It’s been said by nearly every review of the game, and it’s quite accurate so I’ll say it again: Agents of Mayhem is the single player version of Overwatch, although with a somewhat more crude cast of characters.
I won’t get into game details because this really isn’t my kind of game (and there are reviews-a-plenty that cover all of that) so let’s get right into accessibility.
First things first, there is a hell of a lot going on, and all at once, which made the game really hard to review. On my end, as with Overwatch, there are so many enemies coming at you from all angles, bullets and lasers shooting at you from all angles, loot drops from downed enemies everywhere, plus cars to hit you, multiple different visual cues all playing at once. There’s so much happening and so much to look at, that being very visually oriented, I found it impossible to focus on any one thing. On Courtney’s end, she played both with the sound on and off and said for her, all of the noise was equally distracting and it was actually easier to play with the sound off.
That’s not to say the visual cues aren’t helpful. They are, absolutely. Unlike many other games, the enemy icon is present as soon as you enter an area. You don’t have to see/hear them in order for their marker to show up, which made not dying much easier. Also helpful is the indicator that displays around the edge of the screen when you’re being hit and your shields and health are draining. There are also directional indicators telling where soldiers are shooting at you from, although they shoot at you from every which way and seem to spawn all over the area randomly, so there are a million directional indicators, plus your shields/health indicator, plus the enemy presence icon, all displayed at once. So you see how I’m getting visually overwhelmed.
Enemy health and defenses are displayed differently according to the level/difficulty of the enemy. Here you see the first area boss at the start of the game. Basic enemies have only a red health bar, while others have that plus a blue and yellow bar.
Directional indicators, both on foot and while driving, are very clear (although sometimes the driving directions are a bit wonky and point the wrong way or randomly change directions) and your mission objective is displayed clearly at the start of every mission.
At some point in most missions, you’ll have to hack something, and the thing I really appreciate about this in AoM is that it’s purely visual. You don’t have to listen for certain sounds to know when to hit the button or pay attention to vibration strength. You just look at the yellow indicator and hit the button at the right time.
My only real issue with Agents of Mayhem is, not surprisingly, the poor implementation of subtitles. In the first image above, you see one of the many cutscenes of the game and while it is captioned, it’s hard to read because of the white-on-light text. Now I don’t know how captions are added to a game and perhaps there’s a good reason for this, but I don’t see why they couldn’t have put the captions in the letterbox area of the cutscenes. This wouldn’t solve the similar problem for gameplay subtitles however, as there’s no letterbox there. In the second image you see another very common problem in games; the incomplete captioning. Quest markers lead you to these bird hologram things (why I’m not sure) and they have voiced dialogue, but it’s not captioned, so I have no idea what they’re saying nor do I know if it’s relevant to the game or mission.
Captions aside (as is so often the case) AoM did a good job with deaf accessibility. While sometimes overwhelming (for me, at least) the visual cues are incredibly helpful and provide you with all of the info you’d get from hearing what’s going on in the game. If you enjoy Overwatch and/or Saints Row, you’ll definitely enjoy Agents of Mayhem.
Agents of Mayhem
Very helpful visual cues
Important dialogue in-game is subtitled, as are all of the cutscenes
Not ALL dialogue is subtitled
Text of subtitles can be impossible to read at times due to white-on-light text