One thing that I will say is that Agents vs Villain took me by surprise. I quite enjoy the occasional local multiplayer-only game. There’s nothing quite like sitting down with your nearest and dearest, and doing all that you can to show ’em who the boss is. Tapping into that very concept is the newly released Agents vs Villain; a game that pits two or three players against a randomly selected additional player, for all out mayhem. Despite some omissions and the odd design flaw, this is one party-like game that’s well worth your time.
First things first, Agents vs Villain is very accessible. Whether you’re taking on the role of an agent or the villain, the controls remain simplistic and fluid throughout. There’s not much of a story per se; consisting of a premise that revolves around a cat that travels through time in an attempt to dominate the world. To counter this, global secret spy agencies band together and send a group of agents out to bring the nefarious villain to justice. That, is pretty much the bulk of the plot. Though in truth, the game doesn’t really need a story at all.
It’s the gameplay that takes center stage here. The game can be played with a minimum of three players and a maximum of four. You and your fellow couch lovers will select from one of eight distinctly themed agents before diving into the fields of play. Once you’re all ready, the game will randomly select one of you to play as the villain, in which it’s then your task to bring down your opposition. The kicker here, however, is that you’re not playing as the cat for the most part. Instead, you’ll take control of each and every environmental hazard.
It’s your job to use these tools to your advantage; death drops, turrets, guillotine, fire and more. Each weapon or tool is tethered to one of the controller’s face buttons. The aim of the game is to use these tools at just the right moments in order to kill the agents before they make it to the exit point. It’s fun, and very entertaining. Each multi-tiered level is played out on a single screen. The agents have their own spawn point, and it takes only one of them to simply touch the exit point before the game is pushed onto the next level.
This is my first gripe. I much would have preferred that it required all agents to touch the exit before the game was moved along. I say this because if you’re playing with the younger, lesser skilled gamer, you’re pretty much doing all of the legwork. On the flip-side, it’s fun to see who can pull in the most points, but some additional options would have been great here. Nevertheless, this is a small complaint in the face of what the game gets right. When playing as an agent, you only have just a few commands that you need to worry about.
You can jump, double jump, move, and hit. Hitting comes in handy for when you’re aiming to get to the exit point first and you have another agent on your six. There’s something surprisingly satisfying about hitting another agent into one of the cat’s many traps. Sure, Agents vs Villain may seem like an asymmetrical multiplayer, but in truth, it’s a dog eat dog world. Never forget that. Whatever the case, you’ll use all of these commands to traverse the cat’s lairs, dodging a wide number of the aforementioned death traps along the way.
There’s a small handful of differently themed worlds to take to, and at the end of each world, you’ll face off against the cat in its physical form. These boss sequences vary from world to world. In one world, the cat takes on the form of a gigantic mech, whereas in another, he’s in a UFO-like contraption that has some pretty devastating abilities. Unlike in the standard levels that come before, you’ll not just be fighting to survive, on top of that, you’ll have to get in as much damage as possible before your opposition puts you down.
When you’ve completed a world, the game will allow you to select another world before randomly selecting a new villain from the player pool. My final issue here is that despite how fun the game can be, there’s not that many worlds to select from. Sure, each world encompasses a few levels per-whack, but it would have been nice to see a few more worlds thrown in for good measure. That said, and for its price, this is easy to overlook in the grand scheme of things. The bottom line here is that Agents vs Villain is a solid, exciting game.
In regards to its audio and visual design, Agents vs Villain gets a big fat thumbs up from me. The game’s cartoonish design leaves it wide open to players of all ages, which when grouped with its accessibility, makes it an appropriate choice for some family entertainment. It helps, of course, that the game remains sharp and well detailed throughout all of its neatly designed worlds. The same can be said about its soundtrack, which only sits nicely inline with the theme and mood of the experience at hand.
Agents vs Villain is a decent game that offers a lot of competitive fun. Its cartoonish design, together with its simplistic controls and its core accessibility, makes it a fitting title for players of all ages. There’s no denying that it’s a relatively bare experience as far as its content depth is concerned, but that said, it does very well with the little that it has.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.