When dealing with a franchise such as Saints Row, it can be hard to continue to deliver an over-the-top package. But Volition, Inc may have found a way to do that with Saints Row 4.
It’s been an interesting year for the folks at Volition. Their former publisher, THQ, went belly-up. All of the publishers assets were auctioned off, including Saints Row. This means that everything Volition was working on had to be shown to interested parties, including Saints Row 4. Deep Silver became highly interested and ultimately purchased the asset. The result is a publisher comfortable with the franchise’s direction of delivering insane amounts of fun in the most insane way possible.
Apparently, there’s only one place to take the franchise from here: super powers. No, wait, being the President of the United Sates with super powers. No, that’s still not quite right: being the President of the United States with super powers as you attempt to stop an alien invasion. There, top that, other developers!
Any sense of seriousness and realism was thrown out the window immediately when we were shown weapons that inflate people or shoot dubstep at enemies. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; we can get our “realistic” open world gameplay elsewhere, so why should we look for it in a game that’s not known for delivering such an experience? Saints Row is all about having fun and with the fourth installment, it feels like we’re going to be given a key to the city and told to “go have some bleepin’ fun.”
We didn’t, however, get any actual hands-on time during the demonstration at PAX East recently, so we can’t necessarily vouch for how well the game plays. While the traditional experience should be familiar to Saints Row The Third, of note is the fact that, since we’re a super hero, we’ll be able to fly through the air. This opens up the city of Steelport vertically and we can expect many a rooftop battles. The video demonstration showcased flying through the city in and out of combat with relative ease, but everything was pre-orchestrated, so it remains to be seen how how smooth what we saw on screen will translate to being able to actually play it.
Something does need to be said for the amount of comfort Volition has with this franchise. They’re not afraid to be creative and over-the-top with their design. We can only hope their showmanship leads to a fulfilling experience when Saints Row 4 launches later this year.