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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How Not To Screw It Up - Saints Row IV

I really do love Saints Row. There's something about it that makes the game timeless, totally fun and over the top ridiculous. The original game was not in my 'Great Games' list but it was passable. Like most others, my love blossomed in the second one... and became stale in the Third. The Third wasn't a bad game, just not an adequate sequel to the second installment. To be honest, I never really cared that a fourth was coming out. I'd probably just pick it up later. But then I saw the trailer and immediately it was like a love rekindled.

1. Keep superpowers there on the fly. Not just some pick up or mission type thing.
Where I finally became almost fed up with The Third was in one of the DLCs when I got superpowers. 'Oh hell yeah! Just what this game was missing!' And then I lost them... that was extremely annoying. You gave me the powers of a god and took them away within an hour. The powers are what really caught my eye here. Most people will just say 'It will break the game and make it even easier than before' but that's wrong. It will make enemies harder and more intelligent to combat this awesome change. Even then, I'm sure its just as satisfying to kill enemies with guns too. No one ever said 'This game has too much awesome stuff!' and treated it like a bad thing. That doesn't make any sense.
The second installment was at the peak of customization. They took some stuff out of The Third which was disheartening but if only for a moment. To be honest, I don't care if they have to go back to the graphic style of the second one, customization for me is part of the Saint's experience. Saints Row will never be a GTA killer, and they realized this quite early. I bet the next meeting for the second game was 'What if we do the things GTA doesn't?' From simple things like a tilt of a hat to changing a characters entire appearance, Saints Row rivals The Sims in character customization with a GTA killing vibe and it works immensely.
3. Less story, more fun!
Saints the Third had a decent story. The problem was there was such a reliance on Respect that you gained from missions to upgrade your character. While not being bad, maybe make alternate avenues for us to gain this without having to progress through the story. I know you had side missions, but what about in game stuff? Maybe kill shots? That could be fun and work. I wouldn't feel forced to continue the story and rather focus on what I feel is the most important aspect for myself.
4. Keep the humor.
The main reason I don't play the first game is because it was far too serious. Its not bad but Saints thrives on the immaturity. Its an insane life raft in the sea of ultra serious games that is a nice breather. I like funny triple A titles. Saints Row fills that need for me.
5. Learn from past games.
This is pretty simple. Just take a look at everything that has happened in the last games and take feed back from your fans. Simple as that.

Like I said with the Assassin's Creed one, I don't expect developers to read this. This is more for others to know how I feel about games, those who want to make games to take in a account, people who go to gaming conventions to have questions for the developer and it encourages regular gamers just to be conscious of everything that is happening with a game. Thanks for reading.

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