E3 2013: Saint’s Row IV cracks it down 
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Darryn Bonthuys
June 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm

sr 4 (1)

It’s a good year to like sandbox games. Grand Theft Auto is on the way, presenting it’s usual blend of stylised action and reality. But for some people, reality isn’t good enough. These are the folks that want to punch evil in the pickle and wield guns that fire off weaponised streams of Skrillex. For those folks, that  game does exist. And it’s called Saints Row IV.

On the surface, not much has changed with Saints Row. The game still features a similar aesthetic feel, gunplay combat and navigation is largely unchanged and getting around town will feel instantly familiar to anyone that has played the last two games.

Where Saints Row IV really succeeds though, is in the fact that it happens to be one of the looniest games ever made. You’re the president now, and you’ve got some hard choices to make. Do you cure cancer, or do flick a phillibuster the ol’ gang sign and go pop a few cold beers with your pals at Camp David instead?

sr 4 (2)

It’s good to be the king, or at least it would be if the entire planet hadn’t just been invaded by aliens that are hellbent on abducting the smartest and sexiest members of our species. And that’s where the game really kicked things up a notch. With the White House down for the count, players had to take matters into their own hands, by blasting away as much alien scum as possible, before jumping into a massive cannon and shooting down alien spaceships in a Space Invaders homage.

And it just gets even crazier, in a fight sequence where our lead character is more outmatched than that time a toddler managed to piss off Mike Tyson back in his angrier days.

Things take a turn for the worse, but that’s where that part of the demo ended. From there, we got to experience the new powers of Saints Row IV in a sandbox environment, and what can I say?

It’s pure Crackdown. From the way players leap around, to the power-up orbs dotted around the city waiting to be collected, it reeks of that fantastic sandbox from better days. And at the same time, it doesn’t.

sr 4 (3)

What SR4 wisely does though, is add even more powers to the mix. Players can use telekinesis and elemental attacks, while engaging in super-speed to run circles around foes at the same time. And it feels so liberating.

Throw in a stack of weapons, and you’ve got a character who is on the cusp of godhood. But the game is still challenging, as the Xin alien race that has made Earth their new home is more than prepared to wear you down with troops in order to be rid of your kickass POTUS once and for all.

The gameplay works wonders, but my favourite part of the experience had to be that Dubstep gun. It’s so wonderfully ludicrous, as it belts out a never-ending stream of wah-wahs and brrbrrs, decimating anyone that falls within it’s rhythmic range.

Saints preserve me, I think I may be looking forward to Saints Row IV more than Grand Theft Auto V this year.

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Because he's the writer that Lazygamer deserves, but not the one it actually needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can't take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a loud-mouthed journalist, a watchful procrastinator. A dork knight.

  • Georgio

    Saints row 3 is one of my favourite games of the year. Saints Row IV looks amazing! If I only buying a few more games this year, Saints Row IV, GTA V and Watch Dogs are it!

    • ElNicko

      that list right there sounds like Heaven

      • matthurstrsa

        And it should keep you busy for quite awhile too!

        • ElNicko

          easily a few Hundred hours of gameplay right there.

  • Hammersteyn

    Must have, this along with GTA and I will barricade myself in my house. True bliss.

  • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    wub wub wub wub wubbbub wub

  • matthurstrsa

    I’ll have to revisit Saints Row 3 I guess.

    Looks like they’re trying to do what Duke Nukem couldn’t.

  • Andreavich

    I have never ever played a saints row game. One of the franchises i for some reason have never touched…. Have i made a horrible mistake?
    Seems a must play to my mind, why am i so behind the times

  • http://www.facebook.com/khulie.ndlovu Khulani Ndlovu

    I’m big fan of Saints Row & this one is going to more than awesome, one of the games on my top wishlist ike GTA:V, ;)

  • Rinceyouropinion

    Will be getting this for the shizzle! I SHOULD be president! The would would rock, and certain trolls would spend the rest of their days breaking rocks in northern China.

  • Tbone187

    Hope that’s not the official artwork as it looks really cheesy…

  • Ryanza

    Saints Rows has never gotten that, joy of driving a car around the city, right. I Didn’t like the driving in Saint Rows 2 and I didn’t like the driving in Saint Rows 3. The over the top story, cool missions, good game play, weapons and shooting was good, is what i like about Saints Rows.

    But the driving around the city map experience goes to GTA.

    • shyisc

      I found the car handling in SR2 to be atrocious, so much as to make the game unplayable (I played the PC port. Maybe the console version was better), but in SR3 it was great. The problem with SR3 is that everything feels so empty and bland. The concept was good, but the execution was a bit lacking. The music and visuals did make the game seem like the hight of cool, though, and it was mostly fun. I’m looking forward to SR4 and hope that they managed to fix the subtle flaw that harmed my experience with SR3.

  • Mossel

    Am I the only one around here that doesn’t like Saints Row? I actually don’t know why, I started playing Saints Row 3 and got really bored about two hours in.

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