Saints Row IV review

Matt Cuttle reviews the alien busting sandbox videogame Saints Row IV for the Xbox 360, PC and PS3. rated 0 out of 10
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The Saints Row games may be a little rough around the edges but they’ve all been fun. Originally they aped the GTA games but now it’s definitely one of the best sandbox games in its own right and that’s basically down to it being so over-the-top and inventive. Think you couldn’t top the Saints fighting on Mars? Well, it’s being trumped big time as now you play the President of the USA who gets put into a Matrix-style simulation by a bunch of invading aliens called the Zin and their leader Zinyak.

The good news is that now I can go around killing everybody and destroying stuff as much as I like and not feel any guilt because I know things aren’t real - sounds stupid I know but there we have it. And because this world isn’t real, you also garner super powers as you hack into the system which let you jump, fly, run up buildings and deal death with fire, ice, ground stomps and more with a tap of RB. The closest this game comes to is actually Prototype with a massive dose of humour that takes the micky out of games such as Mass Effect, Metal Gear Solid and even Final Fight as you rescue your chums and exact revenge on Zinyak’s spiky-headed fish face.

The super powers do change the dynamic somewhat. When roaming the city you won’t want to get in cars because it’s more fun sprinting about the place. You will, however, get your powers removed on many occasions to limit your abilities and make missions more of a challenge. However, by the end of the game you’re so over-powered you can pretty much complete any mission or sub-quest with ease. You’ll use a mix of regular weapons and alien weaponry, my favourite being the dubstep gun which fires out wub wubs at enemies, making them dance and explode. It really is a joy to use and never gets old. You can even let a friend join your world or vice-versa and complete challenges and sub quests together such as races, clearing out bases or injecting viruses into the system. Hacking shops is probably the worst activity though and sometimes, these side quests can get a bit repetitive.

You can also customize everything in the game, whether it’s hair, clothes, tattoos, cars and even the colour or theme of your gun or…ahem…baseball bat. If you’ve seen Lockstock you’ll know what I’m talking about. There are issues with the game such as slowdown, clipping, dodgy animations and crashes but the game’s personality and constant distractions from the main quest with tonnes of collectables to find in the universe really make up for this.

Saints Row IV is an absolute blast and a welcome distraction from all the serious games that attempt to do the same thing. It’s definitely the best in the series and I’m not sure how it can be topped if there’s another sequel so it gets an awesome 8 out of 10.

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