Video Game Review: Saints Row IV

cover

Developer(s): Voilition, Inc.

Publisher(s): Deep Silver

Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Genre(s): 3rd Person open world Action-Adventure

Game Mode(s): Single-Player, Multi-Player

Release Date: August 20, 2013

ESRB Rating: M – Mature

This “Saints Row IV” review is based on the standard edition, single player campaign, played on PC via Steam with a controller. It was originally written on 09/15/2013.

Saints Row IV” is like if “Saints Row The Third” and “Crackdown” got married, had a child, and that child had more superpowers!” – Super Barley Bros crew.

sr4 2Quick Synopsis:
I am going to try my best to avoid any story spoilers.

Shortly after the ending of “Saints Row The Third”, The Boss (aka you), Shaundi, and Pierce are assisting a M1-6 (British Secret Intelligence) Agent, Asha Odekar to go after the former leader of STAG, Cyrus Temple. [Cyrus had a major role in Saints Row The Third, and I am glad to have seen this tie-in.] As The Boss, you end up saving Washington D.C., USA from nuclear destruction. This event is a major catalyst for you, within five (5) years you become the President of the United States of America!!! You have several members of the Saints Row gang as your staff at the White Crib.

sr4 3Enter the villain of the story, Zinyak, Emperor of the Zin Empire, an alien. That is right people, we are not alone!

Zinyak’s plan is to abduct the best and brightest Earth has to offer, including the leaders of the free world.

The Saints are thrown into computer simulations of their worst fears. The Boss’ (your) worst fear apparently is to be in the 1950s where the Saints are not in control and cuss words are not allowed. [This whole premise is definitely based on The Matrix trilogy.] Kinzie frees you, and then you and her develop a plan aboard a stolen Zin spaceship and begin rescuing the other Saints from their own worse nightmares and bringing them back to reality. Within the simulation of Steelport, the city from the 3rd game, but with some Alien redecoration, you begin to weaken Zinyak’s grip. After having a ton of fun with your main mission, side missions, collectible finding, store hacking (as opposed to buying), mayhems, races, assassinations, vehicle thefts, alien fights, and so much more, now it is time to bring everyone together.

sr4 4You all attack within the simulation to weaken it enough to where Zinyak has to dump more power into it from his ship to keep it up and running. Once that is completed, you can now move on to the real world and attack Zinyak from that perspective. And so begins the final battle…

Throughout the entire game, there are a TON of references, jokes, and Easter eggs pointing to other items in pop-culture, so many, that I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. Head here to learn more about them. They were done very well and mixed in with the gameplay quite nicely.

Within this simulation you earn super powers. You have two (2) main categories Active and Passive, and on most, you have the ability to upgrade: by finding data clusters, completing challenges, completing quests (both main and side). This list is after all upgrades have occurred.

sr4 5Under Blast you have three choices. 1) You can throw Ice and freeze people and vehicles for a brief period of time (bonus: flight vehicles will fall and be destroyed on impact). 2) You can throw Fire which is pretty self-explanatory. 3) You can temporarily have Mind Control over enemies, and they will fight for you.

Under Telekinesis you have three choices. 1) You can use [the] Force and simply throw vehicles or individuals using your mind! 2) With Lightning activated, you can do the same as and have lightning spawning out from your target too! 3) With Life Steal, you can grab a hold of individuals and drain their life and take it for your own.

Under Stomp you have three choices 1) With Rock enabled, your stomps kill individuals and destroy objects within a certain radius. 2) With Gravity enabled, your stomps make individuals float above ground, helpless, so that you can pick them off with a weapon. 3) With Shrink enabled, your stomps shrink individuals around you and you can step on them. A bonus with this is that their voices sound like chipmunks.

Under Buff you have…that is right, you guessed it, three choices. 1) You and your bullets are enveloped in Fire. 2) You and your bullets are enveloped in Lightning. 3) With Freeze, you and your bullets are enveloped in Ice.

sr4 6With Super Sprint, you are like the Flash (DC) or QuickSilver (Marvel). You can outrun vehicles, run on walls, and eventually run on water.

