Saints Row IV takes the series to a new level of craziness. The boss of the Saints has become the U.S. President, but wait, there’s more. Aliens invade, kidnap the Saints, and then follow up the whole ordeal by blowing up Earth. Seeking revenge, its up to the President to rescue the gang and take revenge for Earth. The plot isn’t as strong as the previous entry, but it’s whacky, funny, and over the top in all the right ways.
Take everything about SR3’s open world gameplay, add super powers to that, and there ya go. Saint’s Row IV expands past the GTA homage and references Infamous, Call of Duty, Mass Effect, and more. It’s a hodgepodge that surprisingly works well, but there are a few snags. Powers like the ice blast, or telekinesis are awesome in combat and the ability to run fast, jump high, and glide over landscapes makes traveling easy. To balance out the powers, players will face hordes upon hordes of enemies, bogging down the experience. Plus with the ability of fast traversal, cars seem kind of useless, making it weird that they’re even in the game. Despite this uneven mix, the missions themselves are an unreal treat. From facing off against giant energy drinks, to mowing down 1950s police with a dubstep gun, yeah, Saint’s Row IV has it all.
This game should be called Saint’s Row The Third 1/2. One, because its funny (naked gun anyone). Two, it feels more like a robust expansion than a full-fledged sequel. The graphics are identical and the city is the same, albeit a darker, modified version. The aliens, while weird, lack personality of the three antagonist factions in SR3. The powers are great along with the voice cast and the music, something that is better than the previous game; this writer will give it that. But the lack of true innovations and a cavalcade of glitches make this game standout as a questionable, numbered sequel.
Everything about Saint’s Row IV feels strained like the team was trying too hard. Again, the abilities are fun to play with and there are gags around every corner, but it still feels a little less special than SR3. At the end of the day it’s still a blast, despite the lack of change
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on October 25, 2013 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.