Saints Row The Third was a game that embraced dubstep and open world gameplay that often took it to 11. One may say, Saints Row had gotten so insanely over the top with the last game, that Volition can’t possibly take it up a notch to elevate the lovable insanity levels of the franchise. I mean – after being able to run around with a purple dildo bat in the last game, where do we go from here, right?
Space? …Sort of.
Saints Row IV immediately thrusts the player, who still is the fully customizable leader of the Saints, to the next logical position after saving the world – Presidency. Obviously, right? Right, I was on board with the notion.
Zinyak – he is a jerk – an alien jerk
After being attacked by an evil alien race which enslaved humanity in a Matrix like fashion, it is time to hit back Saints Row style. The game still takes place in Steelport, except that this time, it is in a virtual world referred to as ‘the simulation’. In cyber-Steelport the player gets super human abilities like being able to jump high enough to clear skyscrapers, glide through the air or shoot elemental blasts at foes.
Yes, the President of the United States has become a super hero and it is unbelievably enjoyable.
Running around Steelport in super human speed makes driving cars sort of useless since you can outrun any vehicle in the game, nonetheless, if you want to collect and customize cars, that is still an option in Saints Row IV as well as the lovable and hilarious body and outfit options along with various voices which include Nolan North’s voice – as Nolan North – of course.
Stay cool says the President
Quite early in the game players become pretty well equipped with the basic super powers which can be upgraded along the way as the story starts to unfold. Your crew members are stuck in the grip of Zin Empire leader Zinyak who is a huge jerk as you’d expect but also written hilariously as most of the characters in Saints Row IV. Loyalty missions will help you get back the team and fight for the American people and freedom of course.
Simba – this is your kingdom
Most of your time will be spent causing absolute mayhem as players will scale towers, take over Zin strongholds, complete story missions as well as side quests and mini games. Yes, the insurance fraud is back – but now you can cartwheel through the city collecting some major cash. Other mini games are causing massive destruction, play super power based games and more. Being super human makes everything in Saints Row IV super fun as well. The game features plenty of callbacks to previous games in the series and its characters as well as riffs on pop culture and other popular video game franchises. Did I mention there is a dubstep gun? Yes, that is how crazy Volition has gone with the over the top gameplay in the new game.
The Press Secretary is having some foreign relations issues
Saints Row IV truly has it all, the gameplay features an addicting loop of completing a story mission only to pop over to finish a mayhem mini game and end up in one of the many side missions – all while causing absolute destruction along the way. Players now possess super powers that make the President pretty much indestructible when faced with regular police squads or even tanks. This is where the Zin come in, the alien threat has been inserted into the simulation by Zinyak to keep the Saints from making any kind of progress in taking him down.
Players will encounter space ships that shoot lasers, massive waves of Zin soldiers and other overpowered enemies to keep things interesting. All of this makes it more fun to pick up a vehicle and force push it into a crowd of enemies or freeze a mini boss before unloading the ‘Merica weapon on him.
I could probably go on about how I haven’t had this much pure fun with a video game this year and that Saints Row IV has some of the best open world gameplay we have seen on this generation of consoles but then I may not be able to tell you that you must go out and buy this game right now.
In all seriousness, the Saints Row formula continues to work well as the series does not take itself seriously (at all) and makes sure the fun factor always stays high. The game’s characters are as memorable as ever and kept me laughing throughout the game. Combine all of this with super powers in an alien controlled virtual world and you got yourself a massively fun game. Saints Row IV is a must play for fans of the franchise and pretty much anyone. Even angry extraterrestrials like Zinyak.
Score: 9 / 10
Saints Row IV was developed by Volition and published by Deep Silver for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on August 2oth. A copy of the game was provided to us by Deep Silver for reviewing purposes.