With Super Jump you can “leap tall buildings in a single bound”, dash through the air, and eventually glide. The higher you get before gliding, the longer you will glide.

After a Super Jump, you will be able to perform a Death From Above. It is like Stomp Rock, but more. If you get high enough, it is like a small atomic explosion occurred.

When you dash and/or glide, you have a Force Shield around you.

My personal stats:

  • Played = 30h:44m
  • Achievements = 39/53 (74%)
  • Level = 50/50
  • Missions = 37/37
  • Activities = 32/32
  • Flashpoints = 32/32
  • Hoods Controlled = 17/17
  • Stores Hacked = 34/34
  • Loyalty Missions = 7/7
  • Collectables = 1,338/1,338
  • Challenges 38/65 (58%)
  • Total Kills = 5,507
  • Total Cache Earned = $3.2 Million
  • Total XP Earned = 281,750

Pros:

Graphics:
1) I do see a difference in the quality of graphics from SR3 to SR4. To me they seem sharper and more vibrant.

2) Within the game play of simulations, you get system glitches…on purpose. Very few times did they annoy me, the rest of the time, they were balanced and sometimes even comical.

Audio:
3) Songs that came on the radio were good, and the fact that you can listen to music without being in a vehicle. Which is a definite plus, because let’s face it, you are not going to be in a vehicle that much.

4) I think the dialogue script was great and had a good balance between moving the story forward and comical relief.

sr4 7

5) The voice acting was incredible, and to be honest I nerded out when I heard Nolan North and Michael Dorn. You also have Keith David and Neil Patrick Harris.

Game Play:
6) I love the 3rd person open world games to begin with. The controls were good and were responsive. I enjoyed all the missions and things you could do in this game. Running amuck and causing mayhem is always enjoyable.

7) Character editor and the characters other players upload to the website can turn into hours of fun in itself.

8) The new arsenal of alien weaponry can be quite enjoyable, such as: The Dubstep gun (#WubWub), the Black Whole creator, the Abduction gun, and more.

Cons:

Graphics:
1) There are some noticeable, not intended, glitches at certain points. But realistically, what game does not have that?

Audio:
2) They took away the heavy metal station. I understand why it was done, royalty cost and according to their research it was not listened to enough. So I am not upset by this, I just missed it.

Game Play:
3) In SR3, I preferred dual wielding pistols with explosive bullets. Throughout the course of the upgrading the pistol, I felt that they were slower than what they were in SR3.

4) I played both as a male and a female pretty equally in the game. In comparison to the male’s choices, I felt that the women’s wardrobe was lacking in comparison with SR3. I am not really sure if this is the truth, just a feeling I got anytime I was in one of the clothing shops.

Conclusion:
There has been a lot of individuals complaining about the reuse of Steelport, and how this should have been a DLC or Expansion pack to SR3, and that it is not worth the $50 (PC) to $60 (Console) price point. I definitely disagree with that. I am not arguing about the reuse of Steelport, but I think the developers did well here. There are so many things that they did change and improve upon that it outweighs this one, minuet detail.

I would not say that this was an extremely difficult game, but I will say that I had a ton of fun playing it. To me that is more important. I felt I got my money’s worth.

sr4 8

There has also been a lot of controversy of the content within this Mature rated game, e.g. sexuality and that shows drug use. I am just pointing that out…

On a 1 (worse) through 5 (best) scale, I would rate this a 5) Buy Brand New. I hope you found this game as enjoyable as I did.

Thanks for Playin’!

Works Cited

1) Saints Row. September 13, 2013. Web. http://www.saintsrow.com

Images

1) Amazon. September 13, 2013. Web. http://www.amazon.com

2) Saints Row. September 13, 2013. Web. http://www.saintsrow.com

3) Saints Row. September 13, 2013. Web. http://www.saintsrow.com

4) Game Informer. September 14, 2013. http://www.gameinformer.com

5) Steam. September 13, 2013. Web. http://store.steampowered.com

6) Steam. September 13, 2013. Web. http://store.steampowered.com

7) Saints Row. September 14, 2013. Web. http://www.saintsrow.com

This entry was posted in Review, Video Game Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.