Saint’s Row IV: Nolan North Strikes Back

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‘Merica
Dev: Volition
Platform: PC, Xbox360, PS3
Rating: M

It's time for some presidential acts.
It’s time for some presidential acts.

 

Ah, Saint’s Row.  As a gamer that always roots for the underdog, I have a special place in my heart for Saint’s Row and Volition Studios.  From their humble origins as a step away from from GTA: San Andreas, they have come quite a long way from being “yet another GTA clone”.  Saint’s Row, as a franchise, has really gone far above and beyond any expectation they had set in their first game.

In my previous article, I followed the saints from the first game all the way up to the third.  Now we can just focus on the newest incarnation: Saint’s Row 4.

In Saint’s Row 4, you’re career as “Captain Awesome” has brought you the only true course of promotions that is left in from the third game… You’re the president of the USA.  During your first term as president, Earth becomes attacked by aliens and it’s your job to fend them off in the name of humanity.  Anything more than that would be a massive spoiler.

Happy Birthday Mr. President!
Happy Birthday Mr. President!

Something that I really liked about Saint’s Row  (and things I am always kind of sad about with GTA) is that there are some very unique and crazy weapons.  In some cases, they are impossibly creative and unique in the video game spectrum.  Things like “The Abduction Gun”, which is a gun that shoots a giant beam of light from space at a specified location, then a massive gravity well sucks up everything in (and directly near) into the sky like they are being nabbed by grey faced aliens shows a great taste for creativeness that is generally lacking in today’s video game industry.

A gun that was given to pre-orders is called “‘Merica”, another good example.  It is a Gatling gun, a shotgun, a flamethrower, a fireworks launcher and a rocket launcher all duct taped together.  It has 2 modes, close range using the flamethrower, and long range which is the fireworks launcher.  The best part about it: When in use, it plays classic patriotic American songs that you tend to hear at state fairs or the 4th of July.

Beat-manic bass beat thumps away at your enemies.
Beat-manic bass beat thumps away at your enemies.

They also have my favorite weapon in any video game so far, which has been named:  “The Dubstep Gun”.  It literally kills things with dubstep.  Even better, it’s remixed a little bit so it’s not a “pure” dubstep (which gets really annoying), but it’s more of a House + Dubstep loop that is just spectacular.  Especially when you upgrade it, and you get giant explosions in time with the thumping and pounding bass.  Also, while the gun runs its course, anything not caught in the pulsing beams of danc-a-rific death, actually dances or pulses with the music.  If it’s not bolted down, it’s either bouncing with hydraulics or doing the robot.

The only issue I had with Saint’s Row 4 was the story.  In the 3rd game, the story was hands down one of the best stories that have been in any new-age video game.  This new game… it was good… but not near the level shiny-ness the third was.  It lacked a certain emotional impact.  Some major things happened within the game, but it was difficult to discern what I was supposed to “feel” about each part.

SUPER POWERS!
SUPER POWERS!

Another small complaint was the fact that multiplayer was kind of limited.  The game is divided up with “activities”.  While any of them can be done with some co-op magic, but the co-op dependent missions aren’t very fun, nor are they very creative.  Luckily, none of the co-op activity missions are necessary to progress through the game (although their locations and size on the map suggested that they might do otherwise).

But overall, I really think it is an appropriate sequel to the Saint’s Row story.  With DLC on the way, it’s interesting to see what becomes of Mr. President and the rest of the crew.

So far, the DLC has been… well… Not nearly as deep as I was hoping.  They have a rather rushed feel to them.  Each one has a single quest chain, do this, do that, then get a bunch of loot at the end.  The two that are out: Enter the Dominatrix, and The Saints Save Christmas, last roughly a couple of hours each.  Don’t get me wrong, they do have their moments of laughs and awesomeness, but they are dreadfully short and don’t add anything to the already lacking replay-ability of the game.  Spoiler–>  With Enter the Dominatrix, I’m really REALLY sad that they did not animate the dinosaur ending (which I really, really loved and so wish it was the actual game ending) and your new dinosaur friend turns out to be some guy in a bad dinosaur costume.  even worse, you don’t even get the option to have that dinosaur costume for your own character.  Made me sad.  <–End Spoiler

One of the things that I absolutely enjoyed about Saint’s Row 4, was the voice acting.  Specifically the fact that you can choose (almost in the mandatory sense) the voice actor Nolan North.  The guy who voices nearly every video game snark filled anti-hero ever made (Including that game I loved DEADPOOL).  So really, Saint’s Row 4 is kind of like “Deadpool’s normal everyday life” which suits me just fine.  Nolan North, voice acting as himself, is nothing but win.

I really think that Saint’s Row 4 deserves a very good play-through.  Though sadly, it’s replay-ability isn’t that great, if it’s even there.

-N00basaurus: out of 10, I’d say Saint’s Row 4 gets a solid 7: Get up, get on the floor, everybody do the dinosaur.

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