Agents of Mayhem is the new game from Volition, developer of the unabashedly wacky, deceptively smart Saints Row series. If you were hoping for them to rein it in—to say, make a somber period piece set in 1930s Ireland—prepare to be disappointed.

Volition writer Jason Blair debuted gameplay footage of Agents of Mayhem on Twitch’s E3 stream (helpfully captured by, er, Game Play).

It’s a third-person open-world action-adventure set in a futuristic version of Seoul, South Korea. You can swap between a total of 12 (three during any given mission) agents, all of whom are out to stop nefarious terrorist organization Legion, which—no joke—stands for the League Of Evil Gentlemen Intent On Obliterating Nations.


Each agent has different powers. For instance, the team’s dickishly flamboyant PR guy, Hollywood, can render himself temporarily invulnerable, seemingly through the power of his own handsomeness.

It looks solid, albeit safe by Volition standards. These are the same people who made DLC about dominatrixes, let you have sex with pretty much any of your in-game crew because, fuck it, sex is fun, and set a super-powered musical in hell, remember. A hero-swapping third-person shooter that seems light on boundary-pushing humor isn’t quite what I was expecting for a follow-up.

Who knows how far the game’s humor and abilities will go, though? I want to see it really cut loose before I make any definitive judgements. On top of that, trying to surpass the ridiculousness of the previous couple Saints Rows—wherein Earth was destroyed, among other things—would be difficult. You can’t keep going bigger and crazier forever. I’m just worried that this feels like Saints Row lite, rather than a bold, new direction.

Agents of Mayhem will be out next year.

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.

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