The Current Reviews Saints Row IV!

Posted on Sep 11 2013

The Current Saints Row IV

When an evil alien overlord descends upon Earth and threatens the survival of the entire human race do you? A) Cower in fear and wait for the nightmare to end; B) Accept your new masters and do their bidding in order to stay alive; C) Fight back and die trying; or D) Destroy every alien in your path, bring down a massive simulation built to imprison your mind after gaining superpowers, free your equally crazy friends from imprisonment, and save the Earth because you’re the Motherf^&#ing President of the United States?! The answer is D, of course, and you don’t have to dream about that scenario any longer now that Saints Row IV is here!


After the massive success of Saints Row: The Third, Volition immediately began work on the next installment of the Saints Row series with an expansion called Enter the Dominatrix. However, THQ, Volition’s publisher, went belly-up and pieces of the defunct company were now being spread to other gaming companies. Volition began to worry about their own future and the future of Saints Row until Deep Silver, 2013-09-10_00013publishers of Dead Island and Killer is Dead, picked up the franchise and let the developers run wild! After a merging of ideas and concepts, Enter the Dominatrix became Saints Row IV! Arguably one of the craziest games in video gaming history, SRIV has a lot to offer to fans of the older and newer games in the series and is a ton of fun. Let’s jump right in starting with the gameplay!

Saints Row has come a long way from its roots as a Grand Theft Auto competitor focusing on gang warfare. Each new installment of the series brought crazier and more ridiculous things for players to do. Fan favorites include spraying massive amounts of fecal matter on houses and cars, destroying as much property as possible with rocket launchers, and turning people into a bloody mess with oversized fists. 2013-09-10_00010SRIV adds to the madness with an array of alien weaponry that would make a gun rack blush. From rifles that shoot pinballs of death, to guns that can call down a UFO abduction and create black holes, to a bat with an enormous tentacle on it, and even the now-famous Dubstep Gun, SRIV shoves a grand arsenal into the players hands and lets them run free. I absolutely love holding my trigger down and letting my Dubstep Gun fire forever; the unsafe amounts of wub and rave lights are so overpowered and beautiful!

2013-09-11_00008Aside from the insane amount of weaponry, the character customization takes the game to an entire new level of crazy! Each and every weapon in the game can be customized to give it a different look. 2013-09-11_00017Want a rocket launcher disguised as a guitar case? Go right ahead! Crazy enough to wield duel rubber band guns? Be my guest! Want to pimp out some guns with Midas’ gold touch? Nobody will judge! Switching up the guns is one thing; it’s a whole different story when switching clothing or even genders! SRIV features an enormous wardrobe full of stylish clothing and nonsensical costumes such as retro spacemen suits, samurai and medieval knight armor and even furry suits. Should one be daring enough, the option to go completely naked (with mosaic censoring I might add) is always available. The players themselves can even be changed at any time! The President can be tall, short, skinny, fat, muscular, Caucasian, Hispanic, Black, male or female. Heck, there’s even a Nolan North voice option!

With guns and character sufficiently customized, the world is open and free to do with as the players see fit. Every activity is open regardless of experience level, and no section of the city is ever deemed off-limits to the player, save for the main spaceship hovering high above the game’s physical ceiling. Players unlock superpowers fairly early in the game which allows for very interesting ways to move around the city. Flying and running fast is always a lot of fun, especially when they’re upgraded to their full potential. 2013-09-10_00014As players progress through the story, they gain more superpowers to add to their already formidable arsenal, which only makes for much more of an over powered alien killer! The one caveat brought on by the use of superpowers is that it does render cars on the ground very obsolete. Players can run faster than any car with super speed as well as fly great lengths; this can make driving cars seem slow and uninteresting.

While having the freedom to do whatever you want at any time is great, going through the story is also a really nice way of bouncing around through various activities. I find it much more enjoyable to hear Vice President Keith David, or any of my other crewmates, tell me to go to the next alien hotspot or activity and kick the ever-living tar out of some aliens than to do every activity and miss out on those small quips while turning in five missions at a time. The story itself isn’t the most original, and, in fact, combines a lot of various themes from movies and video games. This, however, is where the comedy gold is found. The main story missions are really fun to go through, and the dialogue is a blast to listen to, especially when realizing how much Saints Row spoofs other video games and movies such as Armageddon, Call of Duty, and even Metal Gear Solid. I had a huge fit of laughter while I was starting a mission to save a crew member when the awesome graphics and animation suddenly took a U-turn to the 1980’s. The best part about SRIV, in my opinion, is the shout-out to the rest of the series and its fans.206420_screenshots_2013-09-06_00002 A large portion of the main and loyalty missions either send players to various moments in the Saints Row past or throw something from the past into the present. This is a great way for fans of the game to reminisce on key events in the Saints’ history, and it even manages to inject a few moments of seriousness that remind players that the Saints are still a force to be reckoned with, even after all they have been through.

