When These Saints Come Marching In You’ll Know It
by Stephen Klein
Saints Row IV proves that not all video games have to strive to be art in order to provide an amazing experience. That’s not to say that artsy games like Journey or even BioShock are bad by any means but I’ll admit that an extremely good time was had playing Saints Row IV. The game shines between the new superpowers added to the mix and the hilarious writing, complete with parodies of Mass Effect and Metal Gear Solid.
Although, for one thing, the game did freeze quite a few times during my play-through and it was usually at inopportune times such as accessing the menu or right in the heat of action. Also later in the game, some of the superpowers that you acquire just aren’t as cool or as useful as some of the others. That being said, I actually really liked the use of superpowers in this game.
Why? Well, I have to admit that I was actually a big fan of the Prototype series before it got canned by Activision. When it was announced that Radical Entertainment would be stricken to a mere support team, I was heartbroken. Now with Saints Row IV, I felt right at home. Some of your abilities such as gliding, jumping at high altitudes, and running up buildings are reminiscent of Prototype and just how much of a blast having superhuman abilities can be. I likened Saints Row IV to a Prototype game with better controls.
Many would argue that the graphics haven’t improved that much since the last game in the series and that driving vehicles is useless since it’s more convenient to use your powers to sprint at high speeds, but some video games, and Saints Row is a perfect example, aren’t always about having the best graphics. For some games, graphics and realism are important, but you don’t need that kind of detail realism for a game like Saints Row where everything is overtly zany and completely unrealistic.
As far as driving vehicles go, I hands down preferred using my powers to get from point A to point B, but at least the option to drive or customize my favorite car was still there. Saints Row has always been about choice. While one choice may have been preferable to the other, at least the other option was there, and either way it was fun.
While the game is extremely fun, I couldn’t help but feel as though it was a little too easy. I could probably count the number of times that I died during my play-through. Also, for an open world game, I felt that it was a tad too short with little to do after completing just about everything, a problem that I feel its predecessor also suffered from. I know it may seem like a lot of criticism, but this is by far one of the best games that I’ve played in quite some time, and it reminded me why I even play video games in the first place.
How pumped was I about Saints Row IV? When I found out that it was too late to pre-order the “Game of the Generation” edition, I flocked to eBay only to pay an extra $70 than I should’ve in order to get it. Still, I questioned myself as to whether or not paying $200 was really worth it. Now, I can honestly say that it absolutely was.
If there was ever a game that completely solidified the difference between Saints Row and Grand Theft Auto, this is it. Saints Row IV is awarded with a 10 out of 10.