The Saints are back and, let’s face it, they haven’t much improved from their crass, violent, self-indulgent, Earth-saving, totally awesome selves despite having become the pre-eminent citizens of the United States. Yes, you heard it right: The Boss has become the President of the United States, but the Saints don’t have much time to rest on their laurels because aliens – led by the insane but very effective Zinyak – have invaded and taken over the world.
Once again, the world is in peril and the Saints have to step up and save it which is what they are good at. Running a country is for suits.
What You Need to Know
Saints Row IV is a huge open world action game that is big on violence, sexualisation and pretty much everything your mother would generally frown upon. It’s mainly big on fun, however, which after all is what we are here for. Well, let me rephrase that: It’s what all of us 18 and over, mature gamers are here for.
Saints Row IV is basically a cross between Grand Theft Auto and Prototype, and plays you as a wanton hedonist with a hero complex out to save the world, which is done inside an alien generated simulated world in which the laws of gravity, evolution and common sense are largely ignored.
Unfortunately, because Saints Row IV is such a fusion of GTA and Prototype there isn’t much new that the developers bring to the game. It’s all pretty much been done before but, I do admit, Volition does ‘the same’ very well. The best thing about the game are the characters and the way they play. The main character, The Boss, isn’t really such a nice guy and if it wasn’t for the fact that he was such a great leader and trying to save the world, he’d most probably be the bad guy that you were waiting for someone to shoot.
Saints Row IV isn’t to be taken seriously. It’s a fun romp with no reprisal, no guilt and no consequence (not like real life at all), and you can of course change the appearance of The Boss completely, so it’s quite a laugh when a big burly guy with tattoos and wearing only a mini skirt takes on a hoard of alien invaders.
You’ll Enjoy Saints Row IV If You Liked…
… the Grand Theft Auto franchise. The open world look and feel of the GTA franchise is very similar to that of Saints Row IV, and there is of course the fact that you indulge in activities generally frowned upon by law abiding citizens.
… Prototype 2. The fact that you can evolve your body to ignore the natural rules of physics is great fun.
… The rest of the Saints Row series, but mostly Saints Row: The Third.
What I Liked
- 5.) Character customisation: You can alter the appearance (including the voice) of the main character to really enjoy the voice acting, so I changed the voice to a rough British version and applied taunts like “You want some, huh, you want some” with pelvic thrusting as a refreshing accoutrement to the whole package. You can play as a woman or a man, too, but don’t expect nice versions of either.
- 4.) The open world is great. You can stop doing quests to just go exploring or rampaging whenever you like which lends itself to a feeling of freedom. The variety of gameplay is also fantastic with chances to fly helicopters, fly alien craft, drive tanks (or throw them at enemies with the power of your mind) and so much more.
- 3.) The humour is fantastic, but be careful, it’s definitely not for everyone. If you don’t like ribald, crass and downright dirty stuff, turn the volume off.
- 2.) The variety of the weapons was truly imaginative. You get a gun to create black holes, a tentacle bat, an abductor gun and a whole bunch of damage inflicting, mayhem causing tools to really annoy the great and powerful Zinyak.
- 1.) The overall mentality of the game. I think the developers had a great time making Saints Row IV and it shows, from built-in text based adventures to the imagination of the simulated environments, the whole game is just enjoyable to play.
The Dubstep gun. Making your enemies dance till they drop? Priceless.
What I Didn’t Like
Repetition has always been the enemy of complete enjoyment in any game and, unfortunately, this is true in Saints Row IV. I often found myself saying “What? I have to do another one of those?” This was slightly disappointing but this is a fault that creeps into a lot of games so I wasn’t particularly surprised to find it here.
One thing I can say, fortunately, is that the repetition is not totally mandatory. Yes, it helps if you climb every tower, and complete every challenge, and travel seven million meters in an alien car (don’t know why you would do this when you can fly, though) but you don’t have to do them.
Saints Row IV – Accolades Trailer
There are certain parts of Saints Row IV that you can only play in co-operative mode with a friend, and while this may annoy some, these activities aren’t required for completion.
The Bottom Line
Saints Row IV is a fun romp through a simulated world where morality, politeness, gentility and manners take a back seat to killing aliens in exciting new ways.
Saints Row IV was reviewed on the Xbox 360