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Saints Row IV Review

It’s probably worth telling you that this review may include spoilers, not only that but it may also include some bad language, which I’m afraid is unavoidable when giving an opinion on the completely controversial, over the top and fun packed adventure that is Saints Row 4.

So what is Saints Row 4 in simple terms? To me, it’s a parody of all things gaming, a nostalgic and fun look at games of the past which pokes fun in ever direction it can. It’s controversial but I wouldn’t say that it goes out of its way to be so. Instead it’s always looking for the next opportunity to make you laugh. Sometimes the jokes go completely over your head, while at other times you’ll be in stitches or just damn right appalled, but hey you knew what you where signing up for right? 

Moving swiftly on, the story starts with The Saints saving the world before your character finds his ass placed firmly in the president's seat at the Whitehouse. So here you are, leader of the free world and the most important person in it. What could possibly go wrong? Well, how about an Alien invasion? Yes, just as you are about to give a press conference in comes Zinyak and his cronies to ruin everything. The Whitehouse is being destroyed, your fellow Saints are being kidnapped and only you and a big-ass gun stand between the Zin and total annihilation. As you take the reigns of the turret, the Zin line their ships up Space Invader style, you take them down, before grounding the battleship. Now’s your chance as you smash through the window and grab Zinyak by the neck, “Get The Fuck Off My Lawn,” you shout, but it’s too late, you’ve been kidnapped too, welcome to Virtual Steelport, so now what?

Although upon awaking you find yourself inside a virtual version of Steelport, things really aren’t that bad. Why is this? Because all of a sudden you have super powers. In what is no doubt a homage to Crackdown, you play through the game with the ability to run at super speed, jump and run up buildings and generally cause havok with all manner of 'super' powers. Powers are improved by collecting data clusters, which in turn allows you to jump higher, run faster, gain greater range for your fireballs; ice blast; telekinesis and more, all of which makes you the most kick-ass character on the face of the earth or at least the virtual version of it.

As well your powers you also have access to upgrades which can make both you and your gang better all rounders, allowing you to carry more bullets, dual wield, increase health and more. Upgrades are unlocked by increasing in level and bought using the game’s currency which is known as cache. All of these powers and upgrades become essential as you work with the voice of your ever present companion ‘Kenzi’ in order to break free from the program, rescue your friends and take down the Zin.

Most of the game’s main missions revolve around rescuing the other Saints, who are all trapped in their own nightmares. Thankfully Kenzi is a bit clever when it comes to breaking into the software, so once you escape the program yourself and manage to steal a ship, she’ll place you into the other’s dreams and watch as you try to rescue the others in what can only be described as a homage to every great game out there.

Stepping into the other’s dreams means temporarily losing your powers, but who cares when you’re in the sort of dream that you wouldn’t mind having yourself. Be it the 2D scroller that is ‘Saints of Rage’ or the level where you help rescue a friend with the aid of Roddy Piper. There are also Mech Suits (or is that robots?), Metal Gear inspired levels and more. There is no doubt that this part of the game is a laugh a minute and constantly surprises.

What’s great about Saints Row IV is that despite the wide variety of gameplay there is still a huge open world to be explored. Not only does this mean that you can drive every vehicle, visit shops and find collectables, but you’ll also be able to take part in a wide range of side quests and crazy mini games which will have you playing for hours on end. The main campaign will take you quite a few hours on its own, but when you add in co-op and everything else mention then it’s plain to see that there is a lot included here for your hard earned cash.

When it comes to combat things just get even better. First off you’ll pick up all manner of weapons, from the normal to the bizarre. You’ll then use these to take out both the Zin, Cops and the Guardians, the latter of which act as the ‘boss’ characters whose power you can occasionally absorb. Other enemies you have to content with include UFO’s, Zin on hovering space bikes and cyborg style robots. It’s literally a blast as you take each of these enemies out, blowing them to smithereens and watching as the enemy keeps coming back for more.

