Otaku Dome had the opportunity to do a discussion piece with Deep Silver Volition Associate Producer: Mitch Cronin on a few Agents of Mayhem topics including core gameplay, it’s Saints Row roots, more:

1. How did Agents of Mayhem come about? Were you already looking for ways to explore how to expand the Saints Rows world outside of the core storyline?

We actually wanted to do something new right out of the gate. We were looking to do something different and explore a brand new world, which is how we cooked up the world behind Agents of Mayhem. The world had all the elements to play to what we do best here at Volition; it’s an exaggerated world inspired by comics and cartoons. This gave us the freedom to really run wild with all the larger-than-life characters that make up MAYHEM and LEGION, and all the toys they use to fight each other.

While it was different, it still had the recipe of what makes a Volition game a Volition game. It offers the player a lot of freedom in how they play and it’s a very ‘fun first’ method of designing a game. As the world and the story behind it began to crystalize, we thought it would actually be kind of fun to tie it to one of the endings in Gat out of Hell. It’s a very loose connection to Saints Row, but we thought it would be a fun way to twist the story and sprinkle in some classic Saints Row characters in an Agents of Mayhem-ized way. However, Agents of Mayhem began life as its own game and definitely stands on its own as a new franchise and game.

2. Can you go into some details about Agents of Mayhem’s core gameplay? How does it differ from Saints Row?

Agents of Mayhem is a third person open world action game. It has a focus on fast-paced combat with powerful and highly-mobile agents. This mobility is the first big difference from Saints Row. Every agent has a host of ways to zip around the battlefield, from triple jumps to air dashes. This mobility really amps up the pace of the combat compared to how things were in Saints Row.

However even though it’s faster paced, everything is skill based. Many of LEGION’s more powerful, larger troopers can be dodged through skillful use of all these mobility tools alongside the special abilities unique to each of the agents. That’s the next piece that really sets this apart from Saints Row. In Saints Row, it’s all about creating *your* character, whereas in Agents of Mayhem it’s about exploring the agents and finding their strengths and weaknesses and creating trios around how you like to play. Each agent plays very differently from each other, and when you start layering on various gadgets and other upgrades you’ve got more control about how they fight than ever before.

We’ve also gotten much more granular with the difficulty scaling. If you’re a player who likes to feel like an unstoppable force? You can do that. If you want to be challenged every step of the way, even after you’ve hit max level and unlocked every gadget? You can do that too. Everything in Agents of Mayhem boils down to the fast paced action, and whereas in Saints Row you’d customize how things look and feel? Here you customize how things fight.

3. Can you share some info on the story? Can you explain some of the characters & their roles?

The story involves the epic battle between the MAYHEM organization and their nemesis LEGION. These are of course acronyms and what they stand for is ridiculous, but I won’t spoil that piece here. The story begins after LEGION has launched their all-out attack on the world during Devil’s Night. Using their dark matter-powered technology, they sowed havoc on the world in different ways. These different ways fuel the backstories of all the agents and why they’ve decided to join Persephone Brimstone and MAYHEM.

Persephone herself is a former minister in the LEGION organization who broke off when even she began to see what LEGION was all about. She’s no angel though, and the MAYHEM team is a bunch of misfits from all over the world. The only common bond between them is they want to see LEGION fall.

All of the agents are very different from one another and they all have their own backstory about how they got into MAYHEM and why they want to fight LEGION. Some are more humorous in nature, such as the badass roller derby girl Daisy. She’s just a gal from Chicago who likes to get drunk and fight. Persephone of course sees the value in an unstoppable bruiser like that and recruits her. Others have a much more personal fight against LEGION, such as Rama. Her hometown of Mumbai was ravaged by a dark matter plague and she joined to help her vow for revenge on LEGION while searching for a cure.

4. Will there be original content tied to certain characters, or is the story more linear?

There will be! Each agent has their own story missions. They have a custom unlock mission to acquire the agent and they have a special mission they can go on afterwards. These missions reveal each agent’s backstory on why they’re involved with MAYHEM and why they want to fight LEGION as well as showcasing their personality and connection to the other agents in the organization.

5. Do you have any plans to explore the original Saints Row one day? And were you surprised by the spike in popularity after the initial release?

We can’t really talk about our plans for Saints Row at the moment. We really had no idea what to expect with Saints Row. We were in totally unfamiliar territory making an open world game after we’d made games like Summoner and the Punisher. We learned a lot from it though, and through the development of the other Saints Row games, we really found our own voice as a studio which carries through today in Agents of Mayhem.​

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