GAME NAME: Saints Row IV
PUBLISHER(S): Deep Silver
PLATFORM(S): PlayStation 3
RELEASE DATE(S): August 20th, 2013
Developed by Volition Inc., Saints Row IV has definitely outgrown its past stigma of a Grand Theft Auto “rip off.” This action adventure sandbox third person shooter has all the hilarity and chaos of its previous installments with an added sci-fi twist, an alien invasion! Dont worry though, you’ll still get to spend your time stealing cars and killing gang members like we’ve all come to know and love. The basic weaponry is all still there for your enjoyment; pistols, smgs, shotguns, rifles and yes, even beating people with a giant dildo bat but this game is in no way just a standard sequel. With the addition of new weapons, vehicles, and an alien menace to kill, you’ll find yourself in a whole new world of trouble.
Playing as The Protagonist you’re no longer the leader of the Third Street Saints. You’ve been elected President of the United States of America and yes, you have superpowers. Making any sense yet? No? And why should it, right? This is a holograph of the fictional city of Steelport after all and crazy just got capitalized. With the return of Saints Row members your objective is to weaken the simulation, save your friends and hopefully rescue whatever’s left of the earths population while destroying Zinyak, the evil alien leader. The completion or incompletion of loyalty missions will affect the outcome, so choose wisely. With the help of newly appointed cabinet members you’ll travel back and forth through Gateways from the simulation to a stolen zin ship where side missions can be accessed as well as wardrobe, gang customization, garage and weapon cache. It also comes in pretty handy when there’s a battle you can’t get under control.
Unlock superpowers as you play. Defeating aliens and completing missions will get you on your way to a total of eight powers. Four passive and four active, defensive and offensive respectively. Passive powers include super sprint, super jump, death from above and a force shield. Active powers are blast, telekinisis, stomp and buff. All of them have their own upgrades that can be bought by collecting data clusters found on the map. With over a thousand to be found upgrades are quick and painless as long as you keep a low profile especially in the beginning.
Creating havoc has its own rewards. Taking over marked districts by completing all activites within its borders like hacking stores and destroying alien strongholds will earn you an ever increasing cache flow. Hacking a store comes in handy if you plan to purchase anything and with three different clothing stores, a tattoo shop, weapons store and even a plastic surgery facility you’ll want to do some shopping. To hack a store you’ll have to figure out a puzzle type code but beware these are timed and failure comes with a price. A portal appears and plenty of well armed aliens will be after you.
Buying new weapons and their upgrades gives you the upper hand. If you’re into massive action kills try out the Fight Club, Virus Infection, Flashpoints and Hotspots activities. These were some of my favorites and will get your heart rate going as you fight off waves of aliens and bosses called Wardens. There’s also several types of mayhem activities where creating as much destruction as possible will earn you either a bronze, silver or gold rating and the cache award increases for each. Cause mayhem in different forms by choosing the Tank, Mech Suit, UFO, rocket launcher or telekinesis. Saints Row IV is full of activities. Prof Genkis up to no good as usual and theres several races and sprints and some good old fashioned insurance fraud make up the remainder of the activities. As always with the Saints row franchise, co-op gameplay is back and is even crazier with superpowers.
The game plays well, controls are pretty standard and I love the soundtrack and weapon sound effects. The graphics can’t compete with lets say the latest editions of Grand Theft Auto but with the surreal nature of Saints Row IV, there’s no need for gritty realism. There are times when the game looks glitchy which was either a very intentional part of the insane story that is Saints Row IV or some very bad and lazy coding that was saved by the plot of the game. Either way its a win win for us gamers. With its own soundtrack and cut scenes that explain the more than out of this world plot the game was in my opinion a total win. The only negative I can give Saints Row IV is replay value. Once I maxed out my character and beat it, the game play is out of control. Too many enemies and explosions make it difficult to enjoy the graphics and without following the plot you’re just running around killing aliens that never stop coming. That said, all things considered Saints Row IV is worth the purchase and fun to play. For a hilarious open world experience it wont disappoint.