As mentioned, Saints Row IV is probably not for the faint hearted, what with the swearing, nudity, robot romancing (I’m not sure you want to know what that entails) and more, however it’s all there to make you laugh and to be fair you probably will.

When it comes to graphics and handling the game isn’t top of its class but it gets a pass. There is the occasional glitch, with characters getting stuck in scenery and the like. The cars don’t exactly drive that well either, however this is more than made up for when it comes to the soundtrack which surprises at every turn, it’s just brilliant. If you ever wanted to fly a spaceship to the sounds of the eighties then you'll love it. There is also a huge choice of radio stations which can be flicked between easily, catering for everyone's taste. What more could you ask for?

Is Saints Row IV for you? Well that depends. If you don’t mind a bit of nudity, swearing, crude jokes and parodies to all things gaming then it’s probably already on your pre-order list. As for everyone else? Well I know what the Saint’s would say to you, but since I don’t like swearing at my readers, all I’ll say is why not give it a try, it might surprise you.

(Version Tested: PS3)


+ Full of laughs
+ Action packed
+ It has music from the eighties 
+ Open world offers plenty of replayability
+ Parodytastic


- Plenty of graphical glitches
- It has music from the eighties

Edited On 14 Aug, 2013

( 20 )
DynamiteWhyte 2 years ago
That's a big thing for me. Something I really hated about SR3 was all the glitches in the game
Dark572Assassin 2 years ago
sounds like saints row 3.5 may pick it up gonna get splinter cell and xcom first wait and see some more reviews first
Danny_936 2 years ago
question, ive pre ordered and paid in full for splinter cell and i wanna do the same for saints row but because there both out on the same day will they be shipped together, ie: they wont fit in through my letterbox, or will they be shipped separately?
DynamiteWhyte 2 years ago
I've ordered a ton from Shopto and they have always been in seperate packages.
Joe Anderson (Editor) 2 years ago
@3 That's a question for the shop. Try @shoptonet on twitter :)
Dark572Assassin 2 years ago
reading mixed reviews some sites are getting low scores for this game calling it very average game at best
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
They will always be shipped separate. The only thing I have had shipped together was FF13-2 Limited Edition and my PS3
Joe Anderson (Editor) 2 years ago
@kratos20 I wonder how many of them completed it like me ;)
Dark572Assassin 2 years ago
agree Joe bet half of them played a bit your review gave a better view of it still wanna give it a try
troublemaker 2 years ago
What's wrong with 80's music? Game looks awesome, glitches don't bother me (show me an open world game with no glitches) so long as the framerate doesn't make it unplayable like SR3 was when too much happened on screen. Bring it on.
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
I didn't encounter any glitches when I played Prototype when it was released
Gloria 2 years ago
Still trying to find out how I can pre-order the season pass for this to save a few quid.
troublemaker 2 years ago
I asked SR on facebook, they said it'd be available on launch. I was under the impression I'd be able to pre-order it too. Gutted!
PrometheusFan 2 years ago
Was worried the game was going to feel a bit 'cobbled together' considering how it came about, but the issues sound manageable enough. I'll probably pick it up at the end of the month when I finish Tales of Xillia, which is just devouring my time right now.
Robichoico 2 years ago
80s music is a bad thing now?
Gloria 2 years ago
Price on this is down to £30 on Amazon for anyone looking to save a few quid.
troublemaker 2 years ago
Yep, down to £30 at Asda too. Unfortunately, my order is paid for here already, wouldn't mind a couple of quid falling off the price though.
Johno Muller 2 years ago
The SR4 adverts during the football were awesome
Danny_936 2 years ago
you could always cancel your paid pre-order on here and order it from asda or amazon if you really want to save a couple of quid. anyways i have pre-ordered and paid for mine with shopto and i am sticking with it simply because i am new customer (as of 6 weeks ago) and all 3 of my pre-orders have all turned up the day before the release date which is clearly better for me, plus i like shopto's little point/membership system.
troublemaker 2 years ago
Nah, I'm happy to leave my order here.

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