Saints Row 4 (IV) Review & Gameplay!
Welcome back Techfans! Today we’re taking a look at Saint’s Row IV, a game that during development stages was originally just an add on for Saints Row the Third, but turned into it’s own full blown game with time.
Given the fact that it was originally planned as an expansion, it’s easy to understand why the game is very much the exact same as the Third at first glance. It’s the same engine with the same visuals, and even the same overall map with a few changes in the form of expanded territory and an alien occupation.
While music has changed it’s simply a new set of different radio stations taking real world songs, but a few are noticeably missing from the third, in particular the metal station. The similarities between the Third and IV are so many in fact that at first it has you questioning if it’s really worth picking up if you already have the third one, and the farther you get in the game the more it does it’s job of proving that worry wrong.
First off, while cars and guns for the most part are the same, the game offers one change in gameplay that radically affects the entire flow: Superpowers. Coming in flavors ranging from super speed to ice blasts, the game gives players a ridiculous amount of power in an already unbalanced game, and completely alters how the free roam sandbox elements are handled since you can now run faster than most cars, not to mention running up walls or gliding through the air. This also of course changes a number of the activities of the game which act as the focal point of structured gameplay, giving players more options like super speed races, climbing super high up towers, or destroying virtual worlds with telekinetic powers.
The campaign also distinguishes itself from the Third by having some of the most varied, bordering on the insane, story missions. Many of them are based around each team mates personal hell, or dreams in a virtual world, and while some are traditional shoot em ups, you also get the occasional text based adventure or my personal favorite, an old school side scrolling beat em up. What plot there is to justify these events is entirely tongue in cheek, and relies heavily upon pop culture, movie, and video game references that can still be funny if you don’t catch each and every one.
There really aren’t that many good objective reasons to give for what makes Saints Row IV a good game: Visuals are mediocre, challenge is non existent, gameplay is for the most part rehashed, and the comedy while hilarious, relies heavily on your memory for references. Yet despite all these things, it’s hard to play the game and not have some of the most solid stupid fun ever. Even when compared to the Third which is so similar, the ways in which this game turns the dial to 11 just makes it that much more fun to run around and cause mayhem, or just play through the main campaign and laugh at just about every line of dialogue. The one massive flaw that I can’t understand though is the fact that missions are still not replayable, which is especially painful in this one considering how amazing some of the story missions are. The option to replay these in co op whenever you want would be fantastic, but as of right now your only option is to either have a lot of different save files, or restart the entire game.
These issues aside, Saints Row IV is great for you if you just want a game to play for good stupid fun. There’s little to no learning curve, the whole island is opened up to you right away, and any story missions you do play will keep you laughing for a good while. Even if you own and still play the Third, IV will surprise you with how awkwardly different it is thanks to a healthy combination of matrix and mass effect jokes with superpowers for good measure.