Joining the pack of worthy titles from the PS3 and Xbox 360 to make the jump to the next hardware generation, this month Saints Row IV: Re-elected lands on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. A third-person, action-adventure, open-world sandbox title (and a mouthful to describe!), The Saints Row series has always believed in a sense of humor and the idea that, if you can do it, why not overdo it?
Saints Row IV: Re-elected is developed by Volition and published by Deep Silver
Release Date: Jan 20, 2015
Genre: Third Person, Open-world, Action-adventure
For those unfamiliar with the franchise, the Saints Row series may be the perfect distillation of what open-world sandbox games are all about. Developers Volition have always put the emphasis on the “action” part of action adventure combined with a bit of self awareness and a healthy sense of humor. The game concerns itself with the Third Street Saints (or, The Saints) a criminal organization that has come a long way from its street level roots. The leader of the Saints has also been elected as the President of the United States and the first order of business is to single handedly stop terrorists from launching a nuke ( you can see what I mean about a sense of humor). The series has always had a way of incorporating entertaining mission design into their “over the top” storyline. If that requires poking fun at themselves, so much the better.
The open-world sandbox is a content heavy sort of genre already, but even so, Saints Row IV was notable for the sheer quantity DLC they released. Volition added more than two dozen DLC packs to fill out the experience, and that’s before I’ve added the three expansions, Enter the Dominatrix, How the Saints Save Christmas, and Gat out of Hell into the mix. Leading the free world with style, the series is known for widely customizable character creation suite, and even without all the extra content packs, provides more options than you can imagine. With everything from vibrant blue skin to a full on chicken suit and all points in between is on the table, the developers gave themselves a lot to work with, and with Saints Row IV: Re-elected, they’ve given you a lot to play with.
In this next gen re-release, players get all the above DLC as well as the next generation graphical upgrade. Thanks to the new hardware, the city of Steelport has been buffed to a high shine. Improved textures, more detailed art assets, and perhaps my favorite part of the upgrade (and this goes for every game making the jump to Xbox one and PS4) the extra graphical power makes the animation buttery smooth. That’s highly important when you’re fighting off an alien invasion. Did I say alien invasion? I sure did, because this is Saints Row folks, and that’s entirely par for the course.
Trapped inside a computer simulation The Saints are stuck in a virtual reality controlled by the Alien leader Zinyak. Harnessing the power of the simulation, Zinyak floods the streets with his ugly henchmen, as well as a rogues gallery of enemies from previous Saints games. it’s up to the Boss (you) to fight off legions of enemies from the past in an effort to break the simulation wide open. Luckily there’s a lot of firepower to help you along the way. Aiding you in your campaign are unlockable, upgradeable vehicles (there are 104 of them), a huge arsenal of potent and occasionally ‘adult’ themed weaponry, and now a host super powers that are reminiscent of games like InFamous and Prototype. Abilities like telekinesis, elemental powers (fire and ice), super speed, super jumps, air stomps, and a glide ability, all are upgradeable, making navigating this open world and taking the fight to your alien overlord that much more entertaining.
Gat out of Hell
Taking place after the events of Saints Row IV, the leader of the Saints has been kidnapped and dragged to Hell by the Devil himself in a plot to arrange a marriage with his daughter, Jezebel. As outlandish as that sounds, it’s fully within the Saints Row wheelhouse, and such is the premise for Gat out of Hell. Available as a standalone on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC and packaged with Re-elected, rather than playing as your customizable avatar “the Boss,” play instead as one of two pre-existing characters, Johnny Gat or Kinzie Kensington. After stealing Satan’s lost Halo, players dive into the underworld and explore the brand new map of “New Hades.” While trying to free the Boss, your chosen character progresses the story by completing missions for damned historical figures like Blackbeard and William Shakespeare. The super powers from IV make a return, but as mythological, hellishly themed abilities. For example, players have the ability of flight, but through a set of angels wings, and as navigational abilities go, it looks fantastic. The weaponry, as well as your run of the mill firepower with a hellish makeover, includes a collection of super weapons styled after the seven deadly sins. A recliner with dual mini-guns, the Ark of the Covenant, it’s more of what you’d expect from a Saints title. Entertaining setting, implements of chaos, excuses to go make a mess, and now with brimstone! A standalone, six hour romp through the fires of hell, it’s a solid chunk of game play that gives players a taste of something new. If words alone don’t convince you, by all means have a peak at the trailer below. If at any point your sense of propriety or maturity is offended, turn back now, this is not the game for you.
Saints Row is the sort of franchise that, like Borderlands and Bayonetta, embrace the fact that they are videogames, and have nothing to apologize for. And now it is available on the best gaming hardware available. Re-elected is a veritable treasure trove of content. Packaged with a whopping 25 DLC Packs the next gen re-release and Gat out of Hell adding another steaming ‘hell’-ping on the pile, Saints Row IV: Re-elected looks to keep you entertained for a good long while. A great opportunity for Xbox One and PS4 owner to visit the streets of Steelport, if you missed this title the first time around, and then you can go straight to hell! As in New Hades with the stand alone romp, Gat out of Hell. Winter is a long cold season folks both figuratively and literally, the weather is inclement and there are not a lot of game releases. Let the Saints help you out with a ton of content, an alien invasion, and a bit of the old Fire and Brimstone.