(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)
- The Game Itself
- 3 Stars
- The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
- 3 Stars
- The Audio: Rating the Sound
- 3 Stars
- Replay Factor
- 5 Stars
- Bonus Content
- 3 Stars
Saints Row IV
- Street Date:
- August 20th, 2013
- Reviewed by:
- Roger Shao
- Review Date:1
- September 13th, 2013
- Game Release Year:
- Deep Silver
- ESRB Rating:
- M (Mature)
An open world game where you have superpowers? Sounds like a winning formula to me. Volition must of thought so as well, when they decided to turn an expansion to 'Saints Row: the Third' into a full-blown sequel. And compared with the third game, 'Saints Row IV' has upped the ante and leapt past any notion of sanity or realism. Want to earn money dressed as a goth astronaut with a toilet seat as legs by jumping in front of moving vehicles and faking an injury? You can do that here!
The Game Itself: Our Reviewer's Take
Even though one needs no prior knowledge of the series to enjoy the game, the opening sequence of 'Saints Row IV' starts off assuming that most players have some background on the storyline that runs through the prior three titles. 'Saints Row' is the epic tale of a street gang and its rise to power. After three games what could possibly be the crowning achievement? By having the leader of the Saints be elected President of course.
I’m not going to spoil the pre-title sequence, but it was so awesome and patriotic that I wanted to go get an American flag tattooed on my ass right afterwards. After saving the world (I’m not going to tell you how) you are elected President, and then are immediately thrust into the game’s robust character creation tool.
I’ve played many a game with great creation tools but never one that had the level of depth and insanity that 'Saints Row IV' offers. Anything that you can think of doing to your character, you can do here; the permutations and accessories that are available in the creation tool are virtually endless. To top it off, once you earn enough in-game currency, you can spend it at various clothing and accessories shops around the city to further customize your character.
After my giant green sumo wrestler resplendent with Mohawk spike was properly attired, I took her to venture around in the crazy city that is Steelport. Fans of the previous game will immediately recognize it as it is exactly the same location with a few minor extraterrestrial additions. In fact, this is probably the biggest complaint most users will have. Volition has basically shipped 'Saints Row: The Third' with a new storyline and a few new features and tried to pass it off as an entirely new game. There is of course a very good storyline justification for why we are revisiting Steelport, but hardcore fans spending hard earned cash are rarely accommodating when there appears to be a lack of new content.
The biggest changes this year involve the superpowers. Roughly 30 minutes into the story mode comes the Super Jump and Super Sprint, and they are both awesome. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like the Hulk or the Flash, this is your game. And it only gets better from there, as you progress through the game you’ll soon be equipped to the teeth with powers that imitate a range from Superman to Mr. Freeze and even Jean Grey. I won’t describe what powers you will get later on, as discovering them is half the fun.
Unfortunately, the downside of all these powers is that your character is crazy overpowered. Why purchase guns when you can shoot flames from your hands? Why work for that awesome ride when you can run faster than any car in the game? And the boss fights are especially lacking. The AI is never able to track you once you super jump and so basically all you have to do is continually jump away whenever you’re about to be hit. Add in your super strength boosts and freeze blasts, and even the toughest enemies are quickly reduced to cannon fodder.
The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
The game looks good but not as great as other open world games out (cough, 'GTA'). As with all titles on the PC, the level of detail and resolution is dependent on the power of your computer. After turning everything to max on my rig, I was still able to get a good frame rate at a 1440 X 990 resolution. The textures and animations are definitely stylized, but they work well with the goofiness of the game. I didn’t really see any clipping or bad camera work anywhere.
The Audio: Rating the Sound
Going with the outrageous nature of everything else that is going on in the game, the audio is similarly over the top. Radio stations, of which there are several, blare entire news broadcasts and comedy shows. Music is ambient and kooky without being distracting. The voice acting unfortunately is hit and miss and greatly depends on the gender of your main character. Compared to the male voice, I found the female voice to be a little lacking when delivering the game’s many one liners.
The game boasts an insane amount of stuff that you can do. If you’re looking for 100% completion, I have no doubt that 'Saints Row IV' might carve out 100+ hours of your life, playing through all the mini games, tank missions, fraud claims and races that litter the city. The main campaign can be played either alone or cooperatively and really should be experienced both ways. Having a buddy to drive you around as you shoot ice from your hands is wicked fun.
HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?
Everything in the game is basically Bonus content. The Steam version of the game has several add-on content packs that available to purchase. Unfortunately, I have not checked them out, but with a name like the "Dubstep gun," I think more hilarity will ensue.
This game is perfectly built for the 10-year-old inside of every one of us. If you enjoy mass mayhem without the need for consequences, this is definitely going to be the most fun you have had in ages.
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