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'[Game] Saints Row 4 - 360/PS3/PC - Review'

This thread has been linked to the game 'Saints Row 4'.
Fri 23/08/13 at 19:19:
Regular
"Braaains"
Posts: 436
A few eyebrows were raised when it was announced that Saints Row 4 was going to be released roughly a month or so before GTA 5 hit consoles. Was the move a deliberate attempt to steal of some of GTA 5's thunder? Possibly, but Rockstar, the makes of Grand Theft Auto 5 needn't have worried. Not because Saints Row 4 is terrible - it's not - but because it's taken the open world antics of the previous game in a whole new direction, one that means there's enough room on the market for both games.

After a brief introductory mission, Saints Row 4 has you, as the Boss, as the President of the United States. Yes, really. The Boss is whoever you want them to be since you can create your own character and use one of several different voices - four male, three female. In fact, the ability to make your character your own is one of of the game's big selling points. Surprisingly, while still being a badass, the boss has acquired something of a sense of social responsibility, having a grown a bit since they were the angry psychopath of Saints Row 2. Indeed, in the first few minutes of the game you're given the chance to either end world hunger or cure cancer, nicely cutting through the usual BS associated with politics. The Boss also has several other Saints working with him including Kinzie, Pierce and Shaundi, doing their best to perform damage control when the Boss says something wildly in appropriate.

However, things take a turn for the weird when the US is attacked by an alien overlord known as Zinyak and his army, the Zin. Most of the Saints are kidnapped and you, as The Boss, are left to single handedly fight off the alien invasion. Yeah, it doesn't go well. And that's where the game really begins as - after a short mini-mission - you're dumped into a virtual reality version of Steelport, the city from Saints Row 3. By which I mean it's damn similar, identical, something that annoyed me a bit at first, since the map has been recycled from the previous game. In fact, Saints Row 4 actually began life as Enter The Dominatrix, a proposed expansion pack for Saints Row 3, though there's enough content for a full game here. The game proceeds in typical Saints Row fashion with you stealing cars and shooting things, open world style. However, that's where things take an odd turn.

That's because about an hour or so into the game, you're given superpowers, starting with the abilities to run extremely fast and to leap small buildings in a single bound. Suddenly, the game is more like Crackdown, Prototype or Infamous than Grand Theft Auto, the game which originally inspired Saints Row. That's no bad thing, though since it takes things to a whole new level. Granted, you can still get into cars, drive them around and even get special paint jobs, but there's not much point in doing this when you can just run to your destination. Giving you super powers does, however, raise the question of how your average gang member could hope to take you down. The answer is, they couldn't, which is why the game pits you against a variety of alien foes, some of whom serve the same function as the police do in other games. They come in a variety of flavours and have a nasty habit of just dropping in through portals and so forth. This may seem a bit cheap at first but in most GTA style games the police only really spawn a few streets away anyway.

You're not entirely limited to your superpowers - you can use a range of weaponry including the much trumpted 'Dubstep Gun' which lets you kill people via the gift of sound. I say 'people' but the bulk of the human and alien characters you fight in Saints Row 4 are entirely virtual, which means you shouldn't have any moral problem shooting them. Or super-kicking them around Steelport, something you can do when you've gained your super abilities. Yes, if you haven't figured it out by now, Saints Row 4 is an extremely silly game and lets you get up to all sorts of insane shenanigans. All the weapons - including the bizarre Inflato-Ray can be customised with different skins should you unlock them. And you also gain other superpowers such as the ability to hurl fireballs, which themselves can be upgraded.

However, this leads me to one of Saints Row 4's negative points. The game doesn't have many, and it's insanely enjoyable, but I do have a problem with the game forcing you to do the in-game side missions in order to unlock certain extra powers. There are three types of missions in the game. Story missions progress the story and have to be undertaken to complete the game. Loyalty missions let you give your fellow Saints superpowers - when you rescue them - and aren't compulsory but result in the special ending, and give you the ability to - ahem - liase with them off-screen in a parody of Mass Effect's romance options. No, really. These types of missions are generally fairly interesting and generally give you unique objectives to undertake. Some also take you into other simulations, where you may or may not have your superpowers. However, the third type, side missions, are really bland and have you repeating the game's diversion activities for no good reason. That's not to say that the diversions themselves are rubbish - there's a whole range of them, including Tank Mayhem and Insurance Fraud - which is even more fun with superpowers. But it feels like these side missions have been strung together in order to pad the game out. Possibly because of the game's origins as a piece of Saints Row 3 DLC.

