What’s in a game? Wonder, imagination, and a whole new world. That’s right, Aladdin was talking about showing Jasmine his gaming collection. Ultimately what we find in video games are worlds where we can be something that we’re not. Now imagine that a game takes that very concept and makes a meta world where someone that you’re not is someone that they’re not. Am I getting too deep for a review of Saints Row IV? Whatever, it’s great.
I find a surprising amount of people have never played a Saints Row game. And by surprising amount, I mean, like, one person. That’s still too many. Saints Row is the free roaming game that out of hand free roaming games want to be. It’s, in short, the game your mother warned you about. The fourth one in the series, apt to release on the 20th, kicks it all up a notch. Or four.
You’re the president of the United States and you have super powers. I don’t want to, nor need, to explain any further. You’ll find out exactly why and still be left asking questions, so why even wonder? This game isn’t for the ones searching for the meaning of life or wondering whether their beloved medium can battle against the merit of a Jane Austen book. No, you play Saints Row IV to remember why you fell in love with gaming to begin with: For the absurdity of it all. And to kick people in their crotches then twerk over their corpses.
The world is yours to cause mayhem on and with newfound powers, it’s satisfying to do so. Sure, there are issues with the controls that at times frustrated me to no end. Like when I tried to simply hop and my character decided it wanted to leap across the frigging world. But these can be forgiven when you take into account just how much substance there is. Your powers, all different, have several elements attached to them and can be upgraded in many ways. Your weapons, all different, have unbelievable effects and can be upgraded, as well.
I think while the marketing really hit the idea of having superpowers hard (rightfully so, as they’re new to the series and you’ll be using them a lot), the true highlight of the gameplay for me was the weapons arsenal. As a person of very little imagination for creating (my character is literally just the Caucasian male preset with a different haircut), I could never fathom the idea of coming up with a gun that shot dubstep beats at enemies to kill them. Or a singularity gun that sucked up anything near it. It’s just ridiculous, and I love it because when you have a game that allows you so much freedom, you need to let the player’s imagination run wild.
While the story is short, there’s a whole lot that happens. I’d argue that the characters are the best in a game I’ve played this year. You don’t usually care much about characters in free roam games. This is because after a while you stop receiving missions from them and altogether forget they exist. But they maintain so much of a presence in Saints Row IV due to the hours of audio that play while you’re just wandering the city with them by your side.
Really quick before I forget: Dat soundtrack tho.
Alright, I’m back. It took me 13 hours to complete the campaign and a couple of the side quests fully. I didn’t take over all of Steelport, and I definitely didn’t even come close to completing all the challenges. So yeah, there’s definitely a large amount of replayability even after you’ve seen the credits roll.
My greatest issue with the game was that it seems the PS3 version is a tad, how do we say, broken up the ass. I encountered four instances of game breaking glitches and many bugs. I know that there are glitches that are on purpose and a joke, but I’m pretty sure that none were meant to annoy the crap out of me. I feel that with its quirky humor, wacky gameplay, and ridiculous storyline, Saints Row IV definitely stands out. It’s a fun game and I’m willing to look past those issues that could be fixed as they’re discovered.
When you play Saints Row IV, remember to not take it seriously. Simply sit back, relax, and let it humor you for hours as you save humanity with earth’s unlikeliest heroes. You’ll love it by the time you can move your character for the first time. Or maybe by the time the first cutscene appears.
[+A lot of weapons] [+Big world to explore] [+Plenty of replayability] [+Collectibles] [+Interesting characters] [+Funny script] [+Super powers. Come on.] [+Many minigames that makes it a versatile game] [+Multiplayer mayhem] [-Game breaking glitches on PS3 version] [-Frustrating controls with the super speed and super jump]