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Saints Row IV

Developer: Volition Publisher: Deep Silver
20 August 2013
Saints Row IV - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.17 / 5.0
0.5
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1,118 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#2,070 All-time
#88 for 2013
A few months after the events of Saints Row: The Third, the 3rd Street Saints are called to assist MI6 agent Asha Odekar and former Deckers leader Matt Miller in foiling a terrorist plot by former S.T.A.G. leader Cyrus Temple. The Boss and their top lieutenants, Shaundi and Pierce Washington, breach Cyrus' base with Asha, killing him and preventing a nuclear missile from hitting Washington D.C.
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2013 Volition Deep Silver  
DVD
US 8 16819 01100 3
Saints Row IV Re-Elected
2013 Deep Silver  
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2013 Volition Deep Silver  
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2013 Volition Deep Silver  
Blu-ray
GB 4 020628 513757
Saints Row IV National Treasure Edition
2014 Volition Deep Silver  
Blu-ray
8 16819 01199 7 BLUS-31416GH
2020 Volition Koch Media  
Game card
US 8 16819 01610 7
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Title
Completely and utterly bat-cocking mental in the best, most entertaining way possible.

I've still not played the first two, but it seems clear from reviews I've read and discussions I've had that if there's an overarching critical narrative linking of the games in the Saints Row series, it's the quest to find a voice that's totally distinct from Grand Theft Auto. The first, I'm told, was basically a straight rip-off. The second (which I have seen others play) added its own brand of humor, a necessary step in cementing itself as an entity in its own right, but didn't seem to move too far forwards beyond that. The third is where it really clicked, with the comedy bursting forwards into gameplay mechanics that dismissed the realism that GTA had been striving towards and put priority on fun and on keeping up the pace of the game at all times. And now we've arrived here, having somehow managed to come completely full-circle at the same time as it's really asserted its own ridiculous personality and fully realized its own potential.

To call Saints Row IV derivative is totally unfair, not just because it neglects the fact that no other series around right now could even get away with this, but because it's a huge understatement. Enjoy your pop culture references? Boy, you don't even know the half of it.

The funny thing is that I've seen a few reviewers complain that, because a big chunk of the story is given over to returning Johnny Gat to the fold, that you need to have experience of the other Saints Row games to really understand what's going on. This is not only wrong (see paragraph 2, sentence 1 of this review), but misses the point totally - you'd need to be a walking Wikipedia to actually understand every reference in this game, and they come so thick and fast that on a few occasions I've only found myself understanding the joke five minutes later. I can only imagine - with great amusement - how somebody who's never played a computer game in their life before would react to this. There is a Metal Gear Solid [メタルギアソリッド] mission that rips on some of that game's tropes with glee (and, in the case of one overheard phonecall I won't spoil, enough comedy to genuinely make me shoot lemonade out of my nose). There's a side-scrolling beat-em-up mission called Saints of Rage. There's a gratuitous QTE stripping scene that comes out of nowhere for all the Heavy Rain [HEAVY RAIN 心の軋むとき] fans in the house. There's a text adventure that shocked me by not letting me catch dysentery. You can romance the members of your crew when you're on your spaceship, and the only one you can't boasts a voice actor playing basically the same role as he did in Mass Effect 3, the game the whole mechanic is riffing on. (Speaking of romance - Kinzie's scene, holy shit. It was the first one I saw, still innocently wondering how exactly they'd plays this joke out, and I nearly shat myself with laughter.) Nolan North has an optional voice track for the main character where he just plays himself and regularly drops references to the other games he's been in. Specific moves from Street Fighter get namedropped. One early '50s themed mission, which struck me as one of the moments when the game got too wacky, is apparently a reference to Fallout 3 that sailed right over my head.

And that's just the other games it references. We haven't even touched on how the whole setting is basically The Matrix without the self-importance, or the imaginatively named Murderbots that are clearly T-1000s ripped right out of The Terminator, or the little shout-outs to Hawaii Five-0 and Armageddon and Independence Day and whatever the hell else. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper turns up. You end your notoriety by chasing something that looks and acts suspiciously like the Golden Snitch from Harry Potter; that's a debatable literary reference, but the big reveal of the series narrator at the end certainly isn't.

I can't think of anything, in any medium, that has ever made me shake my head in disbelief at what I'm seeing so often. It's a good job there isn't really an awful lot to the plot, because I'm not sure I'd be able to keep up. This is a cousin of The Rutles aimed not just at the history of one band, but at the history of an entire medium - and like The Rutles, it never allows its humor to descend into cynicism or pettiness, because everything is underpinned by love for the source material. Saints Row IV is a conversation between a bunch of gamers in a room reminiscing about their favourite gaming moments, only it's been expanded to a preposterous scale.

And that's not even the most preposterous thing about a game where the gameplay is a neon-lit cornucopia of childhood superhero fantasies. You can shoot ice from your hands, stomp the floor so hard that everybody around you shrinks, lift people up with your mind and use them to bounce lightning off other people like you're cosplaying as Raiden, run into cars so hard and fast that they go flying off the road, turn yourself into the Human Torch, run up the sides of buildings, jump hundreds of feet in the air and then slam into the floor so hard that it sets off a nuclear explosion....and if you get bored of all that, you can choose from an array of guns that inflate peoples heads until they explode, that vaporize them, that create black holes right over their heads and suck them in, that summon UFOs to abduct them, or that kill them with the power of, erm, dubstep. (I know, I know....) The explanation in-game for all this is that the whole thing takes place inside a computer simulation, the laws of physics don't apply any more, and your allies can hack the program to give you these powers. The real world explanation, of course, is 'we want our players to have fun and fuck everything else'.

