Saints Row IV. Where do I even begin…?

sr4-century

(Spoilers ahead? Perhaps, but minor. Nothing that should prevent one from getting down and dirty with this excellent game.)

In my mind, the story of Saints Row IV picks up somewhere in the future-space as predicted by the movie Idiocracy, where a pro-wrestler is president and America’s brainpower has devolved to the point where everyone thinks that water (i.e. from the toilet) is dangerous to drink.

In other words, a straight-up vision of the world today.

In other other words, Brawndo — it’s got electrolytes!

Oh, but I digress…

While you are not a pro-wrestler in Saint Row IV (thought you can be, if you want) you are ye olde POTUS, and you (and your team of Saints Row familiars – unfamiliar to me) are called upon to save the world from a race of aliens called Zin. They are led by the one and only Rhodes Scholar himself, Zinyak, who has trapped the world in a simulation where anything, and I do mean a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g, is possible. As such, bestowed upon you throughout the course of the game are various “superpowers” (super speed, super strength, telekinesis, fireballs…you get the picture) that aid you in your quest to defeat Zinyak for good. Though, of course, also at your disposal is an array of weapons that boggles the imagination. If you can think it, you can shoot it, or maim with it, or make money with it. It’s all so…beautiful.

And you can be a pirate while saving the world! Aaarrr, matey!
And you can be an actual pirate while saving the world! AN ACTUAL GODDAMN PIRATE!

And ridiculous.

And inane.

And my god…how I love it. Do you hear me? Love it. No? Well let me just get up on this here mountaintop…ahem…

I FUCKING LOVE SAINTS ROW IV AND I DON’T GIVE A FUCK WHO KNOWS ABOUT IT BECAUSE IT IS THE TRUTH AND YOU CAN’T HIDE FROM THE TRUTH BECAUSE THE TRUTH IS ALL THERE IS.

So says Handsome Boy Modeling School.

And more digression…

Before I played Saints Row IV a couple months back, I had watched videos of it and read articles about it. I was highly interested in the game. (In fact, I had become very keen on getting into the series when Saints Row the Third was released in 2011, but the timing just didn’t work out then.) Though I eagerly read about and watched all that the game had to offer, the sheer fun to be had within its confines didn’t really register. I knew it was something I had to experience for myself. So when a deal for the “Game of Century Edition” popped on Steam at a price that I simply couldn’t pass up, I was all in. Sure, it took me awhile to get to playing, but fuck you, I was busy.

Ooo, sorry, that was unnecessarily mean. Sorry.

Fuck.

Okay, I’m done now.

Maybe.

P. S. The Saint’s Row IV Game of the Century Edition comes with all the bells, whistles, and DLC. I highly recommend it, on sale if you’re a cheap ass like me, or full price if you’re rich and famous. (All jesting aside, even 20 bucks for the GoC Edition is a right steal.)

Or you can be an ACTUAL superhero while saving the world!
Or you can be an ACTUAL superhero while saving the world! AN ACTUAL…oh whatev.

Folks, I’ve played plenty of games that I would categorize as “fun” — games that present pure enjoyment on a number of levels, and games that remain enjoyable despite warts, glitches, and utter weirdness. With that in mind, Saints Row IV might just be the most satisfying game I’ve ever played. Now, that’s not to say it’s perfect, because nothing in life ever is. But I can easily overlook the few headaches I encountered during gameplay in order to call Saints Row IV a definite favorite. Because it’s almost as if GTA got super stoned and suddenly decided it needed to make something called a “abduct-o-gun” while wearing purple velvet covered in fake purple fur, all while pouring one out for the homies. That’s what I call a party.

And yes, I did just type “homies.”

