Home | News | Reviews | Previews | Hardware

Saints Row IV: Even The President Is Saying It Was Aliens
Company: Deep Silver

It looks like 2013 is going to go down as a legendary series of incredible swan songs for the current generation of gaming consoles. One of those will undoubtedly be Grand Theft Auto V. But how do you compete with something like that? Volition's had the answer for a good few years now: you don't. You make something different enough to stand out. And save for the first game in the series, the Saints Row franchise has been exactly that: different. Saints Row IV is not far off, and I got to spend some time with it. This one is different, even by franchise standards.

Saints Row: The Third saw our gang of goofy urban psychopaths elevated past mere gangsters and revolutionaries and into celebrity status. Where do you go from there? Well, the White House, obviously. The leader of the Saints is now the President of the United States. So you do Presidential stuff, like beating up reporters and saving the world in Michael Bay fashion -- complete with Aerosmith power ballad. And that's just the first five minutes; shortly after the laugh-out-loud funny prologue, an evil race of aliens known as the Zin invade.

Mr./Madam President is transported to a dystopian virtual reality simulation of Steelport that more closely resembles the retro aesthetics of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon than anything in previous Saints Row games. Initially, the sim plays just like any other Saints Row game: you explore, complete activities and missions, and create your own chaos. However, there's a serious twist. Since your enemies are not playing by the rules of the real world, you don't have to either. By collecting special energy pickups, you can give yourself superpowers; the first two you acquire give you super speed and the ability to jump extremely high. Based on the preview build I played, locomotion actually feels like Prototype, if a less-refined version of it.

With new vehicles, weapons, event types, and a particularly insane storytelling direction, Saints Row IV is looking like a solid entry in a solid series. If you're jonesing for some good old fashioned urban chaos, you won't have to wait much longer. Assume the position: August 20th will be here sooner than later.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos
Related Links:

This site best viewed in Internet Explorer 6 or higher or Firefox.