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Saints Row IV

saints row 4 cover art

That’s an enormous energy drink can, in case you were wondering.

Over-the-top violent and sexual humor, super powers, and a whole lotta purple. My three favorite things.

Also, Saints Row IV in a nutshell.

If you played Saints Row The Third, you only need to imagine more of the same type of gang violence and humor, except now your character is the President of the United States and imbued with superpowers in a sort of Infamous knock off kinda way.

This is all possible because… *Cue spoiler alert* EARTH IS DESTROYED!! By this jerk:

saints row 4 zinyak

Meet Zinyak, destroyer of worlds.

The game opens with a bang. Quite literally, actually, and removes trite things like reality to offer a radical evolution of the series. Much of the gameplay takes place in a simulation created by Zinyak. Think of him as a collector of humans, placing his toy-things in an artificial reality to play in. The simulation is basically a replica of Steelport. I know it was supposed to be Steelport, but I was so busy sprinting at the speed of light and flying without a cape that I hardly noticed it was the same place. After the obligatory tutorial quests that introduce you to vehicles and aside from the side missions, I never touched a vehicle. I know it’s hard to believe… I couldn’t believe it myself. But with all the crazy upgrades with sprinting, jumping and gliding, there is no reason to drive a car.

You will obtain superpowers that will aide in creating Saints Row-style mass mayhem and slaughter, but they didn’t stop me from using guns. In this regard, the abilities act more as a supplement than a complete replacement. Besides, the team came up with some crazy new weapons that you’ll love to play with. Our favorite? The dubstep gun.

Saints_row_4_dubstep_gun

This is only the first of many models you can choose from.

The dubstep gun fires waves of sick dub beats to dance your foes (and their vehicles) to death. No exaggeration here. In fact, there’s a few different types of music you can choose from too. Other weapons include guns that disintegrate your foes and create black holes. Even the tentacle pr0n melee weapon can knock cars across the map when it is fully upgraded.

All of these fun guns don’t help the battle system for me. I don’t find it intuitive or very responsive. Thankfully, me sucking at the controls didn’t ruin the game for me. Saints Row IV is kind enough to allow the player to become ridiculously OP from the start. Especially with all these crazy new super powers. Becoming OP also happens to be Steve-O’s favorite thing to do, so he pounded out all of the side missions ASAP. Fun side missions such as tank mayhem and insurance fraud from the predecessor are still here. Insurance fraud is great for some flying ragdoll action. The amount of cache you can rack up for upgrades doing these side missions is immense. On top of all the side missions spread across the map, there are also clusters to collect for upgrading abilities. And trust me, you will want to get upgrades and be the most OP MFer out there.

I’m a bit saddened about certain characters from The Third not being included. I read a blurb about all the DLC and it looks like they can be downloaded, but even then it sounds like they won’t have much to contribute to the story. The characters who do return do not disappoint. Their personal quests and loyalty missions (A la Mass Effect 2) are hilarious for the most part. None of them felt like a chore. There’s even some character growth in this game with some background information; helpful for players like myself who weren’t around for the first two games. Hell, all I knew of Johnny Gat was his death scene in The Third.

I can see how longtime fans of the series could have been turned off from this entry. It’s even more over-the-top than The Third (Hell, it has a STREAKING mini-game). The flying, gliding, and overall alien invasion takes away from the gang violence the series began with. Personally, I liked all the new additions… they allowed for much more creativity during exploration and combat. I think the next entry will be a bit more level-headed. Which is fine… I GUESS. It does make me glad they went ahead with this idea, even if it amounts to nothing more than a fringe entry that only weirdos like Steve-O and I enjoyed.

And on that note… we’re already knee-deep into the Gat Out of Hell DLC. Keep your eyes peeled for that review!

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