12 reasons Agents of Mayhem isn't just another open-world playground

When writing about Agents of Mayhem, it’s tempting to call out the obvious similarities and influences. The amped up cartoon charm of Overwatch. The infinitely customizable character classes of Diablo III. The gratifying doo-dad hunting of Crackdown. The intricate combat and character interaction of League of Legends nee Defense of the Ancients. The cheery superhero team spirit of The Avengers. The breezy vulgarity of Archer. The purple hues of Saints Row.

But none of that tells the whole story. None of that gets at why Agents of Mayhem stands mightily on its own. This is not just an open-world Overwatch. This is not just Saints Row with superheroes. This is a masterpiece that’s been waiting for 30 years to bust out from the collection of talent at Volition. For a number of reasons, it demands a place among the best of the best. Twelve reasons, to be precise.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2017/08/15/12-reasons-agents-mayhem-isnt-just-another-open-world-playground/

“Which is why the game this most resembles is Freedom Force.”

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand purchased.

and a Freedom Force call out.

Tom, I hate you. Resistance is futile it would seem.

Duh, And/Or Hello.

I feel like I’ve seen the insta-swap between characters in other games before, but I can’t recall where. (It also might date back to 8-bit era 2d platformers, which isn’t really a relevant precedent).

…(sighs and reaches for wallet).

Well, Tom references Marvel vs Capcom, albeit in a quote of a different review.

Tom, what did you think of the way the bad guys periodically take back the towers and force you to fight through all the associated side missions to retake everything?

This game is just getting savaged in almost every other review I’ve seen, but after watching your streams on this I’m taking a chance on it. Here’s hoping. It is one of the most love/hate review situations I’ve seen in awhile, though. Are there any other reviewers on the love side?

On an unrelated note, it’s hard to believe Far Cry 2 was 9 years ago.

Man, that was my initial thought as well. I’m pretty sure that mechanic in Mayhem is going to be as divisive as it was in Far Cry 2.

Don’t let wumpus buy this.

Nah, MVC has distinct sprites that enter / exit with a specific interaction (i.e. a specific attack).

Something like the Bayonetta / DMC swapping between a/b weapon sets is close though.

I’m not sure why the reviews are so bad. I’m having a LOT more fun than expected after reading those. Sure some things are a bit janky but I don’t find the repartee between our heroes all that bad. I’ve enjoyed a lot worse. Sure its early days but so far I am cautiously optimistic.

Yeah I’ve put a couple hours in and so far it’s thumbs up from me. The city traversal feels great, and the combat with just four agents to choose from is already really varied and fun. I do agree with RockPaperShotgun that it kinda sucks not to have any clear indicator of taking damage without watching the healthbar in the corner, but that’s my only real gameplay complaint so far. And I’m enjoying the characters. They’re silly, but not grating yet. Rama is even pretty likable.

How is everyone playing this already? Its out now in the states? Here its out friday.

Hah, I was thinking Emma and John. My cultural points of reference are a tad musty. Emma Peel remains my Wonder Woman!

Released this morning in the US.

It was out on Steam this afternoon in Sweden.

Out in Australia too.

All the Lego games.