It may be the Pride of Babylon, but who knows if it will be the pride of anyone’s collection.
The Saints Row series has an interesting history. Originally a Grand Theft Auto competitor/clone, it had an OK reception until the third entry in the series. Volition and THQ took the main aspects it was being compared to with GTA and turned it on its head. Saint Row: The Third became a self-parody, and it was a heap of fun to play because of it.
One of the things that made the series so over the top is the inspiration for the gang leader are based in part on the exploits of an in-game cartoon called Agents of Mayhem. Well, more correctly M.A.Y.H.E.M. – Multinational Agency Hunting Evil Masterminds. The plot style can be summed up with that information and their opponents – L.E.G.I.O.N. (the League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Nations. If that doesn’t tell you how deep and intricate the backstory is, nothing will :p
This sounds like a fun game, and it should have been. I say should have been, because reception has been ‘meh’ at best, which is a pity as the last couple of Saints Row titles were a lot of fun. Even I am guilty of looking at the game and thinking ‘later’, which with my must play backlog is tantamount to saying ‘skip it’.
The board game of Agents of Mayhem seems to be a completely different take than the digital version. Academy Games Inc is publishing the game. They have an impressive tactical game history behind them already.
From the screens and information at hand, Agents of Mayhem seems to be pretty close to an actual XCOM tactical style board game. So close on the surface that I actually wonder if they tried to develop this with the XCOM license in mind. That isn’t a bad thing – I am wondering if it will work in the board game arena.
So the base look of the game is you have the Mayhem players against the Legion mastermind, kind of like Imperial Assault and the like. The main standout difference is the 3D maps that include building levels kind of like the buildings in Rampage/Terror in Meeple City. This allows skirmish style play including building combat, kind of like Necromunda. There is also the twist of being able to blow up said buildings, dropping levels and reducing areas to rubble.
This sounds like a heap of fun, doesn’t it? Here’s the catch for me though. The rules aren’t available yet, and a lot of add-ons are already in play. This may make for a very expensive nice idea in your collection. Now CMON does things like this all the time, and to be honest I am wary when they do this as well. This Kickstarter seems to be following the CMON formula, but I am not sure if it should in this instance.
One of the two add-ons, the Giant Building tiles, seems like a must have as it increases the space between building levels. This will help placement for any model game, there is no denying that. But rather pay an extra USD$50, I would rather the base be an extras USD$30 and not waste the cardboard with smaller tiles. Or even make two versions – one that’s cheaper with the smaller tiles, and a deluxe with the larger tiles. So value for money wise, this makes a roughly USD$100 game cost USD$140. Compare this to Zombicide with fewer tiles but triple the minis for USD$100, the perceived value is hard to justify.
I will definitely be watching Agents of Mayhem, but I am very wary. I am wondering if a Kickstarter for a revamped XCOM style digital Agents of Mayhem would be a better idea. This may sound harsh, but without seeing some firmer rules it’s hard to say.
Until next time,