Both of these games have had their share of heavy hitters in the past decade. And, apart from an ‘I’ in font of the Roman numeral, is there really any difference between the two? In essence, they will both be the same game – a gang based story in a sandbox game world, but that will be where the similarities end. The best way to imagine it is this; GTA V is the sensible older brother who got a good job and settled down in an apartment in the city and Saints Row IV is the mental younger brother that starts house fires and steals cars. Obviously GTA goes off the rails on occasion, but Saints Row never even found them in the first place.
To be perfectly honest, there really isn’t much of a competition here. There used to be, back in the days of Saints Row 1 and 2 and Grand Theft Auto 4, when everyone took themselves seriously and THQ seemed focused on making knock off versions of Rockstars hit. But, all of a sudden, THQ realised that people didn’t want to play GTA 4.5 but instead of creating a new series altogether, they opted to change Saints Row The Third so drastically that it seemed completely unalike to anything before it. This was a brilliant move by THQ, because in Saints Row The Third, gamers found a fun alternative to Grand Theft Auto, a game so out there that on occasion it was difficult to believe that they got away with making it. Deep Silver have followed in this vain with Saints Row IV, the next game in the Saints Row series which seems to be even further departed from reality, a game that walks the line between genius and insanity.
Rockstar have gone in the other direction. Grand Theft Auto V seems to be their answer to the question, ‘what would be the best game imaginable?’. This title is shaping up to be an incredible hit, it honestly seems like the perfect amalgamation of games; giving you the chance to play tennis, go scuba diving, sky diving, swimming, driving, shooting, name it and you can do it – pretty much. This is a real change from the last GTA which seemed unnecessary, there’s tried and tested and then there’s GTA IV. It felt no different to the past few games, there was nothing special about it. It seems as though Rockstar have finally decided to mix things up and have opted for bigger and better, rather than the same.
So which game will be better? To be perfectly honest, it’s too close to call. If you don’t think about it too much, then the answer is simple – GTA V. Just because it seems like it will be such a well developed game. But, then, it really depends on what you want. If you’re focused on realism and you want a game with depth, then GTA should be the best game you’ve played, probably ever. But if you’re looking for fun, humour and down right stupidity, then you can’t get much better than Saints Row IV. It’s claiming to be bigger and better (and by bigger and better, I think they mean more ridiculous) than Saints Row The Third, and this is definitely a game that I’d like to play. If push came to shove, I would personally spend my hard earned money on GTA, but ideally I’d have them both. All I can say is that these next few months, with Saints Row IV, Grand Theft Auto V, FIFA 14, Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty Ghosts, as well as the release of the PS4 and the Xbox One – it’s safe to say that I’ll be greeting Mr Overdraft in the second half of this year.