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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Saints Row IV PC Review - 9.3/10

Here's a quote you can use if you want to promote the game: "The most fun I've ever had with a Saints Row game". And its true. This is the most insane, awesome, fun, crazy Saints Row game I've ever played. Apart from the guns, story, super powers, massive open world to play around in, at every turn during the first few hours, my face was stuck in a permanent state of laughter... but I do have some gripes with the game. One of which is really glaring. Nevertheless, this game is awesome. It is Saints Row pumped up to 11.

The Good:
The graphics are really nice. A slight step up from The Third. However, I wasn't able to see them due to my policy of always lowering the graphics display and I actually needed it here. When using powers like the super jump to its fullest potential, jumping as high as possible into the air and gliding around the city, I did run into some slightly choppy frame rate. Then again, that would be my fault considering how obvious that would be that it would happen. Other than that, I never really experienced anything else like that in normal gameplay.
The guns are pretty awesome and I love the added option to customize them to a degree. There's a few guns you can have with the melee, handgun, submachine gun etc. that was in The Third. Every single gun has at least three different other guns it can be switched out with, that have different effects, fire rates etc. Apart from that, each gun can also be customized so that it has a different skin or looks like another gun entirely. The only guns you can't change the appearance of to a different gun look are the alien weapons and even then, they have an optional skin change. Guns can be easily upgraded to have a better fire rate, ammo capacity and damage as well as every gun having their own unique damage type like electricity or fire damage. In the case of alien weapons, their upgrade is usually a kill cool down, which means killing someone releases a slight cool down for your guns.
As always the story is over the top. You are the president, aliens have invaded, kidnapped your cabinet and now you're in a matrix-esque simulation trying to get yourself and your friends out. I also like how it fits into the gameplay. Killing civilians is okay since they're actually not real, whereas in the real world if you killed them people would frown on that.
Yes! Superpowers! Definitely the best part of this game. So far I've gotten five powers: jump, speed (unlocked at the beginning), telekinesis, ice and rock smash. Every one of those last three abilities I mentioned comes with an extra flavor to it. Ice can be changed to throw fire or even be used as a mind control projectile (each upgrade allows you to explode targets as well as take down the cool down time for abilities). Telekinesis eventually has a life steal ability and even an electricity power. Certain powers are unlocked by doing story missions. However, some alternate flavors to the powers are unlocked via side quests which show up easily on your hub as well as the rewards for said mission. The even nicer thing is that each ability can be easily equipped, switched and used on the fly, making for a seamless experience that I found nice. Check down for a few other things about the powers.

The Bad:
Powers are sometimes game breaking. During the Fraud missions, I found jumping up as high as possible then just flinging myself around made it easier. That's actually a plus for me since Fraud isn't one of my favorite missions. The problem is when you jump as high as possible, go into rag doll  and pray you don't fly into something you aren't supposed to. For instance, during the end, I flew into a building (one I wasn't supposed to be able to go in to). I'm not sure if the game's reset button wasn't working, but I stayed there a good five seconds inside the wall. So far this is the only thing that's happened to me, so if you do play this game, beware this can happen to you.
Another thing about powers is it completely screws up the motorcycle mechanics. I know this is a weird thing to say but motorcycles in the main Steelport hub world are garbage. You know that sprint and jump into vehicle thing we all did? If you do that for any motorcycle, the thing just will not respond normally. I'm, however, convinced this is only for the superpowered sprint as there is a mission in the game where you need a cycle and that one preformed fine. Again, if you want to play this game be wary of this.

The Meh:
Be careful about the upgrade system on this. When doing certain side missions, they have the option to grant you upgrades like unlimited sprint or the Collection Finder for free, without you needing to be at the proper respect level. The problem is this apparently doesn't register with the game's normal upgrade system, as you can still purchase the upgrades you already have. This doesn't negatively affect anything other than the fact you just wasted your money. Again, be wary. Same goes for guns. You can now make it so a single gun has unlimited ammo, yet the others won't. I do like the option to do this for certain weapons and liked that I didn't have to wait for my respect level to level up.
Cars seem kind of useless in this game, and I mean cars as in sedans and stuff, not tanks. Since you have super speed, you can pretty much go faster than anything at your first upgrade level. Driving cars feels sluggish and boring. Then again, I am not and have never really been a car person so I didn't care much. I just super speeded/jumped everywhere I needed to be.
Everything in this game feels super slow. That's probably due to the superhero effect of always going amazingly fast all the time. I mean everything like in pace. At some cutscenes I usually was like, "Ugh, BORING. I. Need. SUPERPOWERS."

I certainly enjoyed this game. A whole lot of fun, stuff to collect and plenty to love. I'd recommend this to anyone who has a joy for superhero games and has been either let down by the current quality of them or the lack of them waiting for the new inFamous coming out next year. Great for anyone who loves open world games with violence and an immature sense of humor.

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