If you want to see my review of Saints Row 2, click here.
If you want to see my review of Saints Row: The Third, click here.
You know a series is interesting when I still haven’t reviewed any of the 3D Grand Theft Auto games, but the Saints Row series is quite the interesting one and one I quite enjoy, starting off with a game that just tried to be a GTA clone, then the sequel managed to find its own identity with some silly moments along with the serious moments and having a thin line of stupidity and you have a fantastic open-world game that could compete with GTA, Saints Row sure was the underdog of open-world games. Saints Row: The Third decided to just say “F*CK IT!” and made an incredibly crazy, over-the-top and colourful game that is good but I found it to be flimsy, so I prefer the second game, despite beating the third game multiple times so…I don’t know. But now it’s time to take a look at what may be the final sequel to the series, taking the essence of the Third game and adding heaps more to it.
Saints Row IV, developed by Volition and published by Deep Silver, it was released in 2013 in the US, Europe and Australia…and guess what? It was temporarily banned in Australia, it’s not the country it once used to be is it?
Now if you follow me on Twitter, you would have been introduced to a character I’ve made…well let me explain. So any game that will let you change the name of a character or create a character will be part of the Volva lineage, inspired by JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. So for example, Fallout 3’s main character will be named Volva, Link in the Zelda games will be called Volva, Mass Effect will have Volva Shepard, etc. So for this game series, the main character was known as the Playa, before becoming the Boss, but the Boss will be known as Volva. So Volva was in Saints Row, something happened to the point where Volva’s gender was changed from a man to a woman (something I added), she would cause havoc in a bid to become leader of the Saints, then her gang has to start from the bottom and become the greatest again. And now…
Volva, Shaundi and Pierce Washington are assigned by MI-6 and secret agent, Asha Odekar and her contact, Matt Miller from Saints Row: The Third. Their mission is to infiltrate Middle Eastern compound in order to kill the villain from the third game, Cyrus Temple. Volva eventually kills him, but a nuclear missile is launched, which Volva manages to disarm, falls, lands in the White House and becomes The President of the United States…yep, the Saints has gone up in the world.
Five years later and Volva is still in office…causing problems in the process. Suddenly ALIENS! Yep, there’s an alien invasion, led by Zinyak and his Zin army. Volva’s gang gets taken away and Volva tries to get them back…which fails as she is also captured by Zinyak. After that Volva wakes up…in a 1950’s sitcom…go with it. Everything is cheery and sunshine goodness and there are only white people in sight…except for our Hispanic Volva. But it all goes wrong as the world doesn’t quite like foul language and violence, but Kinzie Kensington, the hacker of the Saints, tells Volva that, in a slight parody of The Matrix, that everyone is in a simulation, trapped in machines by Zinyak, with each of them facing their own fears. But Volva manages to break free from the simulation and is rescued by Kinzie and Keith David, the guy with the sexiest voice alive, who also voiced Goliath in Disney’s Gargoyles…yes, that guy.
So what little of the Saints there are, they fly in a stolen Zin ship, attempting to contact the other Saints who remained on Earth…and then Zinyak destroys the planet, resulting in everyone who didn’t get kidnapped getting killed. So absolutely p*****, Volva uses a machine in the ship to travel to a simulated version of Steelport to rescue members of her gang and with their powers combined, defeat Zinyak.
So the basis of the game is the same as the others, it’s an open world action/third-person shooter where you explore the city, collect stuff, complete missions, side-missions, do activities, get absurd weapons, including the dildo bat from the third game and liberate the city to rule it all. So that’s the stuff you know the series for if you’ve played the previous games. But what’s new? SUPERPOWERS!
Oh, yes, probably the sole reason why I had a week of utter enjoyment. So you start off with a Super Sprint and Super Jump, upgrade them to make them even better. How do you upgrade them? By collecting data clusters throughout the entire city…and it takes so f****** long but I collected them, but you know what, I didn’t regret it since I wanted those upgrades so there was a good incentive to collect them all in the hopes of making your powers even better. But the Super Sprint and Super Jump aren’t the only powers you get; you also get blast elementals, telekinesis, stomp and just set yourself on fire to kill people.
The superpowers you get are SO GOOD! They fun to use and can help you in the game…REALLY help you. I know where are cars, planes and other automobiles I can ride on to get to areas, but…I have super speed and jump very high, I don’t to ride anything since I can use my newly-found powers to get to places just as fast, if not quicker than driving a vehicle. Sure, call it a double-edged sword here but with these powers, I don’t quite miss vehicles…unless I have to use it for missions because of course it is. As for the other powers…welp, there’s a bunch of enemies you need to kill, time to whip out the blast explosion, upgrade it some more and you have something that can obliterate everyone who is even near me, destroying any challenge you’ll ever have, leading to me fully completing the entire game apart from the multiplayer guff.
