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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Fresh" Review: Saints Row IV

So it's crazier than Saints Row 3. That's a plus.
(NOTE: You may notice that this review is a game you would probably never see me touch. That's why it's my pleasure to introduce Casey Guinee, one of Nerd Rage's new staff writers! Casey wrote this review, by the way- he gets his own unique Pink Rager just for his reviews. How cute!)

When I finished Saints Row The Third last year, I was left with one feeling...a longing for more. On August 20th, 2013, Volition Inc and Deep Silver satisfied that hunger.  Saints Row IV is the fourth installment in the Saints Row series. Armed with superpowers and more guns than Rambo, the 3rd Street Saints are ready to take on the alien invaders, break out of the simulation, and save the world.  If they can fit it into their busy schedule of goofing off and doing whatever it is they want, that is.

PROS:

-Character Customization- While you can’t customize the abilities of a character, per say, you can customize nearly everything else about them. Nolan North voice.  Enough said.

-Story - The story of the game is simple: Defeat the aliens, save friends, save the world.  The writing is very well done, better than someone would expect a goofy game like Saints Row to be, full with nods and references to pop culture, but not directly ripping off any existing stories.

-Familiar Gameplay With Added Elements

-Side Missions and Activities - The game has quite a bit of side missions and activities to keep the player busy when they don’t feel like advancing the story and just want to goof off.  These side missions revolve around doing things for your fellow gang members. 

-Guns - There are so many guns in this game, it’s ridiculous.  Not only are there your standard handgun, submachine gun, assault riffle, and explosive, but there are also alien weapons.  Even some specific alien weapons, goofy alien weapons, like the Dubstep Gun, a gun that fires brightly colored laser beams to the bumping beat of dubstep.  Complete with “Explosive Wubs.” 

CONS:

-Difficulty Increase and Cap - As you progress the story, the aliens that come to fight back as you rack up your notoriety become increasingly harder.  While this is good because it offers a challenge for the player, it is bad because it inhibits or greatly decreases the rate of advancement for some challenges.  My advice, finish all the challenges before you advance the story, or as many as you can while you can, while there is still an abundance of aliens to go around.

THOUGHTS:

When I heard that Saints Row was coming back for a fourth game, I was more than excited.  As the release date got closer, it was all I could do to quell the surge of excitement build up in anticipation.  From the second I put the game in my Xbox, I never stopped playing it- putting in over 40 hours of playtime, 15 of those hours put in after beating the story.  I love this series, and will continue playing the Saints Row games as long as they produce them. Forgive me if I sound biased.

Apart from the well designed story, there are enough activities and side missions to keep the player busy for just as long. Old activities, such as “Fraud” and “Tank Mayhem,” are back, while adding new activities for the added superpowers. There’s an endless amount of possibilities you can choose from to make the character every bit as much as your own as you want.  He, or she, can be anyone.  Not only are there a bunch of guns, but each gun has some level of customization.  Every gun can be upgraded to increase it’s abilities.  The guns can also have different skins.  For example, you can change the quickfire pistol to look like Han Solo’s DL-44 heavy blaster pistol, or make the submachine gun look like a rubberband gun.  There’s even a special explosive weapon hidden in the game which goes by the name of “Loud Locust.”  Agent K would be rather upset if he saw you discharge it in view of the public.

At its heart, Saints Row IV is exactly what you would expect from the series- madcap story and jokes and a ton of missions and goofy shit to do. But it once again takes it a step further and adds new story and gameplay elements that kick it up a notch, making it well-worth a look.

Final Verdict: With hours of fun gameplay in a world where you can do literally anything you want, Saints Row IV is a fun-as-hell ride.  Simulated Steelport is your playground, do with it what you will- if you’re a fan of sandbox, action/adventure gaming, Saints Row IV is the game for you.

(This review edited by Evan Baranowski)

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