Saints Row IV Review
With the overwhelming number of wide-open sandbox games that feature street crime as its main appeal, games like Saints Row is definitely a welcome change to the trend. Instead of going for the more typical approach, what with the trend is today, Saints Row dives down into the rabbit hole into the realm of the utterly weird and hilarious with everything from gangs with utterly bizarre motifs, companies with bizarre motifs and, with the latest installment Saints Row 4, brings an entire country (the United States, namely) with a bizarre motif. Yep, it seems that Saints Row is breaking out all the stops with their latest installment.
Saints Row has always been one big parody. A parody of videogames, especially those with a similar theme to the gang-culture mentioned above. It also parodies the way people have reacted to videogames over the years from the moral guardians to the hardcore gamers who have almost melded with their videogame personas. Apparently, Saints Row 4 is no different but pushes the envelope into utter absurdity with comic violence and what not, seeking to prove to audiences that it’s not the violence that makes a bad impression on players, it’s how that violence is applied. And in Saints Row 4, we get to see exactly where all that violence leads up to especially as the Saints now take control of the United States and an alien invasion of epic proportions take place.
Violence and sexualization goes over the top in this game as everything, including common sense and basic sanity go out the window. In fact the violence and other unwholesome elements of the game are just so over the top that everything just becomes funny. Of course, some of the characters are realistic enough, the actions and events are just so outrageous it just becomes reminiscent of Looney Toons cartoons like with the duck that gets a shotgun to the face.
Saints Row 4 is definitely a treat for those who have yet to fully experience Saints Row for themselves. In fact, while the previous of titles of the game will give players an idea of what’s actually going on, Saints Row can still be a good stand alone adventure for many newbies to the game and definitely give them plenty of laughs as they go along. As for those who are already quite familiar with the game proper, some of the elements of the game have been recycled from previous titles but you can be sure that you’ll find your own barrel of laughs as you play through this one.
Saints Row 4 starts of just after the end of the third title. And just like the third title, things start to roll downhill for just about everybody when everything seemed well. In the previous title, the Saints manage to help local government forces and aid elements of MI6 in stopping a terrorist plot. It is then that the Saints become a very famous gang which they then choose to take advantage of by using their acquired fame and fortune into turning their leader into the president of the United States.
Then this is exactly when things start going from bad to worse. In a very cartoony way, the Earth suddenly comes under attack by an alien invasion by the Zin Empire, complete with heavily cliched spaceships and even horrifying anal probes that are supposed to serve as weapons of sorts. Anyway, the Zin Empire is ruled by a powerful alien overlord name Zinyak who almost immediately declares war upon the Saints with his 50’s style alien army and things steadily get even worse from there in terms of both the silliness and the situation for the Saints and all mankind.
Much of the elements that have made the previous titles so successful have been retained and improved from the previous game. You can now customize your character in so many ways that you can make them into virtual paperdolls and even design their bodies so they can either be gorgeous demigods and demigoddesses or outright brutish or even monstrous warriors. It seems that there seems to be no limits in this game as to what your character can look like.
Also of note is the fact that you can even equip your character with superpowers. That’s right, you heard me right, you can equip them with superpowers much like 50s cartoon superheroes that were often made to fight the aliens that also plague this game. Anyway, there’s 8 such powers that an experienced gamer can obtain and can have various boons that make the player as fast as a speed bullet or hit harder than an 18 wheeler on steroids. However, it’s not just superhero powers that gives the game its appeal, there’s also the almost infinite cache of weapons available for players to use against enemies such as the above mentioned anal probe.
When Saints Row 4 first came out, many had thought that it would be just another marketing stunt by the company that owned it, especially with the downfall of THQ and all. Fortunately though, it has proven itself to be a more than fulfilling sequel and a hilarious one at that as well.
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