Story-wise, I don't want to give too much away, but there are some really great twists and a few famous characters - friends and enemies alike - put in an appearance. Which is perfectly okay since the bulk of the game takes place in virtual reality. The game's also pretty damn funny and is smart about it too, not just going for cheap laughs all the time. The graphics are pretty good, though they're not a huge leap on from Saints Row 3 since it uses the same engine. There's also a co-op mode, which lets two superpowered heroes bounce around, as well as a few co-op focused activities. Another cool feature, which goes against type, is that in the virtual sim you have to collect pick-ups to regain health. These are dropped by enemies, whereas previously - as is the case in most other games - your health recovers automatically. One other negative point is that the game crashed for me a couple of times - once near the end of a long mission, requiring me to do it all again.

All in all, Saints Row 4 is a great addition to the series and, by accounts, the end of The Boss's story. It's ridiculously fun to play, and you can have a blast just roaming around the map throwing cars about, without even tackling the main story. If you follow the main story and loyalty missions, it'll take you about 10 hour sto finish the game. Though I could do with some more interesting side missions. If you're looking for a game that's all about driving around in cars shooting, this probably isn't for you, but if you just want a fun open world game, then Saints Row 4 is well worth picking up.

Score:
8 out of 10.

Pros:
It's ridiculously entertaining.
The super powers add a lot to the game.
The story's great.

Cons:
Some of the side missions are quite dull.
The game crashed a couple of times.
Mon 26/08/13 at 12:40:
Staff Moderator
"Meh..."
Posts: 1,462
Hannard wrote:
chasfh wrote:
Loved Saints Row the Third... Question is, if this is more like an extension of that, do I really need it?

More to the point, is it worth 30 of my cash?


It's more like Crackdown meets Saints Row 3.

As for the price point, it'll probably drop a fiver or so in the next month, so you could always wait till then. I don't regret spending 30 on it, but I'm a huge Saints Row fan.

I'll most likely do that, wait for it to drop slightly before buying.

I really liked the Third, more than I did GTA4 to be honest. It was just more fun, more open and far more ridiculous. Plus the character customisation was a nice touch. I doubt I'll bother with GTA 5, regardless of the hype, so Saints row 4 might well be the way to go...
Sat 24/08/13 at 17:39:
Regular
"Braaains"
Posts: 436
chasfh wrote:
Loved Saints Row the Third... Question is, if this is more like an extension of that, do I really need it?

More to the point, is it worth 30 of my cash?


It's more like Crackdown meets Saints Row 3.

As for the price point, it'll probably drop a fiver or so in the next month, so you could always wait till then. I don't regret spending 30 on it, but I'm a huge Saints Row fan.
Sat 24/08/13 at 17:19:
Staff Moderator
"Meh..."
Posts: 1,462
Loved Saints Row the Third... Question is, if this is more like an extension of that, do I really need it?

More to the point, is it worth 30 of my cash?
Fri 23/08/13 at 19:19:
Regular
"Braaains"
Posts: 436
A few eyebrows were raised when it was announced that Saints Row 4 was going to be released roughly a month or so before GTA 5 hit consoles. Was the move a deliberate attempt to steal of some of GTA 5's thunder? Possibly, but Rockstar, the makes of Grand Theft Auto 5 needn't have worried. Not because Saints Row 4 is terrible - it's not - but because it's taken the open world antics of the previous game in a whole new direction, one that means there's enough room on the market for both games.

After a brief introductory mission, Saints Row 4 has you, as the Boss, as the President of the United States. Yes, really. The Boss is whoever you want them to be since you can create your own character and use one of several different voices - four male, three female. In fact, the ability to make your character your own is one of of the game's big selling points. Surprisingly, while still being a badass, the boss has acquired something of a sense of social responsibility, having a grown a bit since they were the angry psychopath of Saints Row 2. Indeed, in the first few minutes of the game you're given the chance to either end world hunger or cure cancer, nicely cutting through the usual BS associated with politics. The Boss also has several other Saints working with him including Kinzie, Pierce and Shaundi, doing their best to perform damage control when the Boss says something wildly in appropriate.

