Volition’s bestseller Saints Row franchise is out in another iteration entitled Saints Row 4. Does it have the juice or is it just junk? Despite THQ’s bankruptcy, Volition found a new publisher for its new game, Deep Silver.
Originally planned as a DLC for Saints Row The Third, Saints Row 4 picks up 5 years after the events of Saints Row The Third. Your character, The Boss, is now the President of US and on your way for a press conference when aliens attack America and from there on all hell breaks loose. Apparently Earth is destroyed and every human is captured and grown in a very Matrix-esque Steelport city simulation. You are put into the simulation with the help of your crew in an attempt to thwart the alien leader Zinyak and save the planet. That’s your plot. Yeah I know its not something worthy of an Academy Award but jack into the game and you’ll forget why you even need a plot.
Saints Row 4 plays almost exactly like The Third with the small exception of having superpowers. Yes, Saints Row 4 could have been one of the best DLCs ever made for a game but unfortunately they decided to make a full game outta a thin concept and there lies the first fault. Saints Row 4 is the exact same game with reminiscent graphics, same companions and very similar style of music. What saves it from an immediate thumbs down is the similar sappy gameplay from The Third. Once again volition strikes gold with its over the top action set-piece moments, campy humor and its bizarre weapons. Do try the Dubstep gun to know what I just said. And the icing on the cake comes with super powers, you get super speed, super jump and anything that can have ‘super’ attached to it. I liked how they utilized the simulation as a reason to grant the players superpowers. Though it also becomes a bit monotonous and you feel overpowered as Saints Row 4 felt like Saints Row The Third on crack or with cheats on. But its not to say fun! Character Customization’s back and be prepared to spend a lot of time on your character, though I felt the customization was a bit less this time but my complaints were done with when I logged onto the Saints Row 4 character gallery.
Enemies doesn’t have whip-smart AI and rather fails miserably at even noticing you when in combat not to mention getting stuck in odd places and all. And there were bugs aplenty and some of them would go only if the graphics were downgraded. Weird!
Saints Row The Third was very popular for the parodies and satire it had and Saints Row 4 is no different. Parodies of movies and games like Halo, Portal, MGS, COD and there were even easter eggs thrown around. I got a broomstick that goes vroom and I noticed that there was a spock palm print on the computer screens. The Mass Effect inspired sex scenes were particularly chuckle worthy. There was a Tron level and another level with featured Streets of Rage. Happy?
Saints Row 4 is ludicrous, profane, absurd and immensely fun. But at the same time it does get insanely whacky to some’s taste. A weak story and now ageing graphics never lets the Saints Row 4 soar to the magnanimity that The Third had. Drenched in its signature violet hue, Saints Row 4s supernatural overall feel sets it apart from its prequel as well. Most of everything else amounted to simple refinements, making it one of the least ambitious sequels but it still comes off as pure whacky entertainment.