Thursday, August 22, 2013

Saints Row IV Game Review

Saints Row IV Review
Originaly Posted on and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 8/22/2013
Written by Dustin Murphy

  • Upgraded graphics engine allowing for a overall better experience
  • New weapons customization for weapon stats and appearance
  • More appearance based selections from clothing to facial items are available
  • Almost ALL DLC from Saints Row the Third is on this title
  • Car customizations have been vastly improved upon
  • Character carry over’s were made to allow for a direct sequel
  • Nolan North gives a hysterical voice selection that will leave players chuckling.

  • Locking up randomly while using super powers
  • Super Powers are too powerful giving the enemy no fighting chance
  • Cooperative mode due to super powers made the game non-existent in game play time
  • Graphic glitches on characters in terrains become a sight for sore eyes
  • A rehashed science fiction story that quickly resembles the parodies of the Matrix and Mass Effect meets Mars Attacks.
  • Some missions can’t be completed without using the online cooperative mode
  • Overused jokes that leave for a lack of dead humor from SR3.
  • Always gloomy atmosphere seems to take away from the actual game
  • Super powers take away from the use of vehicles, making them non-existent, and rendered useless.

Final Verdict: 6.75 out of 10.

Final Opinion: With a roughly twelve hour full completion rate Saints Row IV while goofy and as insane as its predecessor that set the bar, delivers in many areas Saints Row fans will expect, and accomplishes its goal. It can be insanely fun to fly around, set buildings on fire, shoot enemies off the end of your melee weapon, but when all said in done. The title is lacking in what made Saints Row the Third a top notch hilarity filled title.

Replay Value: Low to Moderate.

Authors Note: All screenshots are from my actual game play screenshots. If you wish to use my screen shots please comment here or on the Facebook page for BATGR.

  Saints Row IV could be one of the funniest and greatest games of all time had the bankruptcy of former publisher THQ not occurred. Saints Row IV unfortunately seems to show that during this transition from THQ to Koch Media that the company changes occurred, and it will be abundantly apparent due to the games bugs that literally will kill and break any enjoyment this title has left in it. Fortunately though the bugs could be patched out in future updates and or downloaded content, but the problem still lies within the super powers that players are given as they progress through the story. The super powers players are given lets them have abilities to throw fireballs, throw ice bombs, glide, run at super fast speeds, become super strong, gain telekinesis, and other special abilities that unlock over time through game play. The biggest problem to have risen for myself as a player has become the sheer consistency of console lock-up’s the game has when first loading in. The lock ups can also occur while using the characters super powers. In many ways this is something that should have been tested and ultimately fixed before the game had launched.

Gliding through the virtual Steelport.
  In the light of all the bugs Saints Row IV has provided to gamers is what could be the biggest laugh in the gaming community, from slap stick jokes, one-liners, and the “hail to the king” atmosphere - Saints Row is a one of a kind. Saints Row carries much of the comical “gang” undertone that Saints Row the Third did. From the very start players are introduced as the President of the United States, a boss of all bosses, and also a special ops soldier from the get-go. In the opening moments of the game players will be greeted with a rather serious mission that takes place introducing them to team members Pierce, Shaundi, Asha Odekar, and the computer genius Kenzi. In the scenes to take place is where players will get to adjust to the controls, which feel as if they’ve been fine tuned for a better experience, and if that has occurred - it’s appreciated. After an hour or so of game play, players are introduced to a training simulation in the computer world created by the Zinyak Empire in which Kenzi will train players to use their special powers. One of the best, but most game breaking has come to be the fireball, which is unlocked later in. The Fireball itself is a beyond destructive force of nature causing players to kill, blowup, and overall obliterate everything in sight. It is an ability players will quickly turn to due to how powerful it is, which ultimately this games problem is - overpowered super powers (a tongue twister).

