Every once in a while, you come across a game that unexpectedly performs wonderfully. Well, Major Mayhem is one of those games. Developed by Adult Swim, originally a cable television network that shares channel space with Cartoon Network, Major Mayhem delivers all the goods – simple yet action-packed gameplay, loads of content, a freemium model that actually works and a decent underlying storyline.
The game starts with the President calling you in and telling you that you’ve got to go to war. He gives you a damn good reason to go – your girlfriend is kidnapped by the enemy. And so your adventure starts, fighting in three locations around the globe against ninjas, Russian mafias, desert fighters, mummies and the likes of it.
Actually, to be honest, Major Mayhem is a pretty simple game if your intentions are just to finish all 45 levels of the game. It’s a cover-based shooter after all, so you can play the game at your own pace, fast or slow. Where the fun and real challenge lies though is in stringing together multipliers and getting as much ‘mayhem points’ as possible and aiming for three stars after each level.
The game packs a few game modes. Besides the classic mode, there’s arcade (random mission), time bomb (deal as much mayhem in 60 seconds) and survival (play through a whole campaign without dying). Then, there are achievements and objectives to aim for as well. Completing objectives allow you to earn rewards to help you progress. To top things up, there’s an epic boss battle at the end, and guess who’s the baddie?
Graphics & Sound
The game’s graphics is a fusion of 2D and 3D and it’s on the cartoon-ish side of things. That’s not bad at all and is actually fun and keeps things lighthearted. In fact, the cartoon-ish graphics makes it seem like it’s OK to go on a killing spree. The game’s three environments – tropics, metropolis and desert – are all nicely rendered in bright and vibrant colors.
To complement the gameplay, Major Mayhem features a good, fast-paced soundtrack. It’s reminiscent of those from war movies and provides a good backdrop for all the action that’s taking place in the game. The sound effects also perform adequately well in the game.
The game has an simplistic control scheme that works really well. Your character moves automatically and there’s no need to aim and press the fire button. All you need to do is tap on the enemies and Major will duck out of cover and shoot. There are also special moves like jumping and running. For this, there’s an on-screen button or you can just tap the screen using two fingers.
Weapons & In-App Purchases
Besides having tons of gameplay content, Major Mayhem also has lots of weapons to choose from. There is no one weapon that rules them all for each of them have their own plus-points. Certain missions, like those with clusters of enemies, might suit a Bazooka (or ‘Quadzooka’), while others may call for a Minigun.
With the game being a freemium one, of course weapons purchases and what-not favor those who splurge real life cash on the in-game currency. But having said that, I’ve managed to finish the whole game and get some good weapons without spending on the IAP at all. I believe the IAPs here are more for getting supplies (sort of cheats like calling airstrikes) and buying different outfits (doesn’t affect gameplay at all).
Major Mayhem is one of the very few freemium games that has managed to get the balance right, featuring an IAP system that’s neither intrusive nor necessary. The only thing that’s stopping this game from getting a perfect score in my book is a lack of variety in the gameplay. All things said, Major Mayhem is an addicting game that will keep you hooked and it’s a must-have for any Android gaming fanatic.