Not Saints Row: See Volition’s Agents Of Mayhem

The next game from Saints Row developers Volition is not another open crimeworld, but it is… what is it? The announcement of Agents of Mayhem [official site] last week explained it was some sort of third-person, class-based shooter but now you can see quite what that means in the first gameplay footage out of E3. The answer is: yeah, it is some sort of third-person, class-based shooter, and it looks a bit bum? See for yourself.

Those fellas at the Ian Games Network got the scoop earlier this week:

So! Agents of Mayhem is a singleplayer third-person shooter in an open world with good-ish heroes (M.A.Y.H.E.M. – the Multinational Agency for Hunting Evil Masterminds) tackling supervillains (L.E.G.I.O.N. – the League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Nations) across future-Seoul. With a selection of a dozen characters (classes, in that MOBA-y way), you pick three to hit the streets then control any one at a time and can switch between them at will. They all have different abilities and weapons and can be upgraded and customised but… it doesn’t look fun or interesting as a shooter?

The game’s not due out until 2017 so it’s relatively early footage, and this is out of context, but right now it looks like any bland third-person shooter from the early ’00s – down to the fixed camera.

Hrmph. Maybe the footage is too early or maybe I’m grumpin’. What do you make of it?

Do check out the rest of our E3 2016 posts, previews, odds, ends, and gubbins.


  1. BathroomCitizen says:

    I dunno, I’ve certainly seen worse shooters in the past!

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      A glowing recommendation, to be sure. ;o)

      Wel, who knows how it plays when it comes out. It did look kind of lacklustre to me in the trailer, though.

  2. Premium User Badge

    It's not me it's you says:

    Jesus. I love the later SR games and I came in here 120% expecting to love this, but…

    Damn that looks bland and boring. :/

    • HopeHubris says:

      Thought the exact same thing, “Oh, it can’t be that bad, the Saints Row games have been great”.
      Then just disappointment

  3. Neurotic says:

    Looks f*****g spectacularly good fun to me. Also, the DSV chap said “…it takes place in the larger Saints Row universe” — I and many others shall be watching closely for signs of ULTOR! ahaha!

  4. f0rmality says:

    While I can certainly see it doesn’t look as appealing as the Saints Row games do: “but right now it looks like any bland third-person shooter from the early ’00s”

    I’ve no idea what shooters you were playing in the early 00’s but I wanna go grab those! I haven’t played any good third person shooters recently that let you control 3 different characters at once all with crazy powers like teleport harpooning and whatnot.

    Last third person shooter I played was Binary Domain which was really cool because of the enemy AI, but it was pretty straight up in terms of its combat. This looks super colorful and fun, certainly more interesting than Quantum Break or Gears of War.

  5. RaunakS says:

    This sort of reminds me of the co op shooter for PS3/X360 that Insomniac did. Overstrike, I think it was called? Kinda similar aesthetics.

    • Kollega says:

      It was called Overstrike early in development, but then Insomniac renamed the game to “Fuse” and made it look like a generic sci-fi shooter. I think they noted it wasn’t their best idea. At least, their next game – Sunset Overdrive – was a lot more colorful and fun (and interestingly, open-world like Agents of Mayhem).

      • Baines says:

        Yeah, when people (rarely) mention Overstrike/Fuse now, it is to use it as an example of turning a potentially interesting title into something doomed to be highly forgettable generic mush.

  6. ProverbsofHell says:

    So it’s like Saints Row, with none of the fun crazy weapons or deep character customisation that made the game worth playing in the first place. GG.

  7. Kollega says:

    Count me in with the people who say the trailer is promising. The game – while not spectacular – looks actually rather good. And since the devs promise a lot of skill and gadget customization, and vehicles (though the absence of hoverjets is a misstep, in my opinion), I will definitely wait for more gameplay videos before passing judgement. So far, there hasn’t been anything that’d make me say “nope, this game isn’t for me”, and considering that I’ve been waiting for a cartoony take on the GTA formula for something like a decade…

    • HopeHubris says:

      Have you not played any Saints Row then?

      • Kollega says:

        I have, but Saints Row was – sadly – never “full cartoon”. When I say “a cartoony take on the GTA formula”, I basically mean something like Insomniac Games’ Sunset Overdrive: an open-world game with stylized aesthetics, madcap plot, and wacky weapons. Saints Row IV fits that description pretty well… if not for the aesthetics being complete garbage. It’s literally all night, all the time, where it’s hard to see past 50 metres, and the ever-present neon accents do nothing to help the situation.

        Also, SR:IV was made on a tight budget, and we all know it. The map was recycled, and the missions weren’t really as fun as they should have been to keep up with the genuinely hilarious writing.

