Although Agents of Mayhem comes from the same pedigree stable that brought us Saints Row (Ed: That’s Volition games, if you weren’t already aware), it’s much closer to mule than thoroughbred. It’s a feast for the eyes with stunning graphics, engaging environments and a compelling world. All of this is overshadowed by the ghosts of repetitiveness, grind and a lack of real diversity. Let’s dive into this review with guns blazing and I’ll explain further.
When XCOM: Enemy Unknown released back in 2012, it was an enormous breath of fresh air fro the tactical genre of video games. More exciting was the fact that the game appeared on consoles as well as PC. The expansion pack, Enemy Within, released shortly after, and it was just as well received as the original game. The spin-off, XCOM Declassified mucked with things a bit, but was still a fun game. Cue the sequel to Enemy Within: XCOM 2, which sees a PC-only release. More aliens to kill! More countries to save! Jump into the Skyranger and I’ll give you a full briefing.
War. What is it good for? Edwin Starr’s assertion of “absolutely nuthin’!” was perhaps a bit premature, and who could blame him? I doubt anyone back in the 70s could have predicted that video games based around all kinds of small and large-scale wars would become the preferred genre of choice for the dude-bro generation, and generally being good for lining the pockets of the publishing studios. While it’s widely accepted that the gritty, war-machine FPS genre is over-saturated, it’s certainly not stopping developers from churning out game after game, stacking them on a steadily rising pile that’s sure to come crumbling in on itself at some point (or perhaps it already has?)
Codemasters’ Operation Flashpoint: Red River is the latest installment being added to this pile. Is it relevant? Does it warrant your hard-earned money, and is it worthy of your attention? If said attention span is fairly short, the answer’s probably not. Find out why after the jump.