Saints Row IV had a very rocky road to release, it all started off with THQ announcing Saints Row The Third: Enter The Dominatrix last April which was then cancelled 2 months later, and was supposed to be merged with Saints Row IV. THQ not long after went bust and Deep Silver took over, confirmed that this is a totally new game and that Enter The Dominatrix will be a future Saints Row IV DLC. Phew! So after all that here we are with the Saints Row IV review.
Saints Row IV sees your character and the leader of the Saints become the president of the United States. A few months after becoming president, aliens invade earth and capture the Saints. The evil alien leader named Zinyak puts your character into a simulation of the town of Steelport. You and the rest of the Saints need to work together to put an end to the alien invasion once and for all.
In the latest addition to the Saints Row series I personally felt that the overall goal of the game was to see how far Saints Row can really go with the craziness, and one of the new features added to Saints Row IV certainly added to the craziness, and that is the addition of superpowers to gameplay. There are eight different super powers you can earn throughout the game, the first two you will unlock are the super sprint and super jump powers which as you can tell by the names will give you the ability to run super fast and also be able to jump to crazy heights. Powers can also be a feature to enhance combat against enemies, the first combat power you will earn in Saints Row IV is called “Blast”. The Blast power has two different elements, Ice and Fire blast that can be toggled using the D-Pad.
Why stop there with your powers? You can make your already Superpowers even more super with upgrades, these upgrades can increase blast radius, running speed, jump height or lower the time it takes to recharge your powers. Power upgrades have a catch to them though as you don’t buy them with money, you will have to buy these upgrades with data clusters that can be found all around the map. I found the addition of these powers to be a really fun addition but I expect that many fans of Saints Row IV are going to hate these powers due to the series taking “A less serious route” some fans don’t mind this new direction they are taking, and should really have some fun goofing around with these powers.
Activities return with a little bit more of a challenge for players, this time with activities you can earn either a bronze, silver or gold medal (Nothing for not reaching at least the bronze score amount) for each run in an activity. Some old classics return like Mayhem and Fraud but also some new ones have been added which are specifically for your powers like one activity called Blazin you have to super-sprint through checkpoints before the timer runs out. Altogether there are 11 different activities to do and 32 activity missions to complete.
Unlike previous Saints Row games you cannot purchase buildings but replacing this is “Targets” these red icons can be found scattered around Steelport, and are small objectives that upon completing will increase the takeover percentage of the city. Some of these are similar to Saints Row The Third like one is called “Flashpoint” which is the same as “Gang Operation” (It even has the same icon) Then there are new ones like “Hotspot” were you have to shut down all enemy generators to shut off the big alien machine. There are 26 of these red icon objectives named “Targets” around the city.
Shops as you would have thought are back in the game but have a slight change this time round, all shops from the start of the game are locked in the alien simulation so you have to hack into the shop you want to go to before you can buy anything. Hacking shops brings up a wires that you need to re-route to the correction position to unlock the shop. The hacking’s are very simple and shouldn’t take up much time. Shops are pretty much the same as Saints Row The Third, clothes, tattoos, character editor and car modding shops.
Main Missions or should I say “Quests” have also had a slight change up from Saints Row The Third, missions now have “Objectives” which are just the same as a full mission but you have to complete all these “objectives” before you complete the overall main quest. Not every main quest in the game have multiple objects as some just have one that have to complete to beat the overall mission. Speaking of quests, for the first time ever in Saints Row there are side missions. These side missions are not activities but actual missions that are totally optional from the main game.
The biggest flaw for me in Saints Row IV is how similar the game feels to number three, the gameplay is all but the same from the previous game, the city of Steelport feels like a complete copy and paste job with some alien stuff thrown in. Although they do a good job trying to hide the familiarity with the superpowers and other wacky features, you just can’t shake of the fact that at times this feels like a massive DLC for Saints Row The Third.
The Final Verdict
Saints Row IV was another solid entry to the Saints Row series, some people may hate the crazy and wacky approach to Saints Row but I actually really like the new approach as I think there are too many serious games out there these days, and something silly and stupid like Saints Row IV is a welcome breath of fresh air. If you are a fan of open world games then this is the game for you, there is so much content on here, you have the main quests, side quests, activities, targets as well as challenges and upgrades to expand and increase your Saints Row IV game time. Saints Row IV is the perfect game to keep open world video game fans busy until next months GTA V.
+Addition of powers
+So much to do
-Feels way too much like Saints Row The Third