And that really is the story of Saints Row IV from a player's perspective - it is fun. I can't think of any other game that is so psychotically dedicated to the player having a good time, and that scales back or totally strips away everything that would get in the way of it in the way this one does. Name a boring bit of any similar open-world game and it doesn't exist here - escort missions usually give you an escort that has superpowers themselves, any character development or plot escalation is over and done with in seconds, and just getting from one mission to another can either be done in seconds by running and flying at lightning pace, or can be taken slowly by stopping off at any of the side-missions that appear absolutely everywhere on the map and never need more than a couple of seconds to explain. You'll only get time for a break if you put the controller down.

It's silly, it's overblown, it's got absolutely no pretense about being any kind of milestone or landmark moment in gaming history (which actually seems fairly unusual for a title of its size), and it will be totally and utterly bewildering to anybody that doesn't spent a lot of time gaming, but Saints Row IV is a game that knows exactly what it wants to do and what experience it wants its players to have, and that absolutely smashes those ambitions out of the park. Its very nature means that it will probably look a bit silly in a list of the PS3's greatest games alongside the heavy and arty likes of The Last of Us, BioShock Infinite, Heavy Rain [HEAVY RAIN 心の軋むとき], and The Walking Dead: Season One, but I've got no doubt that this is one of the high watermarks of its era.
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Iai 2016-04-19T20:41:24Z
2016-04-19T20:41:24Z
4.5
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"saints row 4 is boring" - gay fagg0t 2014
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The game is largely identical to Saints Row: The Third in terms of most things, which is to say, probably not going to blow your panties off. However the increased zaniness, satisfying superpowers and the game's sense for just plain FUN make it superior to the game it was mostly cut and pasted from.
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DimeTree 2024-01-01T09:38:25Z
2024-01-01T09:38:25Z
3.0
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This game is really fun, but also feels somewhat rushed. Twice while playing I got softlocked, one of the times was in the UI. But I don't even care, because this game was an experience. It didn't take anything seriously, and that's what I loved.
A gripe I have is that the side missions are quite repetitive, once you've done one you've done almost all, with the exception of the loyalty missions.
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wiichicken 2023-05-26T20:04:29Z
2023-05-26T20:04:29Z
4.5
1
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Over the top fun
This game was superb playing with someone else. It had a lot of fun missions and the world was very fun to transverse due to the abilities you unlock.

Having a game like this but introducing super jumping, running and elemental powers is a great concept.

Great game.
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Aidan_Gammon 2022-11-27T00:35:30Z
2022-11-27T00:35:30Z
4.0
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so annoying i actually couldnt finish
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aaaiiidddiiinnn 2021-07-10T15:19:57Z
2021-07-10T15:19:57Z
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Catalog

Brett11102 Saints Row IV 2024-02-23T20:27:54Z
2024-02-23T20:27:54Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Bojuuh Saints Row IV 2024-02-23T00:46:26Z
2024-02-23T00:46:26Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Monni_Nicola Saints Row IV 2024-02-19T16:00:00Z
2024-02-19T16:00:00Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
TK56789 Saints Row IV 2024-02-18T19:57:53Z
2024-02-18T19:57:53Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
hyperhaxorus Saints Row IV 2024-02-18T17:07:44Z
2024-02-18T17:07:44Z
37
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Dkito Saints Row IV 2024-02-17T21:01:53Z
2024-02-17T21:01:53Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Finnegan1441 Saints Row IV 2024-02-17T09:03:56Z
2024-02-17T09:03:56Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
slickdick Saints Row IV: Re-Elected 2024-02-16T21:10:46Z
Xbox One
2024-02-16T21:10:46Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
puppies_on_acid Saints Row IV 2024-02-14T06:46:10Z
Windows
2024-02-14T06:46:10Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DJSuleiman Saints Row IV 2024-02-13T02:51:46Z
Xbox 360
2024-02-13T02:51:46Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Jaggeraz9599 Saints Row IV 2024-02-12T23:56:41Z
2024-02-12T23:56:41Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dannymason_1 Saints Row IV 2024-02-10T23:55:36Z
2024-02-10T23:55:36Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
1-2 players
Media
Download
Multiplayer modes
Cooperative
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  • Previous comments (6) Loading...
  • sunseeeeet 2021-07-27 21:14:07.996787+00
    the comedy of this game is kinda cheesy but other than that it's incredibly fun
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  • Somedudeontheinternet 2021-09-04 12:39:55.674397+00
    There was a phase of me absolutely adoring this game to me hating it to now, kinda loving it again even though it’s shown it’s age quite a bit
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  • charredwind 2021-09-26 23:04:43.376671+00
    this is the most dumb fun game i've ever played and i LOVE it. EASY 10. all the sr2 nerds can fuck off fr
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  • Snappington1 2022-05-06 20:24:03.060477+00
    absolutely underrated masterpiece
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  • yhyeahh 2022-06-05 01:57:43.412744+00
    Lack of fast travel really hurts this game
    reply
    • Snappington1 2023-06-20 17:05:47.182052+00
      they did a lot to make manual travel pretty fun in this. double edged sword since the driving is somewhat pointless, but its pretty fun to jump around the city.
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  • charredwind 2023-01-04 18:36:09.407848+00
    something i just found out is if you stand next to a car and fully charge a super jump (assuming you have the immovable object perk) you'll be flung INSANELY high because the car will hit you up into the air
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  • Innerexperience 2023-11-29 15:30:10.823295+00
    Felt sooo good going back to this after playing the new garbage!
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  • FinDiesel 2024-01-28 02:43:17.740027+00
    GOATED
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