However, things take a turn for the weird when the US is attacked by an alien overlord known as Zinyak and his army, the Zin. Most of the Saints are kidnapped and you, as The Boss, are left to single handedly fight off the alien invasion. Yeah, it doesn't go well. And that's where the game really begins as - after a short mini-mission - you're dumped into a virtual reality version of Steelport, the city from Saints Row 3. By which I mean it's damn similar, identical, something that annoyed me a bit at first, since the map has been recycled from the previous game. In fact, Saints Row 4 actually began life as Enter The Dominatrix, a proposed expansion pack for Saints Row 3, though there's enough content for a full game here. The game proceeds in typical Saints Row fashion with you stealing cars and shooting things, open world style. However, that's where things take an odd turn.

That's because about an hour or so into the game, you're given superpowers, starting with the abilities to run extremely fast and to leap small buildings in a single bound. Suddenly, the game is more like Crackdown, Prototype or Infamous than Grand Theft Auto, the game which originally inspired Saints Row. That's no bad thing, though since it takes things to a whole new level. Granted, you can still get into cars, drive them around and even get special paint jobs, but there's not much point in doing this when you can just run to your destination. Giving you super powers does, however, raise the question of how your average gang member could hope to take you down. The answer is, they couldn't, which is why the game pits you against a variety of alien foes, some of whom serve the same function as the police do in other games. They come in a variety of flavours and have a nasty habit of just dropping in through portals and so forth. This may seem a bit cheap at first but in most GTA style games the police only really spawn a few streets away anyway.

You're not entirely limited to your superpowers - you can use a range of weaponry including the much trumpted 'Dubstep Gun' which lets you kill people via the gift of sound. I say 'people' but the bulk of the human and alien characters you fight in Saints Row 4 are entirely virtual, which means you shouldn't have any moral problem shooting them. Or super-kicking them around Steelport, something you can do when you've gained your super abilities. Yes, if you haven't figured it out by now, Saints Row 4 is an extremely silly game and lets you get up to all sorts of insane shenanigans. All the weapons - including the bizarre Inflato-Ray can be customised with different skins should you unlock them. And you also gain other superpowers such as the ability to hurl fireballs, which themselves can be upgraded.

However, this leads me to one of Saints Row 4's negative points. The game doesn't have many, and it's insanely enjoyable, but I do have a problem with the game forcing you to do the in-game side missions in order to unlock certain extra powers. There are three types of missions in the game. Story missions progress the story and have to be undertaken to complete the game. Loyalty missions let you give your fellow Saints superpowers - when you rescue them - and aren't compulsory but result in the special ending, and give you the ability to - ahem - liase with them off-screen in a parody of Mass Effect's romance options. No, really. These types of missions are generally fairly interesting and generally give you unique objectives to undertake. Some also take you into other simulations, where you may or may not have your superpowers. However, the third type, side missions, are really bland and have you repeating the game's diversion activities for no good reason. That's not to say that the diversions themselves are rubbish - there's a whole range of them, including Tank Mayhem and Insurance Fraud - which is even more fun with superpowers. But it feels like these side missions have been strung together in order to pad the game out. Possibly because of the game's origins as a piece of Saints Row 3 DLC.

Story-wise, I don't want to give too much away, but there are some really great twists and a few famous characters - friends and enemies alike - put in an appearance. Which is perfectly okay since the bulk of the game takes place in virtual reality. The game's also pretty damn funny and is smart about it too, not just going for cheap laughs all the time. The graphics are pretty good, though they're not a huge leap on from Saints Row 3 since it uses the same engine. There's also a co-op mode, which lets two superpowered heroes bounce around, as well as a few co-op focused activities. Another cool feature, which goes against type, is that in the virtual sim you have to collect pick-ups to regain health. These are dropped by enemies, whereas previously - as is the case in most other games - your health recovers automatically. One other negative point is that the game crashed for me a couple of times - once near the end of a long mission, requiring me to do it all again.

All in all, Saints Row 4 is a great addition to the series and, by accounts, the end of The Boss's story. It's ridiculously fun to play, and you can have a blast just roaming around the map throwing cars about, without even tackling the main story. If you follow the main story and loyalty missions, it'll take you about 10 hour sto finish the game. Though I could do with some more interesting side missions. If you're looking for a game that's all about driving around in cars shooting, this probably isn't for you, but if you just want a fun open world game, then Saints Row 4 is well worth picking up.

Score:
8 out of 10.

Pros:
It's ridiculously entertaining.
The super powers add a lot to the game.
The story's great.

Cons:
Some of the side missions are quite dull.
The game crashed a couple of times.

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