دوشنبه 25 شهریور 1392 05:48 ب.ظ نویسنده : جلال
- Bizarre and entertaining storyline
- OTT super-powered mayhem
- Almost as funny as it thinks it is
- Dated and disappointing graphics
- Some very mundane missions
- Over-extended combat missions
Review Price £40.00
Saints Row 4: Saints of Steel
Available on Xbox 360, PS3 (reviewed), PC
The further Saints Row gets away from both reality and Grand Theft Auto, the better it gets. The first was a mediocre GTA clone saved by a brilliant strain of frat-boy humour. The second was the same, but less inspired, less interesting, less polished. With Saints Row: The Third the series finally found its own identity: one that majored on parody and adolescent humour to the exclusion of almost everything else. It was so ridiculous and so offensive that it was equally ridiculous to be offended by it, though missions involving killer prostitutes and sex trafficking might have tempted you to try. Provided you were happy to play a game that confirmed every mainstream media cliché about the interests, ethics and IQ of the average gamer, Saints Row: The Third was brilliant fun.
Saints Row 4 is even better. Reality has now been thrown clean out of the window and the GTA influence has now been replaced by, well, the influence of just about everything else. Saints Row 4 is part open-world crime caper, part superhero game and part third-person shooter, with nods to everything from Halo to Prototype to Mass Effect. It’s both impressively smart and wantonly dumb, as you might expect from any game that finds common ground between The Matrix, Scarface, South Park and Inception. It’s hard to believe that it works, yet it does.
Saints Row 4 Plot and Structure
Saints Row 4 Missions and Activities
What really makes the difference is that this time you’re doing it with superpowers. Thanks to a combination of Kinzie’s hacking prowess and vulnerabilities in the alien computers, you can run faster than most cars can drive, bound your way up and over buildings and freeze your enemies with elemental blasts. Earn upgrades through missions and collect glowing data clusters, and you’ll find yourself running up skyscrapers, gliding from the rooftops, sending shockwaves through the ground and picking up trucks and throwing them around. In this respect Saints Row 4 is the bastard child of Crackdown and inFamous, but hyper-charged and played for laughs.
Saints Row 4: Humour and Mayhem
Needless to say, it can be painfully juvenile. Even this level of mayhem can be repetitive at length, and Saints Row 4 has a tiresome habit of mixing the mundane with the magnificent, throwing in missions that focus more on gunplay than superheroics, or forcing you to customise cars and buy ammo when you’d rather be leaping over tall buildings and laying the smack-down on the alien scum. But there are some really brilliant touches here, ranging from ingenious parodies of Splinter Cell and Mass Effect to fourth-wall shattering gags.
Even the character creation screen is in the right spirit, enabling crazy combinations of movie star styles and period fashions, and a choice of voices that covers east-end tough-guy British and the inimitable Nolan North. Saints Row 4 knows that having the voice of Uncharted’s Nathan Drake dish out potty-mouthed epithets is funny in and of itself, and that the right cheesy nineties hit can be the perfect soundtrack for that big cinematic moment. If nothing else, Saints Row 4 has a cracking soundtrack.
Saints Row 4: Setting and Style
Perhaps more worryingly, Saints Row 4’s engine seems to have improved little – if at all – since Saints Row: The Third, which wasn’t exactly cutting-edge. With its washy textures, overplayed, red-heavy lighting and dated effects, Saints Row 4 is a long way behind inFamous 2, Assassin’s Creed 3 or Sleeping Dogs when it comes to graphics, and with GTA 5 and next-gen games on the horizon this problem isn’t going to go away. Now, graphics aren’t everything, and we’d always rather have a game that played well over one that just looked good, but all the same – Saints Row 4 really doesn’t cut the mustard.
This is a shame, and if you stripped away the humour and the super-powered mayhem Saints Row 4 would be a thoroughly mediocre game. Yet with both in play it’s nigh-unstoppable. Whatever stick you use to beat this game, and whatever accusations you can level at it, it’s a riot – and we mean that in the best possible way, if not the best possible taste.
We can turn a blind eye to the various technical and gameplay faults of Saints Row 4 because it’s the game that’s just too much fun to hate. No game has ever worked so hard to deliver so many stupid gags and shameless parodies or so much wince-inducing mayhem, and if it strays close to being the Scary Movie of video games, then at least it’s funny 99% of the time. You might not like it, and you might not like to admit it, but Saints Row 4 is the first Saints Row that’s as entertaining as it thinks it is. Only the most po-faced gamer would deny it its moment in the sun.