Video Game Review: Saints Row IV: Game of the Century Edition

Details: Originally released in 2013. I purchased the Game of the Century Edition (has all DLC) for PC through Steam for around $5.00. I spent about twenty-two hours playing the game, beating it and going through the two story dlc’s.

Saints Row IV does not feel like a sequel to Saints Row III. It uses the same engine and reuses a lot of the same assets, making the game visually redundant. Saints Row IV instead feels like downloadable content for Saints Row III or, at best, an expansion for the prior game.

The story picks up some time after the end of Saints Row III. The Saints, a local street gang turned corporation, has now risen to the highest office in the land: the White House. Unfortunately, now that our protagonist is the president of the United States, aliens invade and destroy the planet. Now, the Saints are the only remaining humans in the universe and must defeat these aliens and get vengeance for humanity.

The majority of this game takes place in Steelport, the city from Saints Row III. The story related explanation for this is that the aliens have them held captive in a simulated recreation of Steelport. What that really means is that the developers of Saints Row IV can be lazy and just take the stuff they made for Saints Row III and copy and paste it into this game. There are some differences and new additions to the map, but it’s mostly the same. Very disappointing since I’m always looking forward to something new.

Visually, this is Saints Row III. There minimal if any graphical improvements.

Gameplay is just like Saints Row III except for the new super powers. Your character has a number of super powers ranging from telekinesis to throwing fire and ice. The biggest change is like the speed running and jumping as that changes the way you travel and makes cars obsolete. Altogether, the powers just make you feel like you’re playing the game on cheat mode, which isn’t bad or out of line with the themes of the Saints Row franchise. Saints Row is all about over the top action and ridiculousness.

There are a ton of side missions. They are generally fun to play through the first time, then boring every time after that. It kind of reminded me of Assassin’s Creed and how they clutter up a map with repetitive side quests and collectibles that add no narrative value.

The story clearly takes a lot from movies and other elements of pop culture. Each of the main story missions seemingly parodies something from films like The Matrix and Ghostbusters. I still found the game fun and looked forward to each subsequent mission and what joke theme they were going to use next.

Music is okay. They use a lot of recognizable, licensed music, which is unusual since it usually costs so much.

Voice acting is good and they use a lot of recognizable talent. Most recognizable to me was Kieth David and Terry Crews.

There are two story dlc’s and they are not worth whatever they cost. Those two packs of extra missions are only worth purchasing if you can get them bundled with the main game.

Overall, it was a fun game, but not worth more than five to ten dollars. This is Saints Row III DLC, not a game deserving of a new numbered title.

Score: 6/10

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