Posted by : Unknown Friday, August 30, 2013

 | 8/30/13 12:00PM |

The Purple Pill

Saints Row IV is an incredibly fun experience. What was once considered a typical open-world game about eliminating rival gang members, has transformed over its releases into something that is truly different from regular sandbox titles. In it, you'll still create your own saint, but this time he or she is not only the leader of the Saints, but also the leader of the United States of America.

As the President, your time in the political spotlight is shortened with the arrival of the Zin, an alien race led by the ruthless and cunning Zinyak who captures the Saints and traps them into a computer simulation of the world.

In this world, the rules can be altered and thanks to the aid of your tech-friendly ally Kinzie, enables you to have superhuman skills which you'll need to rescue allies and save the world from Zinyak.

The game seems to have its inspirations from other games and movies on its sleeve, as you'll easily recognize specific elements about the game that come from popular entertainment fiction. The simulation world is essentially the matrix, and gives you the chance to break the rules and shape it into a way to make you super-powerful.

You'll be able to run at crazy speeds, glide across the map with ease, and unlock several elemental abilities that can be upgraded alongside the wide array of weapons with either money or collectible data clusters that are spread across the simulation like the orbs in Crackdown.

Gameplay takes advantage of the super abilities you can unlock in both the story missions and activities. Things like insurance fraud and mayhem are back, and get even crazier when you can fling yourself across city blocks or use your powers to quickly damage the environment for quick points. Regular weapons work great too, but the super abilities are so fun to use that you may find yourself using them more than the guns most of the time.

The flow of the game is pretty well paced too. You begin with a small number of your allies to help you, and will need to save more, as they are trapped in their own simulation which offers up some difference in terms of the gameplay. Once they're rescued, side-quests can be completed for them which helps unlock new abilities and locations across the map to travel to when you're re-entering the simulation.

In the past Saints Row titles, a certain level of respect was required to continue on, but this time it only returns as a form of experience, so you can choose to dive straight into the 30+ story missions that will take around 20 hours to complete. Side-quests are pretty substantial too, and are surprisingly varied even after I played for hours at a time.

The simulation area of the game takes place in Steelport, so it was a bit disappointing that there isn't a new city to explore, but there are new elements that help keep the city fresh. Another aspect that impressed me about Saints Row IV was that the city is very accommodating for the powers that you can use. Sprinting at crazy speed across the world still takes a while even when fully upgraded, and there is also plenty of room to glide around in with large rooftops to jump on as you search for clusters. 

You'd also think that with these powers, vehicles wouldn't be a worthy way to get around, but I still found myself driving around from time to time when I unlocked a cool new vehicle from side-quests and activities.

Recent Reviews

Co-op play is back once again, and offers the same experience from playing alone with super-powers. New copies of Saints Row IV come with an online pass for co-op, otherwise you'll need $10 to play with a friend if you buy used or rent the game. Even when playing single-player, there are areas marked for co-op activities, so be sure to get a friend to hop online with you so you can check them out.

Characters throughout the previous Saints Row titles appear in different ways in the game, and without giving anything away, you'll be able to complete missions that have appearances with old allies and enemies to interact with. It's pretty neat seeing some old faces, and there are a few situations that arise that are pretty humorous with them as well.

Speaking of humor, the game is full of great laugh out loud moments, and it never seemed to lose steam. 

Saints Row IV has plenty of content to keep players occupied even after the main story has been finished. Volition has made major changes from title to title, but each has been positive and with the super-powers for Saints Row IV, it makes the game even better.

Developer- Volition
Publishers- Deep Silver
Release Date- August 20th, 2013
Price- $59.99 MSRP
Review Platform- Xbox 360

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