I must admit, I wasn’t sure what to think of Saints Row the third at first. “Are they taking the piss?” I thought, then I realised they absolutely were and it was genius. A year later and I’m stood in a fancy looking hotel with an opportunity to get my hand on with Saints Row IV and I simply couldn’t wait.
We’ve all seen the Wub Wub Edition of the game, so I knew there were some great things to come but I wasn’t expecting what I saw…
As we were brought into a conference room the neon pink was out in force and you knew which game you were about to play, we were being given the chance to go through part of the second chapter, and that our character (the boss) was the President of the USA! It used to be about just getting the best guns, not anymore. Now you were running the country and deciding whether to cure cancer or stop hunger.
From the very first cut scene I was laughing out loud, from little references to Saints Row the third to some dialogue that was just plain amusing. It isn’t long until the real action begins though, there is talk of an invasion from our alien friends. Soon enough they arrive in force and kidnap most of your trusted gang. You as the President of the USA should be running and hiding right? This is Saints Row we are talking about, so it’s back to the Oval Office to tool up and kick some alien ass. There is plenty of Saints Row humour throughout, “tell my wife I have another wife,” shouts out a dying Senator.
It’s not long before you are outside and shooting down numerous alien vehicles, with an anti-aircraft gun before meeting their leader, exchanging punches and eventually being transported to an alternate universe, which happens to be Steelport.
It seems the aliens like to try to break their captives down by putting them in these worlds, but this is the boss we are talking about and somehow he manages to obtain super powers, which plunges Saints Row into a whole new ball game. Think of a mixture between Prototype and Crackdown. You can jump hundreds of feet in the air and wall climb on your way up. You are able to glide around whilst airborne or if you prefer to be on the ground you can sprint at great speed smashing anything in your way, I only got in a vehicle once because I thought I should check in on them, but it was too much fun being out and about.
Using the d-pad you can swap your main super powers, whether it’s using telekinesis to throw objects at your enemies (or the enemies themselves), to setting yourself on fire to burn everyone around you. You’re also able to freeze everyone solid, or send out powerful shockwaves.
Amazingly, I almost forgot about guns! There were your standard affairs like heavy-duty SMG’s but to be honest there were two guns that caught my eye. First up, the Dubstep gun which kills your enemies with sound but also causes innocent people and vehicles to body pop like they just don’t care, then there was the black hole gun which generates black holes (surprise) and consumes anything in its path.
It wasn’t revealed how long you’ll have these super powers for, but it was certainly a lot fun to experience. It looks like there are plenty of side quests to take part inincluding the return of Professor Genki and his random challenges.
Customisation still plays a big part in the game; your main character can be altered in loads of different ways and you can also customise cars and weapons too. For example you can turn your machine gun into a neon Super-Soaker, the Dubstep gun can also have different tracks loaded into it too.
Co-op returns to Saints Row IV and although we didn’t get to try any of it out, based on the single player it appears there is plenty of fun to be had.
I came out of my session with a huge smile on face, and looking forward to the end of August. I can’t wait to see how the game progresses and what ideas they have for missions, we still talk about the Tiger escort mission at work and I’m hoping for some more of the same.
A huge thanks to Deep Silver for inviting us to the event and giving us a chance to play the game.