When it comes to open-world action games Volition Inc's Saints Row is a favourite amongst millions of gamers, ourselves included. While it may not quite have the production values of a similar Rockstar franchise, we've always found the humour and twisted nature of this franchise more to our liking. With that in mind, Saints Row IV is one of our most wanted games on PS3 this year...
Development of this project has been somewhat troubled. When Saints Row: The Third was released a standalone expansion called "Enter The Dominatrix" was announced, but only months later it was announced this would be rolled into a full sequel - Saints Row 4. Sadly publisher THQ went broke soon after leaving the fourth game in limbo, that was until Koch Media, owners of Deep Silver, bought Volition in January 2013, and with it the Saints Row franchise. So here we are Saints Row IV is due out in late August, with a new publisher, but strangely enough "Enter the Dominatrix" will yet again be a post-release downloadable expansion.
Might want something better to hide behind.
In Saints Row IV, the head honcho of the Saints has been elected to the Presidency of the United States. But the Saints are just getting started. Now the larger-than-life insanity of the Saints series gets a new twist with a catastrophic alien invasion, and the aliens have transported the Saints to a bizarro-Steelport simulation. Wield gargantuan superpowers and fight to free humanity from alien granddaddy Zinyak’s mental grasp. Escape the simulation that’s trapped the Saints crew, or die trying.
Needless to say the storyline in this game, which will apparently wrap up the storyline for these characters, is about as far out and whacky as one could hope for, but if there is one franchise, or perhaps developer, to pull it off it's this one. As we've seen in previous games the cut-scenes are often humourous, and the gameplay is often focused on fun more than anything else so we expect this to gel quite well.
Shooting down some alien spaceships!
Saints Row IV really amps everything up to a new level with a focus on superpowers, and an alien invasion so it keeps things moving at a pretty brisk pace. These superpowers, which have a cool down before being reusable, are varied but we've seen options such as sprinting fast, picking up and throwing large objects with telekinesis and much more. Weapons too will be very over the top with items such as a Black Hole Gun which sucks everything into a void among one of the more unique items on offer.
Many will be pleased to hear that character customisations return and it's even possible to upload character from Saints Row The Third. Of course it will be possible to change clothing, and ink the characters body, but the voice can also be changed.
Ummm, yes, Saints Row IV gets weird!
If you've been following the games press, or indeed Futuregamez, for the last couple of weeks you would have seen that Saints Row IV was Refused Classification in Australia meaning it could not be sold. It seems there was an issue with an "Alien Anal Probe" which pushed the sexual content, but moreso due to an element where drugs were used to give the player improved powers and abilities.
The game has since been re-submitted with a slight edit with Deep Silver offering the following comments: Deep Silver and AIE are pleased to report that the Australian Classification Board has now approved Saints Row IV for sale. They have granted the game an MA15+ rating. To achieve this rating one loyalty mission featuring the character Shaundi has been removed. This mission has been widely reported on and contains the use of alien narcotics to obtain certain superpowers. This mission represents approximately 20 minutes of gameplay out of the hours available to purchasers.
No, this isn't a game for youngsters.
This brings us to multiplayer. Unfortunately it has been confirmed this week that the Australian version of the game, with few minor cuts made, won't allow gamers to play drop-in/drop-out co-op with people from other territories. That's quite disappointing and we're sure with a few tweaks it could have been done - but that would have seen a delay to the game. Fortunately there will be no issues playing with other owners of the Australian game.
Saints Row IV uses the same engine as Saints Row The Third, but has improvements in many areas including an expansion to the gameplay most notably to accommodate the superpowers which include throwing items around (cars etc), and more visual effects such as explosions, lasers, fire and more.
Shootout with some aliens in the corridor.
Audio in this franchise has always been pretty spectacular and yet again the developers have grabbed a fantastic voice cast for the game. Troy Baker, Keith David, Daniel Dae Kim, Terry Crews, Michael Dorn, Neil Patrick Harris, and Danielle Nicolet are all names many would recognise, but what's a video game without Nolan North and he is indeed here - you'll be able to have your character use Nolan's voice... Huzzah!
With only a couple of weeks until release at the time of writing this we're very keen to check out this absurdly entertaining looking title. Saints Row IV should be a blast.
Below is a trailer called "Gat is Back" which shows off some of the game.