get your trigger-happy on during its duration, and suddenly bodies are dropping everywhere as he shoots from his hip, over his head, and behind his back.
If you’re faced with a large pack of enemies, it’s best to use Kingpin’s special, Gun Machine, to soften them up. The throwing range is quite long, which gives him time to check out the competition and deal with them accordingly. It’s also useful for those enemies that just won’t stand still. Soften them up, then come in with an SMG to finish them off at close range.
His Dance Party MAYHEM is really where it’s at, though, letting him show those enemy “bosses” how much of a boss he actually is. Get in their face, drop a boom box, and watch as they helplessly lose themselves to the beat. (For added fun, try doing this in the middle of traffic with a large group of soldiers.)
Braddock’s lovingly named rifle, Lainey, is the standard issue semi-automatic weapon for this Marine. With a tweak to her special, she can swap functions and fire a Cluster Rocket after upgrading from AP Rounds. This handy little crowd-clearer starts with a central explosion at the point of impact, then launches a handful of smaller explosives around the crater to dish out more destruction to any unfortunate stragglers who weren’t killed right away.
If that weren’t enough, Braddock can take a puff of her cigar before throwing it at someone’s feet. That's not just for effect: It serves as an IR targeter, calling down bolts of energy in its radius. Any weaklings caught in the center of one of these are pretty much vaporized, making it great for bosses.
Hailing from Mother Russia, Yeti is the tankiest character in the game. He’s essentially Batman's Mr. Freeze on steroids, if Mr. Freeze was a ground-pounding bruiser. His primary weapon, the Ice Thrower, lets loose a stream of intense cold that, over time, freezes his foes in place. While not particularly showy, what he does after an enemy freezes solid is downright epic. He could go melee to reset his weapon, but why not ground-pound with Frozen Solid? This special not only stuns in a large radius but also inflicts damage against anyone frozen.
The insanity increases when he uses his MAYHEM ability, Prisoner of Ice, in conjunction with both his weapon and special. The resulting shockwave stuns everyone, makes him nigh-unstoppable, and instantly freezes his weapon so he can let loose with Frozen Solid.
The best part about all of this? Enemies frozen solid tend to shatter in very satisfying ways.
Agents of Mayhem is now available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.