In order to completely experience the game before giving a final verdict, I teamed up with 91.8 The Fan’s very own Eternal Scholar to show off the massive destruction and debauchery that we cooked up in Virtual Steelport. Co-op in SRIV is fairly straightforward; players can easily drop-in to their friends’ game and team up to dish out major destruction. For two crazy guys like Eternal and I, it was entirely too much fun trying to outdo each other as we blasted aliens sky-high with our weapons and powers. Eternal received quite a good amount of pleasure in abducting aliens left and right as I took out my trusty ‘Murica gun and let the fireworks and flames fly! He and I have also been having fun nuking entire blocks of the city, sapping enemy health using telekinesis and pounding the pavement with our feet. We should never, ever be trusted with power. Having a teammate makes completing some of the more challenging activities much easier and much more satisfying;2013-09-10_00005 nothing beats earning gold medals on every activity! If playing cooperatively is too nice, there are also special co-op activities that pit players against one another in super powered duels to the death, super powered races and more! Eternal has managed to kill me a bunch of times in the co-op Death Tag activities, much to my horror and fury.

Finally, I feel the need to talk about my love for the great soundtrack Volition put together for SRIV. With songs like “The Safety Dance”; Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”; Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Brain”, and artists like Macklemore, Machine Gun Kelly, Nero, Papa Roach, In Flames, and so much more, there is more than enough to satisfy any musical tastes. I know of no other game that lets you shoot down alien ships while you jam “A Night at the Roxbury” style to Haddaway’s “What is Love”. The original music for the game is also really well done and draws no complaints from me. Despite everything I find wonderful about SRIV, however, I cannot ignore the few errors and minor objections I find every now and then.

2013-08-24_00005Much of the game is executed very well, but that does not mean that SRIV manages to get away damage-free; in fact, SRIV has its fair share of odd, and sometimes annoying, bugs. Within the game, the simulation of Steelport will sometimes “glitch” and a variety of hilarious side effects can be seen placed upon enemies and pedestrians; this is intentionally programmed into the game. However, Eternal and I ran into one major issue as we played together: trying to stay in a game together for longer than 15 minutes at a time. It seems that Eternal’s graphics card may not have been up to par and was causing random crashes on his end. A quick search revealed that, while rare, other players had also run into this bit of bad luck. A recent patch also caused issues with players losing weapons they earned in-game but was quickly resolved by Volition. Aside from these issues, I ran into no other major problems with SRIV and it runs very smoothly for me at max settings. A few players with older PC’s have run into some trouble at higher settings. I did manage to find a few amusing bugs such as the crew clipping into furniture and even falling underneath the entire city with no way out.

The only other gripe I have left is more of a personal one more than a fault of the game. Saints Row IV is a very large game and it is full of tons to do, even after finishing the game. In fact, it’s so much fun that I wish there was even more to do around Virtual Steelport! In a greedy sort of way I wish SRIV could have brought activities from the other three titles and crammed even more cameos into the story! In reality, SRIV cannot have every crazy idea put into the game; otherwise the game would never have been completed or done well at all!

When all is said and done, Saints Row IV proves it is still the king of crazy, open world sandbox games, and can entertain its fans, even with its enormous potty mouth and humor. I couldn’t recommend this game enough to my friends, and I can’t recommend it enough to our readers and listeners. Rather than arbitrarily score this game, I will simply answer this important question: Should you play this game? My verdict: YES. Snag your copy on PC, Xbox 360 or PS3 and kick some aliens where the sun won’t shine!


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  • The Eternal Scholar September 11, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    You’d best involve me in any other co-op game you decide to do later in time. Well put together article, and what is says is true. Definitely recommend Saints Row IV to anyone who has a friend or who just enjoys causing some chaos and a game that doesn’t follow the conventional rules of gaming.

    Also, the dubstep gun is the best weapon ever made in any game ever, bar none.

    • Chaim Shekelstein September 13, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      how dare you neglect to mention or hold in solemn remembrance the deaths of brave new york firefighters on such a solemn day, forever burned into our memories 20 years ago

      may god have mercy on your soul

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