Saints Row IV, a game that I did not get around to playing till a few weeks ago? Even though I got it back on August, 2013. Oh dear that is a rather long time to finally get around to playing it.
So you went from being a street gang leader to president of the United States. Not too shabby. How did this happen you might ask, well you saved the world from a terrorist threat (with help from two M-16 agents). Kinzie’s reaction to the second agent is wonderful.
Unfortunately things quickly do not go to plan. Earth gets invaded by Zinyak, a leader of a technologically advanced alien race known as the Zin. Oh, and you get trapped in a simulation of Steelport, but you have no safe houses and Planet Saint is replaced by Planet Zin. Anyways, you get rescued by Kinzie (I still want to know how she managed to escape hers in the first place), sneak around an alien ship and pilot your escape alien ship (naked) with “What Is Love” begins playing.
So to get to Zinyak and take revenge for the Earth, you become Neo from the matrix…kind of. You gain superpowers and abilities to help break the rules of the simulation and rescue your friends from their own personal nightmare simulations. Why revenge for the Earth, well Zinyak MAY have nuked it into obliteration.
Between Saints Row IV and Saints Row: The Third (SR3), I definitely enjoyed Saints Row IV far more. Saints Row IV actually had me actively seeking out and completing the bonus tasks like the targets and activities. I never enjoyed those in SR3 since it felt rather tedious especially the gang activity ones where you had to end the gang activity to gain more control of an area. If you didn’t get them all on the first go, it was never cleared for me even if I eliminated them all shortly. Saints Row IV had a similar task but called Flashpoint and it was a lot easier to clear. I even went ahead and found all the collectibles (yes, all the data clusters included). It was much more enjoyable even in terms of the main story game-play itself. Even the side missions for your homies were great, I loved the vast variation between them. I loved the references the game had throughout as well.
The dialogue and humor are fantastic as ever, even as you hear the banter between either your character or the homies themselves. Although I am unsure why there is a romance option in the game, since it always struck me as odd on why Shaundi and Gat had the longest ‘romancing’ scenes but Pierce did not get the same treatment. Is he not an original member of the Saints crew as well? I do not really know the lore for the game since I only played it from the third title.
The weapons are still wacky as ever and this time you get to customize their group and skin. I admit I spent more than couple minutes just going through them all and having the weapons look the way I wanted them too. I am still rather disturbed by that tentacle sword thing though, the reason I took so long wasn’t due to the cosmetic appearance but because I wanted to see the little caption they had for each skin. Not a fan of the dubstep gun though.
The attention to detail was amazing, giving you the feel that you really were in a simulation. Watching the simulation refresh itself as you ran by with your super-speed (or sprint as they call it), buildings in the distance are fuzzy and the many glitches that affect the denizens of fake Steelport.
I do have to admit that I had a tendency to skip the cutscenes. Mostly due to my impatience since I wanted to get right back into the action.
I did get the two DLCs; How the Saints saved Christmas and the Dominatrix. The Dominatrix DLC disturbed me on so many levels. More so than having to watch my character do an amateur strip dance. I can see myself definitely replaying Saints Row IV for two reasons: the missions were fun and equally fun is being able to use virtual Steelport as your own personal playground as you wreck mayhem with new weapons and superpowers.