A fully upgraded jump and glide can deliver players to dizzying heights they will glide from.
  After the game has gone underway players are able to unlock upgrades for their special powers via memory cores that are placed throughout the world, a mini-game of sorts that gets beyond annoying, repetitive, and ultimately led me to not upgrading any further. This is because I felt the powers were already to broken to begin with.  The nice part is the return of the side missions that will allow players to earn more cache (money) to further upgrade their basic abilities such as health, weapon attack, damage resistance, and of course their support “homies”. In order to earn more money though it requires the hacking of shops, the hacking of shops mini game is a puzzle that involves making a path from the starting side to the end side of the puzzle, and doing this allows the “hack’ to be completed so that players earn that shop, it’s cache, and of course territory gains against the Zinyak Empire. Classic mini-games such as mayhem, insurance fraud, and assassinations are back as with new features to match special powers.

Falling from insane heights causes players to take little to no damage. Memory Fragments in the background.
  In many ways Saints Row IV has vastly improved upon problems such as latency with online cooperative mode, frame rate drops, sound bugs (music cutting out, the sound of light poles breaking while driving just to name a few) but one has never left, the clunky weapons wheel. In this title weapons wheel has become something of a burden now that players have special powers. With it players will see the ability to select super powers on the right side of the screen as well as their sub abilities that can be interchanged for some of them. This is splendid for those who want to take the time to go in and out of the hot wheel, but for players that don’t the directional pad is their best choice. The problem with that best choice, sometimes it does not want to switch special abilities and will ultimately lead players frustrated as well as quite aggravated in high combat situations. However for those that don’t want to swap, there’s always the dub step gun they can switch to, which will make enemies dance till they drop - literally. The previous games did get crazy when you were mowing enemies down with high-powered weaponry such as the rocket launcher, but levitating, shrinking, and mind-controlling your foes takes things to another level. For some this will be a worthwhile laugh, but for some this is a joke that will get old, rapidly. With new weapons such as the alien rectifier, inflate-o-ray, and of course the games version of the light saber, players are bound to have hours of insanity filled fun. For others this title is one that could grow dull fast as many of the fun filled moments will be rehashed incessantly.

  The saddening part of this title is the lack of content to keep players coming back for more. Once players have completed each portion of the title alone, there remains only one thing to do, and that is the online co-op challenges that will pit players against each other. This is all good as well as fun, but for people without online or a subscription, this could cause trouble for a 100% completion rating.

The Dubstep gun in all it's hilarity.
   Overall Saints Row IV is much like Saints Row the Third, which is not saying much, except for the fact it feels like a standalone expansion that perhaps should have been downloadable. However for true Saints Row fans, this title will not disappoint in the slightest, but for fans that want to experience a good story - Saints Row IV is a letdown. In hopes for a future packed of DLC, Saints Row IV has a lot of room for improvement such as the console hard-lock ups, overpowered super powers (can we say it twice as fast this time?) and hopefully leaves behind the dull jokes and picks up a true sense of comical humor. For Nolan North fans this title will provide a few good laughs thanks to his voice over. A voice over of his that to some will relate to his role as Dead Pool, which in some way could be a redeeming factor, but will it be enough for you to play it? For purchasing prices and availability please contact your local retailers.

The alien rocket launcher as an insanely overpowered weapon.
  Saints Row IV is now available on all major platforms and is available at all online and in-store retailers for 59.99 USD while the season pass is a cheap 9.99 USD and does feature immediately available content.

Graphics: Vastly improved upon from the previous title, Saints Row IV's graphics lead players with a new motion blur giving them a true sense of movement, but unfortunately the dark atmosphere is quite dreary as well as depressing. A more true-to-the-world scheme should have been used as players free the world.

Sound: The game does not dissapoint with the sound effects the title has, instead it actually became even more surround sound friendly. This also brought on some amazing sound effects as well as good chuckles from guns such as the Dubstep gun that literally drops the beat with music.

Controls: Over-all the control scheme is easy to learn and quick to adopt to. The only thing that can be become troubling is the directional pad switching as well as the weapons selection wheel that can get int he way.

Official Website: Saints Row Community Site
Official Facebook Page: Saints Row Facebook

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