Publisher: Deep Silver
What they say: Following their involvement in (REDACTED TO PREVENT SPOILERS), the Saints were once again thrust into the lime light: only this time they weren’t viewed as dangerous criminals; they were heralded as patriots. Riding their wave of popularity, The Leader of the Saints decided to run for the highest office…and won. Now the President of the United States, the boss has gone from the crack house, to the penthouse, to the White House. But all is not well. Despite eliminating the deficit, ending world hunger, and successfully lobbying to have pole dancing added as an Olympic sport…something dark is looming: the arrival of the Zin Empire. Lead by the erudite and egomaniacal Zinyak; the Zin brazenly attack Washington DC, abducting the President and his entire cabinet. Their goal was to imprison the captives in a virtual prison to break down their will…but they never realized that the individuals they brought onto their ship weren’t fat cat politicians: they were the most dangerous men and women on the planet.
What I say: When Saints Row was released in Fall 2006 it was viewed as little more than a knock-off of Grand Theft Auto. By Saints Row 2 in 2008 it was developing its own audience, but Volition knew something had to change. In Saints Row: The Third the series went in a new direction. Rethinking the Saints as international celebrities and upping the wackiness really brought the series into its own. And now Saints Row IV has arrived and it boldly treks along its chosen path of lunacy.
Having rose to the highest office in the world, The Boss has settled into being the President (with Keith David as his Veep no less). Then the Zin Empire attack Earth and capture the entire cabinet. The Boss breaks free and sets forth to free his friends. Using alien technology The Boss gains super powers and begins his assault on the Zin Empire. Over the course of the game you complete missions which either advance the story or gain new powers. There are side missions galore, however, that help you prove your loyalty to your crew or challenges that continue to unlock stuff. Doing the loyalty missions allow your homies to gain their own powers, which really help when you call them in to help with missions and challenges. The storyline is pretty engaging and literally hilarious. Someone on staff at Volition has a seriously inappropriate love of Paula Abduls Opposites Attract, this leads to several great moments that build the characters but give you a good laugh as well. As a whole music is used very effectively in the game to help set scenes and give you an instant emotional attachment.
The package its self is beautifully structured. The game is literally a love letter to video games and the other games in the series. The game touches on a lot of characters and situations from the first three games to incredible impact. The game even finds a way to re-use a lot of assets from those earlier games with it feeling cheap, it comes off as loving and nostalgic. Quite genius really. I can’t go into the story too much due to massive spoilers but if you are a fan of this series at all, this game is a must buy. Even if this is your first time with the Saints it’s still a great game. When using your super powers the game feels so smooth and offers such a breathtaking sense of freedom. Doing high jumps, gliding, and all the other powers are a load of fun and you will find yourself doing more side missions just to play around with them. You can do just about anything (and you frequenty do) in the game except for climbing Satan’s Ladder to get a piping hot Donkey Beer. Needless to say at this point, the game is supremely addictive and it’s a total gas to play.
The only downside at all is the graphics. Like I said there are a lot of assets reused and the character models lack a bit but the nostalgic fell of the game more than makes up for it. If there is another Saints Row on next gen systems we should get our eye candy then. As is the game looks fine, it just doesn’t look great.