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Saints Row IV: Re-Elected Review


See PixlBit's Review Policies On 01/23/2016 at 12:15 PM by Nick DiMola

Improved insanity.
The Bottom Line: A sandbox title that doesn't take itself too seriously and provides for many hours of pure fun and unbridled exploration and traversal.

It's weird, but Saints Row IV: Re-Elected is the first game in about a year that made me feel like I need to write about games again. I didn't expect it to be quite as good as it was, but after an hour with the game I knew I was in for a treat.

Rather than bore you with the details of the story (which is actually not half bad), let's just say that the Saints have found themselves in a simulation of Steelport fighting against an alien race known as the Zin. Because the game largely takes place within a simulation, you're afforded superhuman capabilities like jumping to the top of buildings from the street or running up walls at super speed.

Your range of control is really quite liberating and the simple act of traversal is fundamentally enjoyable. Sure, you can hop in a car and drive around, but in a world like this, that's a mundane way to play. Littering the rooftops are clusters, small blue orbs, that can be collected and spent to improve or increase your super powers. Throughout your travels, you'll run across hundreds of them and the game certainly encourages you to collect them. But someone like me doesn't need the encouragement - I live for collecting widgets in a 3D world, especially when getting around feels this good.

Of course, it's not all about collecting junk. There's hundreds of other tasks to complete in virtual Steelport that are doled out in missions as you rescue your crew from the simulation. The key missions help drive the story along, but the numerous side missions provide an opportunity to know your crew better. As someone who has missed Saints Row 2 and 3, all of these missions really helped fill in a lot of the blanks for me and helped me get to know all these characters.

Running through all the side missions can sometimes become a chore, especially when you're doing things like hacking stores or dealing with fights with waves upon waves of enemies. But being such a mindless game to begin with, it felt like the pay off of collecting lots of money to both buff my character and my weaponry totally made it worthwhile investment.

Re-Elected's sense of humor and ability to parody other games was something else I really enjoyed. It doesn't take itself too seriously and can do stuff like have a mission with gimps and dildo thrones, but also produce an excellent and funny Metal Gear Solid homage. To that point, the DLC is also very good and provides a few extra hours of gameplay that are great and really quite funny. And that doesn't even include what is essentially another game, Gat Outta Hell.

Gat Outta Hell sends Johnny Gat and Kinzie on a rescue mission to hell in order to rescue the president. There's a whole bunch of new characters and a couple returning from past games in the series. The sense of humor and great gameplay of the core game also carry forward here. It's perhaps even a bit better thanks to the brand new flying ability, which totally makes the game.

This new ability spawns a bunch of new types of missions and provides for a greater degree of exploration because it lets you find things on the map in remote locations, which is always exhilirating.

With all of the technical improvements over the last gen version and the diverse array of content for cheap, I can't help but recommend Saints Row IV: Re-Elected wholeheartedly. It's a fun and funny romp through a virtual world within a virtual world.

VERDICT
BUY

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:


All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.


These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.


This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.


Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.


Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.


A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.


 

Comments

Matt Snee Staff Writer

01/23/2016 at 12:38 PM

Ah, Johnny Gat.  Always getting himself into trouble.  Laughing

transmet2033

01/24/2016 at 08:25 PM

I've been sitting on this game for the past year.  I think I downloaded it the week it came out, but never booted it up.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

01/25/2016 at 06:07 PM

You should really rectify that.

transmet2033

01/26/2016 at 08:09 AM

Your initial review made the remaster a no-brainer in my mind...  I just kept getting distracted.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

01/26/2016 at 09:26 PM

I gotta say, Nick. Knowing your dislike of The Matrix and a lot of the games being lampooned here I really expected you to hate on this game. Glad to know you enjoyed it as much as I did. Like I said on NWP, I gave the original release 3.5 stars because of technical problems, but I'd give the upgraded version 4.5. Still one of my favorite games of the past few years.

Nick DiMola Director

01/26/2016 at 10:00 PM

Oh man, I absolutely love The Matrix. The original at least - the sequels were pretty run-of-the-mill (though the Animatrix was quite good). Trying to think of some of the other references in here, but stuff like the Metal Gear Solid mission, the subtle Mortal Kombat references, and especially the Streets of Rage Johnny Gat mission was totally kick ass.

This honestly felt like a much more silly, but ultimately more enjoyable Crackdown (which I also really enjoyed). For me, this is open world done right.

Super Step Contributing Writer

01/27/2016 at 11:48 PM

I seem to have seen SRIV on sale more than any other game on Steam, and a couple times on PSN. Never played a SR, but guess I'll have to jump next time; it'll go well with playing the PS2 GTAs on my PS4, since I never really played them for long when they were released. Seems to me GTA games are satire and SR more parody. I could use the silliness of parody. 

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