PS3 Review: Saints Row IV

Holy Saints! This game is crazy!

I’ve played and enjoyed each of the Saints Row games and while most consider it to be a GTA-Clone, I consider it to be much more than that. It’s crazier, funnier and downright bizarre at times in ways that GTA couldn’t match. The Third stepped the series up a notch in terms of the humour and madness, while IV takes it another step by making your character the President of the United States, being invaded by aliens and placed in a Matrix-esque simulation of Steelport. Oh, and Keith David is the Vice President…
The gameplay remains true to past games by having an open world experience with Activities to do like Insurance Fraud and Mayhem, but now you gain superpowers in the simulation and have the ability to jump incredibly high, sprint like Sonic and attack with a whole list of weapons and abilities like the Dubstep gun and Telekinesis. Saints Row IV almost feels like it’s taken some cues from Crackdown by placing over 1000 data clusters over Steelport that look suspiciously like the ability orbs.

Since the game is set in a simulated world, the rules of reality don’t apply and you can bend the world to your will with your abilities and missions are just mad, one minute you can be clearing out a zone of aliens to getting oral sex from a robot. Just when you think the game has peaked at the crazy level, it goes up another notch. You can also play the campaign co-operatively as with past games in the series, but I personally prefer to play solo.
Completing missions and activities will gain you XP for abilities like health, ammo and upgrades to your crew, while data clusters will level up your powers like Super Sprint and Super Jump, the game isn’t that challenging but it’s just incredibly fun and I found it impossible to put down. The humour is just top of the range and I can’t see it being topped for a good length of time.

In terms of performance, Saints Row IV runs fairly smoothly but does have the odd framerate hiccup during some of the bigger firefights, while the visuals remain more or less the same as The Third and as before you can customise your character any way you like to making them have a giant rack to having the voice of Nolan North. Voice-acting is the jewel in the crown of Saints Row IV and the track list is brilliant too, as well as having perfect timing like playing Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” during the opening as you climb and disable a nuke with cheesy one-liners from your crew, it’s just priceless.

The Verdict

Saints Row IV is the pinnacle of ridiculous and zany with its open world smashed open with the addition of powers and living in a simulation. It’s easily the funniest game I’ve played in a long time and it plays like a dream too, GTA V may be round the corner…but Saints Row IV has plenty to offer as well and will do more than just fill the gap before it’s release. It’s a top quality title and worthy of any gamers’ collection.


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