Saints Row IV review - a crazy sandbox takes off into space
In the field of gangster sandboxes, the duel between the Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row series takes place only on one plane - numbering. Although Rockstar has created much more installments of its flagship saga, the story of the Saints has just caught up with the GTA "four" - and this is where the comparison ends. The Volition studio let your imagination run wild once again, serving a dose of completely crazy, crazy and utterly absurd humor, in which it is not possible to look for even a small substitute of normality. Although the authors are still able to surprise with extraordinary ideas and serve a lot of absolutely crazy gameplay, you often feel that most of it has already been seen somewhere before.
The chair of the US president is a very "hot chair" for at least several reasons - because it is the most economically and militarily powerful country in the world, because it is probably the office most closely guarded by the secret services, because every decision can affect the fate of practically all citizens, not only of the United States, but also and the rest of the globe. Unless a gang of Saints comes to power and their charismatic leader becomes the head of the country. Our hero does not care much about the geopolitical situation, throwing various decrees to the right and left and making a huge use of his power, of course not always with concern for the inhabitants, but rather taking care of his own interest. You can finish off any opponent with the appropriate political force, but not ... aliens who suddenly disrupt the traditional morning press briefing and enter our parade when we least expect it. Fire six that the headquarters of the Saints was razed to the ground, and panic affected all the inhabitants of Steelport - what struck our hero the most was the fact that along with a certain Zinyak and his cosmic entourage, his closest associates also disappeared. In one moment Johnny Gat, Shaundi, Matt Miller and the rest of the crazy gang literally melted away. Although the overriding and honorary goal of the US president is, of course, to restore order in the country, it is certainly not possible to defeat the enemy without the help of this whole gang.
Those who remember the adventures of the Saints gang from the previous installment of the series will feel at home in Steelport - these are exactly the same areas, although the circumstances in which we find ourselves there are of course completely different - instead of a beautiful starry sky on the horizon the silhouette of a mighty spaceship reigns, and road signs have replaced propaganda slogans supporting Zinyak's gang. The gang's command center is also located in the air transport, although for our hero it is only a starting point for all the missions and tasks that will lead him to his final triumph. Although the vast majority of scenarios take place in the city, there are also situations in which we find ourselves in areas that do not resemble Steelport buildings. We also move several times to its earlier version from the 1950s, in which instead of fast carts, elegant cars move on the streets, and gentle ladies slowly walk along the well-kept and green streets. There is also a complete change of position and combat in space with the use of powerful mechs, making a joyful destruction to the accompaniment of the original dialogues of the main characters. The stage in which we defeat successive opponents in the style known from old 2D fights released in the late 90s turns out to be an absolute revelation and an excellent idea. - a truly unique atmosphere oozes from the monitor. There are also a lot of patents from previous installments of the series - fighting in cyberspace, taking areas or dynamic games accompanied by tons of cartridges and rockets are also commonplace in the case of the "four". The variety of places where the game takes place is a definite advantage of the new Saints Row , although it is impossible not to notice that at certain moments some concepts start to repeat themselves.
As we are dealing with the president of the United States (and this is, by definition, a superman!), The team from the Volition studio equipped our hero with a number of superpowers that greatly help in fighting the cosmic evil lurking at every step. The pace of exploring the terrain is certainly increased by the improved sprint and jump, thanks to which we move faster than cars, and covering a hundred meters in one leap is no problem. Fire and freezing missiles are certainly useful in exterminating competition and UFOs, as well as extremely useful telekinesis or the ability to shock with a powerful stomp. It cannot be denied that it is an excellent substitute for the constant packing of buckets of cartridges into the bodies of enemies, and we are dealing with real battles, during which many computers will slow down significantly. I must admit that some of the fights are still old, good, slow American known from previous installments of the series - the number of explosions, damage and strange actions cannot be counted, and the dynamics of the clashes sometimes exceeds all possible standards. Well, it's just Saints Row !
Although the story campaign itself is actually a dozen or so hours of quite good entertainment, after all, as in any good sandbox, there are also a lot of other attractions, available at any time. Individual characters also commission side missions, the reward of which is usually weapons, unusual clothes or additional experience. The exploration of the game world brings a lot of additional challenges and tasks that you spend really long, long hours on. In addition, there is always a fight for domination in individual districts, the elimination of special hot spots patrolled by aliens from space or racing with the use of supersprint - in this respect Saints Row makes a really great impression.
What has always distinguished the Volition studio series is undoubtedly absurd and at times incredibly grotesque humor - it is no different this time. It must be admitted, however, that the number of erotic jokes has increased several times and unfortunately these are not often high-flying jokes. In general, however, the absurdity of humor does not always go hand in hand with its ridiculousness. At times, you can actually get the impression that the formula of a totally crazy and unreal game is slowly running out - although Saints Row IV still surprises and generates a lot of interesting situations, players, especially those with humor from the "three", will easily find similarities. It seems that the break with the crazy convention of the series announced by the authors may have a good effect - I do not think that the same jokes told for the third time would make anyone laugh.