2013 has been a great one for gaming. The responses from a community of gamers looking for their next high-definition fix have been loud, proud, and sometimes slightly illiterate. However, the point I am trying to make here is that I am so proud of the sheer passion evoked by the games of today. With giants like Bioshock Infinite, The Last of Us and the recent Grand Theft Auto 5 to be discussed, there is plenty to say. And ya’ll are saying it, as are the critics. There is one game that grasps at greatness with its obscenely bejeweled hands, and just misses the mark. A game that made me smile, laugh and generally have a great time, until it didn’t. This, my friends, was Saints Row 4. Saints Row 4 puts you in the shoes of the leader of the Third Street Saints, the most influential gang in Steelport. Those shoes have made a bit of an upgrade since you last wore them. Your customizable character, “Boss”, is now the leader of the free world. The President of the United States.
Yes, you are the fucking president.
Congratulations! Your inauguration glory doesn’t last long though. Because that alien invasion the world has been dreading is at the doorstep of the White House. And your people need you. Hope you packed your missile launcher and your giant purple dildo melee weapon! You’re going to need ‘em. With this story as the backdrop of your game, how can it go wrong? The same way many other popular kids do. It peaks too early, like way too early. Which is such a shame, because the first few hours in I was having an absolute blast. For those of you who plan to play the game, I’ll break this down spoiler free for you. The way I see it, Saint’s Row 4 is the lovechild of GTA and Infamous. The Infamous genes come (hah) into the picture when the player is given a myriad of badass super-powers. Pretty much right off the bat, you’re given all of these great abilities that are quite fun to use in the giant map of Steelport.
Well, the Steelport simulation at least. Remember that absurd storyline I mentioned earlier? It only makes sense for you and your friends to get abducted. And it falls on to you, of course, to find them all and return to kick intergalactic ass. To do this you must transport back and forth between the Saints HQ and many beautifully written and designed simulations to bring back your crew and save the world.
In this gamers opinion, this is one of the areas where the title really shines. From a cheesy ‘50s sitcom to an 8-bit arcade inspired adventure, these simulations are designed to engage the player the entire way through.
The witty writing makes the characters easily likable. In fact, the writing is the glue holding the game together. The game’s sense of humor is great, offensive in all of the right ways and awesome. Violition, Inc, the developers, knowingly rip-off certain pieces of other beloved games and it just works. For example, upon returning to HQ after rescuing a crewmember, you are given the option to “romance” them. Each characters reaction to this prompt alone kept me pressing the A –button, just to see what would happen.
One last gold star, the music is fan-fucking-tastic. The game’s soundtrack is seriously full of winners. There is nothing like epically leaping toward a spaceship with “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” playing, or driving around the neon-lit city map with OutKast serenading me. The soundtrack was one of the key factors that kept me immersed, at least while I still was.
So here lies the problem. After a while, the dust clears and you are left with a less than satisfactory errand running game. While the opening is full of action-packed moments, they don’t last. Midgame I found myself sprinting through the city, missing all of the gorgeous details I should be marveling at, just to hurry up and get to the next mission. Which would have me doing the same thing, to run around getting shit for other people or pieces for some huge weapon. I’ve done that before, we’ve all done that before.
I don’t know about you, but errand running in games drives me up the wall. It is a cheap way to keep me playing the game and take up space until the next big scene or mission. I want every mission to leave me feeling like a true badass. Not the sidekick.
Verdict: Saints Row 4 is super fun to play. Yet I can’t help but say, unless you are a huge fan of the series it is not worth full price. Wait until it goes on sale. The game is worth your time, but not quite all your money. While it promises epic gameplay, hilariously offensive situations, memorable characters and a killer soundtrack, it doesn’t stay fresh throughout the whole game. It grows stale and if I learned anything from Steelport, it’s to always rely on a quick plastic surgery to fix any physical issue ailing me. The repetitive and frustrating parts of Saints Row 4 bring the fun level way down, and could do with a facelift.
Katy gives Saints Row 4: 3 Beer Taps out of 5
Hello Players and Plus Ones alike! Many of you may know me as the friendly, albeit sometimes strong-willed girl who checks your IDs and gets you into our beloved bar as quickly and efficiently as possible. My work in our store really is only the tip of the iceberg to who I am and what I plan to do with my time on this Earth. Let’s dive just a bit deeper and rewind to give you lovelies a better understanding of what’s to come from Kitana’s contributions to Player 1.