Ah, Saints Row, a franchise that’s propelled its way into our hearts like that lovable uncle who told you about sex, love, and how everybody poops, way before you were old enough to know any of that. After all, Saints Row: The Third broke the mold of the open world, free-roam genre by priding itself in its over-the-top, completely unrealistic play style (and they say gamers want more reality, right?) Big ups to Volition and crew for developing a video game that allowed us to escape our reality for a few minutes, or hours, of glorified dildo-usage and dollar-dandying our way to utter fabulousness. A game that did not aim to create the best, most ultra-high def, most accurate light-rendering, grass bending, terraforming graphics, but set out to be just 3 letters: FUN.
Word of Saints Row IV first hit us back in 2011, so when Saints Row: The Third publisher, THQ, went kaput we were actually incredibly concerned about the Saints Row franchise. Rumors swirled around the interwebs of Ubisoft purchasing the fleeting studio, but after Koch Media stepped in, we were a bit relieved (albeit, more so after PAX East where Editor, Jake Valentine, got a preview of Saints Row IV). Fast-forward to now.
I’ve been playing a preview build of Saints Row IV for the past few days, and boy is really reminiscent of Saints Row: The Third, but in a good way, no, in an amazingly, this-is-my-third-glass-of-iced-tea-on-this-sunny-day-but-i-ain’t-even-mad sorta way. Geez, is Saints Row IV fun. The game starts you off 5 years after the events of Saints Row: The Third where the Third Street Saints saved the world (spoiler alert?) and are now regarded as heroes. You take the role of President, bearing the weight of the free world on his/her shoulders after an alien invasion occurs.
Within the first few minutes of the game you take down an army of terrorists, choose to cure cancer, or end world hunger, then attend a rather humdrum press conference where you get abducted by an Alien (Zinyak) who oddly-enough speaks with a quite astute British accent. You are then teleported to a virtual version of Steelport, though it doesn’t look like you’ll be playing a toilet this time around, where you’ll have an arsenal of fun super powers and unbelievable weapons to combat the invaders.
You’ve also got a plethora of weapons, and customizable options at your disposal. But you’ll need all of that, and more, to take down the Zin invaders. Superpowers are upgradable, from freezing foes to wreaking earth-shattering havoc you’ll have to hone your skills for the challenges you’ll face in this topsy-turvy world of Steelsport.
Yes, the Dubstep Gun. It is every bit as awesome as it sounds. There’s also a Singularity Gun, which rips opoen a black hole, sucking in enemy hordes. As if that weren’t enough, these guns can be customized with skins…but, let’s rewind, the Dubstep Gun is AWESOME.
Saints Row IV is fun. Did I say that already? It’s reminiscent enough of Saints Row: The Third to feel familiar, but with enough added features to not feel boring and repetitive. Following along the footsteps of its earlier iteration, Saints Row IV is poised to be a thrilling open world game that’ll be near impossible to put down.
Volition, if you’re reading we’re still waiting for our dual-wielding Penetrators. 😉