SAINTS ROW IV REVIEW
With development going through the troubles and turmoil of the THQ meltdown, and moving from expansion pack to full-fledged box release, can Saints Row 4 possibly reach the highs of the magnificent 3rd game in the series?
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on Sep 17, 2013 13:42 (175 days ago)
You may find that Saints Row 4 looks quite a bit like the third game. And you wouldn’t be wrong – the core engine is the same, and the game also still takes place in Steelport, so the layout remains unchanged. However, when you’re in the simulation, there are a number of changes to make the game feel more like a sim than a real city. Some of these changes work, but others are more suspect.
Some items pixelate and flash in and out of reality, which is pretty cool; however the standard technique of mosaicking some of the textures just looks like the game is unfinished. The game also suffers from some terrible performance issues.
The last game wasn’t the best performing game out there, but adding in the super-powers has some horrendous frame-rate implications. Installing the game made a significant difference, but then the game had a tendency to hitch up, sometimes freezing for as long as 5 seconds, whilst auto saving.
When it comes to the audio though, there’s no such worry. The soundtrack is excellently picked, as ever, and the voice cast is just brilliant. There’s a new option of ‘Nolan North’ as a voice, which was probably unnecessary, but otherwise everyone is on top form.
There are some particularly brilliant moments, such as Pierce and your character singing karaoke in the car to Paula Abdul’s ‘Opposites Attract’. The use of music in the missions is also superb, starting off with ‘I don’t want to miss a thing’ in the very first mission, Robert Palmer’s ‘Simply Irresistible’ whilst you pole dance, and Stan Bush’s ‘The Touch’ blazing out of car radios everywhere.
Saints Row 4 also offers a number of co-op activities, which can only be played with a friend. But you can also invite a buddy into the main game, playing through the storyline or other activities. Free-roam is much more enticing than before thanks to the super-powers, turning the city into a playground as you stomp, jump and fly through the environment.
For a game made in a mere 18 months, "Saints Row 4" is remarkably complete. Not all of the new activities are brilliant, but at least Volition hasn’t just rehashed previous gameplay content. Saints Row 4 may be mostly a set of incremental improvements over the last game, and suffer from crushing performance issues at times, but for the vast majority of the game you get a tight, focused sandbox game which focuses on making sure you have as much fun as possible. And in that respect, it’s an uproarious success.
+ Hilarious Story
+ More over the top than ever before
+ Tight & focused for a sandbox game
- Some texture issues
- Re-used assets