Hey, You got your Crackdown in my GTA!
Hey there, NJIT. Hope your summer was awesome, extensive and spent relaxing your mind for the
upcoming semester. Here to help squeeze some more fun out of the final days before school begins is
Saints Row 4, the latest open-world title from developer Volition (creator of the Red Faction series).
Originally purposed as a downloadable add-on for Saints Row the Third, it was pulled due to the sheer
amount of content being offered, and repurposed as a full-fledged title. Is this one time DLC package
deserving of your time, or are you better off waiting for GTA V to release? Read on to find out.
Saints Row IV (Xbox/PS3/PC) is far from your generic third-person Grand Theft Auto clone. Volition has
dedicated the game to distancing itself from that stigma by focusing on hilarity as opposed to a serious
overall story. The first two games focused on you getting your gang, the Saints, known throughout your
hometown of Stillwater. In Saints Row the Third, you sought the adoration of the entirety of the country.
With this fourth outing, you and your custom created superstar take the next sensible step: becoming
president of the United States. Upon claiming the presidency (after harrowingly saving the world from
nuclear destruction) aliens descend from the skies, declare war on humanity and begin to capture
humans (including yourself) one by one in order to enslave them in capsules and brainwash them for
subservient rule. I wish I was making this up.
The caveat to being trapped in a matrix like reality, however, is that now you have all the powers of Neo,
whether soaring through the clouds or jumping from city block to city block. Likewise, in your quest to
free humanity from alien rule, your tech savvy companions help you out in the real world, providing
exotic weapons and crazy abilities for you to reign down havoc on your foes. Running through virtual
Stillwater, creating literal tornados in my wake, while levitating and shooting enemies at other enemies,
provided me with countless hours of fun and senseless mayhem. That said, with all the destruction I was
causing, there were a few issues that detracted from the overall experience.
For one, the powers that you had, namely flight and super speed, eliminated the need for vehicles in the
game. All the cars in the game can be detailed, customized and equipped with thousands of parts and
decals to turn any car into a death-tank on whim. But if after 40 minutes of playtime, you can already run
faster than any car in the game, why would you ever waste money customizing a car? This issue goes
with combat as well: why would you ever shoot someone, or punch them in hand to hand combat, when
you can just freeze all your enemies and shatter them in a makeshift bowling match? It’s not that it is
bad having all these powers, but the fact that you get them so early on and that they stay with you
throughout the game detracts from what else the game has to offer, making all the kick-ass Tron-like
ships and weapons in the game somewhat useless. Also, on the consoles, the game suffers some series
frame-rate issues. Every time you find a collectable the game will pause for a split second to save, which
doesn’t sound like much, until you realize there are literally more than a thousand collectables. The
seconds add up quickly. This issue, however, is not so prevalent in the PC version.Bottom Line: This game was, and still is, a blast to play. Dressing up as a toilet while shooting enemies
with a Dubstep Gun and listening to Aerosmith on an MP3 player will never get old. However, I don’t feel
it is worth the $60. The game is not long, it’s not difficult, it has some bugs on the consoles, and the
story mode has largely become a giant checklist of do X to unlock Y cutscene, as opposed to a genuine
sense of progression. On sale, this game is well worth every cent, but until then you are better off saving
your money for GTA 5.
Next Review: Rayman Legends