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Preview: Saints Row IV

An IV drip of silliness.

After the end of Saints Row: The Third, you’d be quite right to wonder what on earth Volition could possibly have left in store for a fourth entry in the series – The Third already had one of the craziest and most outlandish plots in recent gaming history, mixed in with a grab bag of silly gameplay that always kept you on your toes.

So, fans of the game will be glad to hear that Saints Row IV doesn’t follow a path advocated by Cliffy B, but continues to do its own thing, turning everything up to 11, 12 and beyond. This to the extent that my jotted notes from the presentation just look like a list of totally unrelated words. Whilst I’m tempted to just post a scan of this spidery scrawl of words, I’ll try and make a little sense of them.

Don't forget to act presidential.
The end of SR3 didn’t really leave many places for the leader of the Saints to go to further the gang’s status and control. Except, maybe, to lead the US government as a whole, so they made you the President of the United States.

Although, you won’t be running around in Washington, being all presidential, and are still causing mayhem in Steelport once more.

Of course, there’s no way your regular coppers would pick a fight with POTUS, and even a reappearance from STAG would be a little odd with the President as their prime target.

So it makes sense that the antagonists come from further afield. Lightyears away, in fact. The Zen ships sit above the skyscrapers of Steelport, giving off an ominous red glow, but their invasion is a more clandestine affair. As you raise all sorts of hell, nearby cops will come at you, but as combat kicks up a few gears, they’ll reveal their true alien forms.

The combat is getting a huge expansion from every angle to help you in the fight against the extraterrestrials. Sure, you can still run around with a pair of submachine-guns in hand, but wouldn’t you rather play with new guns like the Inflate-o-Matic or Dubstep Cannon?

Similarities to the wacky weaponry you see in Ratchet & Clank games will no doubt be made, as the Inflate-o-Matic brilliantly enlarges the head of the target before their eyes bug out and they explode in a wet mess.

Meanwhile the Dubstep Cannon shoots dubstep, making cars bounce and people dance, which sounds like a Saints Row styled Groovitron to me.

Then again, the President is no slouch in a fight even when not using guns. I’m not talking about the extra hand to hand moves and animations, but rather the array of super powers. That’s not a bird or a plane, that’s the President leaping over the tops of buildings and gliding to the ground. You’ll be able to run faster than most of the cars and freeze people into shatterable human popsicles.

You guys need to chill out. Saints Row IV ups the ante with a whole host of superpowers - something that brings a fresh twist to the gameplay yet still manages to fit the Saints Row universe.

So we arrive back at the tricky question of balancing out the combat.

The Zen might be aliens with weird and wonderful weapons of their own, but considering that they have to go toe to toe with a superhero, it’s lucky that they’ve brought some of their own superpower-wielding beings across the galaxy.

The origins of this game as the Enter The Dominatrix DLC was really quite clear to see. The engine has carried forward the same look and style of SR3, with a menu system which looked identical, while it’s still the city of Steelport, even with all of the transformations it has undergone during this invasion.

That’s not to say that this isn’t worthy of being a full standalone release, though. There are reams and reams of new content, from the points like the superpowers which completely change the gameplay on offer, to monster trucks and new side missions featuring mechsuits.

While it might have the familiar trappings of The Third, this is a sequel which will change everything.

Saints Row IV is heading to PS3, Xbox 360 and PC on the 23rd of August 2013.

  1. Tuffcub
    On the naughty step.
    Since: Dec 2008

    Saints inFamous Resistance Row with Dubstep Cannons?

    Take my money.

    Comment posted on 22/03/2013 at 15:07.
    • bunimomike
      Since: Jul 2009

      Ha! That’s you dancing along to every bloody kill in the entire game. :-)

      Comment posted on 22/03/2013 at 15:15.
  2. bunimomike
    Since: Jul 2009

    Any news on the anal beads garrote?

    Comment posted on 22/03/2013 at 15:15.
    • teflon
      Community Team
      Since: May 2009

      I’m buying you plane tickets to Volition’s Illinois studios right now.

      Comment posted on 22/03/2013 at 16:25.
  3. 3shirts
    Since: Aug 2008

    Never thought I’d say this but I am a little worried they might have gone too far with SR.
    The Third was an incredibly fun game but still loosely rooted in realism, albeit hyper-realism. Superpowers and aliens sounds like it might be a step too far.

    Comment posted on 22/03/2013 at 15:29.
    • yiddo
      Since: Jun 2010

      Completely agree. There’s being ridiculous in a fun way, and then there’s actually being ridiculous – in a way that just makes it seem like a mess. Unfortunately I think this could end up being the latter.

      Comment posted on 22/03/2013 at 15:46.
      • teflon
        Community Team
        Since: May 2009

        To be fair, I can see why all the things I’ve described could be taken that way, but so could everything included in SR3 if it was just a list of disparate things.
        I have no doubt that this will have a fantastically silly plot which brings all these elements together in a slightly more coherent and logical fashion.
        And hell, if it makes you laugh, what does it matter?

        Comment posted on 22/03/2013 at 16:24.
    • KeRaSh
      Since: Nov 2009

      You mean a dubstep too far?
      Right, I’ll show myself out. :D

      Comment posted on 22/03/2013 at 16:50.
    • Airiaen
      Since: Aug 2009

      Why not just play Grand Theft Auto? isn’t that what Saints Row is like an alternative? Adding in things like superpowers and alien stuff could be fun.

      Comment posted on 22/03/2013 at 17:28.
    • hazelam
      Since: Feb 2009

      loosely rooted in realism?

      saints row?

      the third?

      the one with zombies, hulk sized clones that can throw cars and burt reynolds as mayor?
      seriously, actors going into politics? as if. ^_^

      there’s a weapon that looks like an oversized fist that makes people explode when you punch them and a tv game show where you murder dozens of people.

      don’t forget the jetbikes, cool? absolutely, realistic, ahh, no.

      i think “very loosely” is the term you’re looking for. ^_^

      Comment posted on 22/03/2013 at 20:09.
  4. Eldave0
    Since: Aug 2008

    I’m on board :-) GTA has become far too serious over the years so its great to have games like this to counterbalance that.

    Comment posted on 22/03/2013 at 16:03.
  5. KeRaSh
    Since: Nov 2009

    I’m glad they found more ways to make this game as over the top as possible. Will definitely be getting this.

    Comment posted on 22/03/2013 at 16:51.
  6. hol
    Since: Oct 2009

    The SR games have been so silly & daft, I’m quite pleased they’ve stuck to their guns & made it even more out there!

    Comment posted on 22/03/2013 at 18:15.
  7. Moshbag
    Since: Nov 2011

    As long as it has full co-op, and a plethora of groin-based attacks, I’m there!

    Comment posted on 22/03/2013 at 19:50.
  8. hazelam
    Since: Feb 2009

    still looks like slightly expanded dlc to me.

    i’m getting crackdown 2 flashbacks.

    Comment posted on 22/03/2013 at 20:01.
  9. yogdog
    Since: Feb 2010


    Comment posted on 23/03/2013 at 15:47.
  10. freezebug2
    Since: Dec 2008

    I think that the articles front page picture (which brought a big grin to my face) summed it up for me even before reading on; it’s going to be another cracker. Gaming daftness and hilarity by the bucketful, day one purchase me thinks. ;)

    Comment posted on 23/03/2013 at 18:24.

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