Now, I could prattle on in metaphor all day long, but that wouldn’t really tell you much about Saints Row IV, so here’s the lowdown. If you enjoy the carefree mayhem that permeates the likes of a GTA game, you’d probably enjoy Saints Row IV. If you like 3rd person gun battles in which you can also throw ice and fire and earth at enemies, then you’d likely get a kick out of Saints Row IV. And if you dig getting down and dirty with some moderate RPGing (character customization, loyalty missions), leading a group of friends/enemies-cum-friends, you’d be able to get through Saints Row IV with flying colors. Because Saints Row IV is exactly that, a well done, third person, RPG action-adventure game that puts you in the center of everything. Though the game does throw quite a bit at you in terms of building your characters’ powers and arsenal, it’s all wrapped up tidily enough in a manner that allows you to pick and choose favorite weapons and powers. Personally, a couple automatic rifles and the power of atomic explosions was mostly enough for me. You might prefer handguns and different buffs, or submachine guns and telekinesis, or a dildo bat and the ability to make people shit money. Whatever you fancy, Saints Row IV will allow.

Granted, not everything is perfect in the Saints’ world. While the main story has a pretty good thrust and enough stamina to get through a steamy, sweaty session of…play, the sidequests are repetitive, and they mostly involve either gaining access to the world map (necessary) or gaining the trust of your companions (not super necessary). Each set of tasks, from escorting folks to hacking stores to running through a number of “Tron”-like obstacles courses, is not without its challenges. And completing sidequests usually gave you extra stuff — gear, weapons, powers. But, y’know, after hacking seventeen stores, you’re pretty much over that, regardless of how much experience you might get.

Plus, you have to fly. I fucking HATE flying in video games.
Plus, you have to fly. Goddamn flying in games…I hate it.

For me, playing Saints Row IV was bliss, and that included playing the particularly warped DLC packages, How the Saints Saved Christmas…

Of course I played it at Christmastime. Duh.
Of course I played it at Christmastime. Duh. And yes, that image makes total sense.

…and Enter the Dominatrix, which needs only be summed up as follows.

And I bet you were expecting something a little…sexier? Saints Row IV damns your expectations! DAMN THEM STRAIGHT TO HELL!!

After complete the main story and all the sidequests and DLC, I had a hard time putting Saints Row IV aside. I didn’t catch any sort of completionist bug, but I had started on several achievement-oriented goals. And since my character was as leveled up as she could possibly be, to the point of being practically invincible, I wanted to push my limits a little to see just how many achievements I could actually attain. The answer came in just a handful.

Ah, well, it happens to everyone. And I’m no overachiever. Though I did garner a few extra prizes for my efforts, soon enough it was time to set the game aside, if only to delve further into the world of the Saints. As the Steam package came with Saints Row 2 and Saints Row the Third, I opted to head back to the Saints’ almost-beginnings.

Saints Row 2 has provided loads of enjoyment in just a few hours. It might take awhile for me to get sucked back into that world (with too many games to play, gaming monogamy escapes me now), but I’ll get back there eventually.

The tension. It is palpable.
Good times await? It’s a little hard to tell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 thoughts on “Saints Row IV. Where do I even begin…?”

    1. And if that doesn’t make the games worthy of anyone’s time, I don’t know what does! Especially considering how rare “pure fun” games are, it seems.

      Like

  1. I used to be quite snarky about the Saints Row games, and I’d describe them as a bargain basement version of GTA (or like if GTA was made by the same people who did those News Cartoon things in South Korea) but, actually, I think that was unfair. In SR IV, Volition clearly embraced and played upon exactly that kind of perception, and the game’s just so much fun because of it, I think, and it’s all different kinds of batshit crazy.

    And I’m not afraid to admit it either; I absolutely freakin’ loved Saints Row IV.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I love how SRIV unabashedly accepts everything games like this should and shouldn’t be. In different hands, the might have come off a lowbrow and farcical, but Volition did a great job in giving players a fantastic gaming experience wrapped up in cheekiness and some very adroit storytelling.

      Comparisons between the SR games and GTA games will probably never end, but SR is quite deserving of its own tier among similar experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

Start a conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s