Do you ever see one of those films or played one of those games that everyone loves and just can’t get enough of and even you yourself can admit that it is a good film/game… But no matter how much you try to see the reason of it, you just can’t help but hate it with every inch of your being… That is me with the Saints Row series. I have played the games and tried my hardest to see the merits. The interesting route the series has taken, the great visuals, the tight gameplay, and all points in between… And then I think of how much I hate it! How much I hate every inch of the game and how I hate the zany and tongue in cheek story line. How I hate the excessive sex jokes and innuendos.
Yeah I see no reason to hide this, I hate the entire Saints Row series. I hated the third one, the first and second I played in retrospective I hated them too, and after I finished playing Saints Row IV yeah I didn’t like it either… But damn it, I know full and well this is just my own personal disdain for a really good game. So yeah, this review is going to be all kinds of messed up today.
So… Saints Row IV starts off where Saints Row The Third left off. The Third Street Saints have been recruited by MI6 agent Ashka Odekar to help assassinate a man named Cyrus. Cyrus plans on destroying Washington DC and sends a nuke their way. The Boss is there to save the day by disarming the nuke in mid-air, making him a national hero. Five years later The Boss is elected as the President of the United States and the Third Street Saints have found themselves in Cabinet positions and dubbed the ‘White Crib’. But of course someone like The Boss becoming the President of the United States so Ashka returns and lets them know that fucking aliens are preparing an invasion of Earth. The story then centers around The Saints being trapped in a simulation by the evil alien leader Zinyak and require the help of people such as Vice President Keith David and none other than Rowdy Roddy Piper. So yeah there is a lot to talk about here so let’s get this over with.
The Is Loud and Bombastic Fun
This is something I cannot deny from the series is that if you are a person who enjoys playing a very loud bombastic game that does not take itself at all seriously, then you will really enjoy this game. It could almost be the pinnacle for people who just enjoy watching bat shit insanity with no real logical context in the real world.
This game… This game is for the people who just want to have fun. Who want to run around and attack people with guns that look like dildos or other fucked up weapons such as that. I do not like the insanity that this game brings, but I can understand that people would love a game like this and can get a great amount of enjoyment from that much bat shit insanity… And I for one can praise a game for something that many can enjoy… Even if I personally do not enjoy it.
Plenty of Content and Hours of Gameplay
I’m a sucker for sandbox games. I’ll admit that out of all the genres of gaming, I would say that sandbox games are the best type of game. The game that allows you to explore the world, do whatever you want, create whatever character you want, and finish the game at your leisure. Even though I dislike the series, I do love the aspect of the sandbox type of gameplay.
A game like Saints Row IV is a game that is best played when you are being as wacky and crazy as you possibly can without the constraints of ‘quests’ or ‘objectives’. Granted they can be fun to, but also doing crazy shit to whatever happens to come across you in the game is where a lot of the meat and potatoes of this game really is and it does it really well.
I suppose this can be a problem with modern games and especially after the success of Batman: Arkham City and its simple yet effective combat system. Combat is a bit of a problem and it isn’t that the fighting is complex or bad per say, it is just… easy. Most enemies can offer little to no challenge whatsoever. With combat for the most part becoming a breeze, the game will rely on its slapstick zaniness to keep people entertained throughout the game, which it does well. But if after a while even that cannot mask this problem forever. Eventually the flashy lights wear off and once you dig deep into combat, you can find yourself bored by the actual action very quickly.
While The Writing Is Really Well Done… I Absolutely Detest It
Yes, the writing is really well done. Yes, the story is tight and better than most games and films that fit the genre… But I absolutely hate it! I detest the story, I detest the way the story is told in the tongue in cheek fashion that it is, and I still do not think that just because a game is self-aware of how zany it is free from criticism. The idea of a guy who is supposed to be apart of a street gang becoming the President of the United States is almost insulting to the country itself, that a nation would ever elect someone who would change the name of the White House to the White Crib. I know it is supposed to be farcical but I do not find it in the least bit amusing. The whole premise of the story is just annoying to me and I just can’t get around it and enjoy the game because of it.
This game wasn’t meant for me, I know that. I hate the Saints Row series and this opinion cannot be changed no matter how ‘good’ the games are going to get. But… I can respect the game for what it is. It is a good game and I can see why people enjoy it as much as they do. So at least I can put aside my differences of the game and say, yes… It is worth a pick up and a play through. Just as long as I do not have to play it anymore.
Final Score 3.5/5
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