Saints Row IV – Game Analysis and Review
By David Bledsoe
Developer: Volition, Inc.
Publisher: Deep Silver
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
“Saints Row IV” just took everything you loved about “The Third” and injected it with a dose of ‘Merica, a presidential staff straight from “Idiocracy,” and a Matrix-like reality where the sole purpose is to kill aliens and wreck everything in your path. Throw in a gun that kills enemies with dubstep, and you have a game that leaves the already amazing “The Third” in the dust.
The game takes place five years after “Saints Row: The Third” and puts you in the oval office as President of the United States. Of course, in traditional Saints Row fashion, your version of the White House has stripper poles and gold chains but that’s all par for the course. Everything is going along just fine in this new alternative America when suddenly, an alien looking like Gothmog from “Return of the King” crashes on Earth and attempts to enslave the human race.
The GTA-esque style that we love from “The Third” makes its way back to the new sequel adding new pro wrestling slams, death-blowing punches, and laughable soundbites spoken by your character as he (or she) wreaks havoc on town. The weapons are just as ridiculous as before and some of the fan-favorites crept into the newest version like the dubstep gun, which kills people with, well, dubstep music (who said video games aren’t realistic).
“The Third” let you upgrade your weapons in shops by adding features like a grenade launcher to a machine gun. Now weapons are both upgradeable and customizable, allowing you to take something as innocent as a baseball bat and transform it into a three-foot deadly dildo.
But the best gameplay upgrade of all is the addition of super powers in this new installation. You can fly, jump, run, freeze and lift just about anything in the game. There are other aliens in the game with matching powers, but for the most part you have the chance to torch pedestrians on the street like ants under a magnifying glass.
“Saints Row” doesn’t apologize for what it is: an obscene, absurd roller coaster that descends into madness only to rise up to comical genius, all before plummeting once again. Where similar games in the genre, like “Grand Theft Auto,” make successful attempts to pull a good heart string now and then, “Saints Row” is just not in the business of deep storytelling. This new sequel is nothing but fun from the moment you disarm a nuclear missile and fall through the White House ceiling into the oval office (hilariously making you the president).
Online play for free roam games is so popular that internetproviders.com has to offer beefy bandwidth packages just to keep up with the demand. Sadly, though, Saints Row’s only multiplayer option is a simple co-op mode.
It’s a good bit of fun if you love co-op, but given the options on “Grand Theft Auto 4,” we hoped for more. Some of the side missions are tedious, but the main story is so fun-driven that it’s a passable annoyance. In all other aspects, “Saints Row IV” lives up to all expectations “The Third” set before it.
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