Saving Steelport – Returning to Saints Row IV

Kailios has previously written about this game, but I’ve recently found it in my closet, (no jokes please), and felt overwhelmed to write my thoughts on it. I really enjoyed Saints Row III, like … really enjoyed it. So much that it became a part of my entity. A game that I spent easily 50 hours playing, with quality humour oozing through it all, it deserved the huge reception it had. So when the sequel was announced, I knew I had to play it and thus pre-ordered the Commander-In-Chief pack immediately. Now, I started to play this game immediately, obviously, but August to November was a ridiculously busy period of my life, and for some reason, Saints Row didn’t fit into the schedule as much as I would have liked. One of the first choices in the game sums up this title to me … ‘The Low Road’ – Punch a Dickhead or ‘The High Road’ – Punch a Dick in the Head!

As the first line says, I recently came across Saints Row IV whilst clearing out my room and it suddenly became necessary to go back and complete my save. I’d left at about 30% through the game, with only the VP and Kinzie on my ship, but on the brink of getting Matt Miller. Anyway, 5 minutes in, and I was back to having as much fun as I remembered in SR3. I understand why some think the latest addition to the franchise was a bit over the top, I myself wondered what the hell I was doing at the start, but boy do you start enjoying stomping around the city, flying from place to place. The story is a bit nuts, as always with Volition Inc it seems, but the reality of an alien invasion turning out like it does in the game seems quite likely! The Zinyak capture of several important people would be a strong strategy to take, while the change to the Statue of Liberty and posters spread throughout the city are witty and worth a giggle.

Some people criticised SR3 and to some extent SR4 too, for being too similar to Grand Theft Auto, in terms of its humour, silly missions and side quests, as well as its general ability to kill civilians. But in this world where there has been so many games made before, of course not every game will be unique, and many overlap, making this criticism of similarity stupid in my opinion – it’s not similar enough to warrant any criticism let alone the level it got. The intensity of the game is brilliant, with the missions rarely seeming too far away, which I felt sometimes whilst playing GTA. Plus, when you can pretty much fly, you’re always going to have more fun than going around in cars/bikes for 10 minutes between missions.

The side quests in SR3 made the game for me – in fact, upon seeing I’d received the 40 hours gameplay achievement, I couldn’t believe it had been that long. The Ragdoll quests are my favourite, or Insurance Fraud as the SR franchise calls it, pitting you to be hit by cars and ‘ragdolling’ into other cars and features, to get money, to reach the goal set. SR4 also introduces more hilarious gameplay on the side, with the new ones being to use your superpowers to kill people in a Genki-style warehouse (due to being Genki). The addition of having to hack shops to unlock them is a brilliant idea when you consider the story of it being a hacked simulation and some are quite thought-provoking, whereas others lean on being a bit too simple.

I’d hit a bit of a dry patch with my Xbox One collection, waiting for the release of Wolfenstein and Watch_Dogs before the end of the month and thankfully I found a hugely fun game and a massive world to explore – encompassing the majority of the hours of my time whilst awaiting the two blockbuster titles. The lack of Games with Gold on the One has seen me on a few occasions with nothing new to play, but I’m glad in this precise moment, as it has given me time to finish off this great game, leaving me in a position where I’m ready to play Saints Row V, now that it’s being developed and the Voice Actors are doing their part.