Will GTA V be more fun than Saint’s Row IV?

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We’ve been pretty excited for Saint’s Row IV,especially since getting some hands-on time with the frankly ludicrous open-world sandbox superhero game at E3. It’ll be out next week, just a month before the eagerly anticipated sequel to the game that inspired Saint’s row in the first place; Grand Theft Auto.

Reviews for Saint’s Row have hit – and it sounds like the game is everything you’ve ever wanted in a sandbox title, and more. while not every review has been glowing, those that have say it’s really quite excellent – and quite possibly the very best sandbox game.

  • Joystiq: 5/5 – I was worried that Saints Row 4 would never be able to live up to Saints Row: The Third, that its status as an expansion-turned-full-game would translate to a sloppy experience built on filler and same-y gameplay. Thankfully, Volition’s skill for building a living world, lovable characters and ingenious gameplay is as sharply honed as ever. Be it in Steelport, a computer-generated simulation thereof or the very depths of outer space, the Saints rule everywhere.
  • Polygon: 9 – In almost every moment, Saints Row 4 feels like playing a cheesy superhero movie. Tied together by parody and pastiche, the whole world is just an excuse to throw gameplay variety at the player, and I felt like an over-powered badass throughout. It’s not sophisticated or subtle, nor does it want to be. And the game’s open stance on character customization and gender let me play the way I wanted to. Saints Row IV made me feel superhuman – and that’s what this kind of game is all about.
  • Destructoid: 9.5 – It is with a bittersweet heart, then, that I declare Saints Row IV perhaps one of the best open world sandbox games you could ever hope to play, and practically a culmination of everything the genre’s worked toward this generation.  Is that an exaggerated, hyperbolic, perhaps even pompous statement? Maybe so … but does a series like Saints Row deserve anything less?
  • Gamefront: 93 – Midway through the game, one characters asks The Boss “you’re easily bored, aren’t you?”, to which the boss says “I don’t know, I’m too busy being awesome to notice.” Saints Row IV is all at once puerile, profane and touching, but mainly, it’s too busy being awesome for you to ever get bored.
  • PC Gamer: 90 – Saints Row was born of Grand Theft Auto, but although both feature open cities and freeform violence, they’ve diverged. Grand Theft Auto is desperate to be a film, to be satire, to be an experience. Saints Row IV wants to be a game, and by showing its heartfelt love for the medium, it’s become something wonderful.
  • Armchair Empire: 10/10 – There’s some uneven bits but Saints Row IV captures what video games should be or at least strive to be: Fun.

These are, of course, some of the top end scores; Saint’s Row is not a thing for everyone – and sites like IGN have scored it considerably lower. Saint’s Row IV is currently sitting with a respectable 86%  on Metacritic (PC).

While I have no doubt that GTA V will be a technically better game – will it be anywhere near as fun to play as Saint’s Row IV? Personally, I’ll be getting both. 

Saint’s Row IV is out next week on PC, Ps3 and Xbox 360. GTA V will be out in September, for just the consoles.

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Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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