The missions are well made at times, though there will be moments where your powers are taken away for some arbitrary reason, the Super Mario Sunshine of doing missions, but it tends to parody stuff, though not in a satirical way at times, but in the referential way in the style of Epic Movie, Date Movie and whatnot and these don’t work, but any jokes relating to the characters do work. Though the only parodies that do work are the moments where it harkens back to the previous games in the series, which was quite cool.
Actually, let me talk about the characters, some return from the previous games and we get some new ones, all of them are quite likable…once again, apart from Shaundi, the complete stuck-up b****, I missed the original Shaundi from Saints Row 2…and guess what? That Shaundi (known as Fun Shaundi) returns and becomes a parallel to the new Shaundi, though I wish more was done with that, but Fun Shaundi is so likable and she harkens back to the quirky Saints Row 2, as she was one of my favourite characters in that game before she changed for the worse in Saints Row: The Third. We also get Pierce, Matt and Kinzie, my favourite character from the Third game. I like that most of these characters have been fleshed out and end up being more interesting…though this is the case if you managed to collect the audio logs…because since the game might as well just be a full-blown collecta-thon. Oh, to get an achievement for doing side-missions, you must romance members of the gang, so that means doing the hockey-cockey off-screen, with Kinzie being the absolute savage that she’s hiding under her geeky attire.
The villain, Zinyak, is OK, he’s a decent villain…well he did blow up the planet, though I think he’s meant to be the parody of the snivelling British-voiced mastermind because of course, we’re depicted as polite people despite making most villains in movies British…good one! His final boss form and the boss itself is probably the best in the series, since it feels more like a boss instead of using your unlimited rockets to blow the villain away in 10 seconds flat.
I played Saints Row IV Re-Elected, co-developed by High Voltage Software and was released In 2015. I got the Xbox One port and it looks like an Xbox 360 game, it wouldn’t have looked any different then, though I brought this port because Gat out of Hell, one of the big expansions for the game, came on-disc, unlike the PS4 port for some reason. The game world, mostly Steelport, is the same but some extra-terrestrial attire has been added to this world. As for bugs and glitches…well, because this is a simulation, there’s going to be come strange things going on like textures fizzing and stuff, but this is part of the simulation, so the developers didn’t even have to try, though there was one game-breaking glitch, being trapped by a door that opened anyway, other than that, I can’t complain much about it. The music uses licensed music and they’re all varied…though I found it strange that the radio played even if you aren’t driving a vehicle…but this is a simulation so the noise could come from anywhere.
Before I give you my verdict, I said I got the Re-Elected version, complete some missions at the beginning and you can play two of the major DLCs right there. The first is Enter the Dominatrix, which funny enough, was going to be DLC for Saints Row: The Third before becoming its own game before being scrapped but ended up being DLC for this game. It portrays the story as the main characters making a movie that got cancelled and it shows by using drawn images and a few models, with one of the most ridiculous endings even for Saints Row, I wasn’t surprised that the developers didn’t make a full game of this, but its silly fun for an hour. And the next one is How the Saints Save Christmas, in which it parodies The Terminator where Future Shaundi warns of Clawz, an evil version of Santa, destroying Christmas, you must help Santa give people Christmas Spirit to defeat Clawz…and it’s the one reason why this review was posted now than later, replacing Jumping Flash! This is another hour of content like the previous DLC, but at least they give you content that you may or may not use in the main game. I probably would have been disappointed by the DLC had I bought them separately, it’s pretty much two hours’ worth of content but what we have is decent at best.
Overall, Saints Row IV is a stupidly fun open-world game, a much better game than Saints Row: The Third, though this is my second favourite game in the series, can you guess what my favourite still is? The superpowers are a fantastic addition to the series that makes the game fun and even with the repetitive side-missions, with the powers I wield, I never get bored. I know it’s silly and stupid to the point of confusing those who wonder what the heck this is about. Despite all this, it’s still over-the-top but still having the best elements of what made even Saints Row 2 good…not all, but still just as good as 2. I recommend playing it if you’re looking for fun, but try to get the Xbox One port if you want complete content on-disc.
You can get it on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Linux.
Oh, if you want the Gat out of Hell review, click on this link here.