        Sigh… now that I explained it, I realize that Agents of Mayhem probably won’t be my dream game either. It seems to cribble too much from the currently-popular “hero shooter” template, while what I want most of all is “Saints Row 2 meets Looney Tunes”. And the aforementioned Sunset Overdrive would be it, but it’s Xbone-exclusive. =/

  8. wombat191 says:

    wow i love the saints row games the more insane the better but that just left me thinking.. thats it? thats the best you can come up with?

    i agree with others here.. dull and bland

  9. Vorrin says:

    I’m with you on the bland&boring train, Alice!

  10. Turkey says:

    Seeing the acronyms for the organizations in the game made me think about how much I want another 60s spy game.

    • Kollega says:

      I don’t know if it’ll comfort or dismay you, but you’re not the only one =/

      Anyone else here feelin’ like we really need No One Lives Forever 3 and Evil Genius 2?

      • montfalcon says:

        yes yes and triple yes. I want these sequels so damn hard.

  11. BathroomCitizen says:

    Well, the combat system certainly seems deeper than SR3.

    Saints Row games, yes, they were crazy and wacky and all that. But the shooting part was never something truly special.

  12. Holderist says:

    When they first mentioned “team/squad based” I thought it would be like in Saint’s Row’s homie system, running around with the other team members. Not a Trine character swapping.

    One thing that wasn’t asked was transportation. How are they going to get around in the city at a pace faster than jogging?

    • Kollega says:

      The video very briefly mentions vehicles, both civilian and M.A.Y.H.E.M. – though for a flimsy-looking design reason not the flying ones. I guess they’ll be showing those later.

  13. BlurredExistence says:

    It seems to me that they’ve taken Saint’s Row and removed everything that made it fun (all the freedom and customization) and made a bog standard TPS.

  14. Deviija says:

    I held out optimistic hope that there’d be more to the game after watching the trailer and hearing the first infobits on it, but now… It seems like they’ve made a game that gutted everything that made the SR series so cartoonishly fun, with personal character customization and over the top ‘do whatever you can think of’ sandbox freedom, and enjoyable co-op campaign, and having followers, and turned it into a time-swap solo shootery game. I’m disappointed.

  15. AdmiralBosch says:

    It makes me sad that Volition is better known for Saint’s Row than for Freespace :[

  16. teamcharlie says:

    Looks absolutely terrible. I hope Volition/Deep Silver has the good sense to flush this turd and get started on something more fun immediately.

  17. cutechao999 says:

    It looks alright, I don’t know why people are not liking it. I mean, it doesn’t look fantastic, but it doesn’t look bad. Deeper combat than SR, different setting, maybe like SR4 but a little different? Idk, looks fine.

  18. Bertum says:

    I can’t help but be cynical when I read the positive posts about the previews for this. You are super-hyped for what, exactly: rigid character animations and completely uninspired mechanics? Nice to see you got that job working for Deep Silver.
    Sorry, just had to get that off my chest.

    I shared the frustration of a lot of Saints Row fans when the news broke about this game, and it’s a direction that has left me baffled really. When Deep Silver / Koch snapped up Saints Row for several million dollars the other year, I had high hopes. Having played Saints 1-3 (and yes, I agree with those that believe 3 was the high point) I was hopeful that 4 would build upon that success: a ridiculously customisable sandbox. What I personally found in 4 was a glorified DLC package: same city, extra powers. The same goes for Gat out of Hell (yes, yes, I know, it was set in Hell, not Steelport. I just wished it felt that way.) Not only that, but they withdrew any customisation options for Gat out of Hell, leaving us with genero-Gat and genero-Kinzie. Not even a reskin.
    So, anyway. I had hoped that, several years on, This game would be a return to the strengths made in Saints Row 2 and 3. Except someone at Volition decided that
    A) removing what was, it’s safe to say, the best console character creation system of the last generation;
    B) completely throwing away the franchise (which, let’s be frank, is probably the main reason Koch Media saved our asses for in the first place);
    C) reskinning their much loved and successful third person open world franchise with this uninspired loaded diaper, slapping a purple fleur-de-lis on it and claiming it’s a spiritual successor;

    Would all be good ideas.

    Frankly, it astounds me that nobody at Deep Silver asked them what in the hell they were thinking. Part of me is still clinging on to the hope that this is all a big joke before the big reveal of a cop-themed Saints Row reboot. But it’s not going to happen, is it. So all I can do is pen an overcooked rant on a gaming site on my day off in order to feel better. Oh well. Have a nice day, everyone.