All Hail the SuperSaints
early 2 years ago, Volition wowed the gaming community with Saints Row The Third, an over-the-top open world adventure that left nothing to the imagination. They even talked briefly about a stand alone expansion called “Enter the Dominatrix” that would take the Saints into a computer simulation world in which they could attain superhero like powers. Then the THQ bankrupsy woes began and the future of the Saints was in question. When the dust settled, Deep Silver obtained Volition and the rights to the Saints Row franchise. The concepts behind the stand alone expansion soon blossomed into a full blown game: Saints Row IV. This past weekend I had an opportunity for a hands on preview of the full game so I gave it a few hours of my time to see how it’s looking so far. While the game is still 7 weeks away from launch, it is definitely living up to any expectations that have been set by its predecessor.
After the events of Saints Row The Third, we find that the leader of the Saints is now President of the United States. Things are definitely looking up for the Saints now. Until an alien armada invades and traps our intrepid heroes inside a Matrix-like computer simulation (sound familiar?). Not one to let anyone tie him (or her) down, the President soon unshackles himself (or herself) from the confines of the computer code and begins to wreak havoc all over the simulated SteelPort. That’s where Saints Row IV really takes off and becomes the over-the-top silly action game that everyone loves. Dub-step gun, anyone?
Very soon into the game the player obtains the first of many super human powers that takes the game to new heights. Literally. Reminiscent of games such as Crackdown and Prototype, players will gain super speed and super jump abilities and the ability to jump up the side of buildings. While more powers will inevitably come to light during the course of the game, this demo contained the aforementioned powers as well as a Freeze Blast that freezes enemies and objects where they stand, allowing the player a single shot to shatter them. Of the powers given during this preview, all felt great to play with. The super speed, although faster than driving the vehicles, is very easy to control and when combined with battle turns regular melee punches into one-shot kills.
Of course, since this is an open world adventure, there are plenty of side missions and challenges to take on should you decide to take a break from the main story. Remember the agility orbs in Crackdown? Yeah, well, now we have Data Shards scattered all over the city which act as the currency for upgrading your super powers. I’m sure many hours will be spend scouring the city for these. After all, who doesn’t want to be the most kickass superhero ever, right?
Saints Row IV has already proven to be the funniest game I have ever played. I’ve never laughed so hard at an opening sequence of any game. It didn’t take long to know that we are going to be in for another wild ride when this game releases on August 20th.