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Feb. 24 2015
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected + Gat Out Of Hell - PS4 Review
Release Distributer Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
23/1/2015QV SoftwareDeep SilverVolition (original)
High Voltage (PS4)
Version HDD Install Resolution Touchpad PS4 Exclusive OFLC Rating

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The Saints are now in the White House.
As some of you may recall we've already reviewed Saint's Row IV on the PS3 a couple of years ago. It was a game, and indeed a franchise, which we very much enjoy here at Futuregamez for, while it doesn't have the technical prowess of a certain Rockstar franchise, it has a lot more humour, crudeness and extreme situations which provide the thrills. Naturally, with much the same content as the last-gen release some of this review is recycled, but we're going to let to know what's different.

In Saints Row IV, the head honcho of the Saints has been elected to the Presidency of the United States however this path takes a dramatic turn when the White House is invaded by aliens and the planet Earth is destroyed. Fortunately the Saints crew has been transferred into a bizarre Steelport virtual reality simulation. Fortunately for the President this virtual world also allows him to gain super powers in the fight to free humanity from Zinyak's grasp.

Saints Row IV is an open-world action title, but where the original games were rooted in real world gangs, this fourth game takes the franchise in a whole new, superpower enabled, alien level. With the majority of the game taking place within a virtual reality simulation your character, which can be fully customised in appearance including clothing, physique and tattoos, has superpowers which include superfast sprinting, massive jumps, telekinesis (where you can pick up objects and throw them) and several others. These superpowers are critical during battles, and Volition have done a good job to integrate these into the main game.

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Gat Out Of Hell takes crazy to the extreme!
It's not just your characters superpowers that are a bit "out there" with the weapons on offer also ranging from normal pistols, assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns and rocket launchers to more unique alien weaponry including the Abduction Gun, Dubstep Gun, Lasergun Arm, Bounce Rifle, Alien Pistol, Black Hole Launcher, and Disintegrator. No matter which weapon you select they are always entertaining, and each can also be upgraded in terms of damage, reload speed or special abilities.

While the main campaign will keep you playing for a considerable amount of time we guarantee you spend even more time playing the numerous Activities littered around the city of Steelport. These Activities include Professor Genki's MOM (Mind Over Murder), Mayhem (be it Tank, Mech Suit, UFO or Telekenesis), Blazin, Rifts (Platforming, Speed or Telekinesis), or Fight Club. There are several versions of these activities around the map with a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal awarded depending on your performance.

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The Devil looks, well, bad-ass.
There are some other elements to this game too. In order to access the stores (gun shops, clothing, tattoos) you will need to hack the security system with a small mini-game, fail within the time limit though and enemies will come swarming. Virus Injections will see you taking on waves of enemies while other objectives will see you stealing a vehicle and returning it to a designated point. Finally, the game also has collectable audio logs providing a little more back story to the caracters, and also sees you collecting hundreds of blue "clusters" which are littered all over the map - by collecting these you can upgrade your character, or gangs abilities. It's just such a joy to jump high into the air, spot a cluster below and then glide down towards it.

What I love most about Saints Row IV are the references to other games, films and books with nods to Star Wars, Mass Effect 3, Star Trek, Streets of Rage, Predator, Hackers, Pride and Prejudice, The Matrix, Armageddon, Tron, The Terminator, The Truman Show and Minecraft among dozens of others. One of the missions sees you infiltrating an enemy base with stealth, you need to shoot the lights, but when you alert the guards the game makes the same noise from an alerted guard in Metal Gear Solid and puts an exclamation mark above his head. It's hilarious, but only gets better when you find a cardboard box! Another mission is "Saints Of Rage" a rip-off of Sega's classic side-scrolling beat 'em up Streets of Rage, and even includes crappy, super-compressed audio.

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Interviews in Enter the Dominatrix!
Of course this game is pretty funny with plenty of low-brow humour. Even in the opening minutes of the game you, as the President, will be walking through the White House corridors, get harassed by someone and have two options "Punch a Dickhead" or "Punch a Dick In The Head". As you progress through the game you can "Romance" any of your gang members, the funniest being CID, the floating droid, after he mentions he's well versed in pleasure before drifting off the bottom of the screen and making several R2-D2 styled beeps and squeals. Again, low-brow, but hilarious.

As well as the main Saints Row IV game, this release features a swag of DLC that was released post-launch including both mission packs ("Enter the Dominatrix" which is a rather amusing look at a cancelled Saints Row game and "How The Saints Saved Christmas" where the Saints have to rescue Santa Claus), over 25 new weapons, 15 new vehicles, over 60 new wardrobe items, 15 new homies and 6 new superpower elements, this PS4 release includes the major standalone/expansion Gat Out Of Hell.

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Another Enter the Dominatix screen.
In Gat Out Of Hell Johnny Gat and Kinzie are whisked away to Hell though a mysterious, but quite real Ouija board. Hell is another large city (and even one of the characters quips how much it looks like Steelport), but filled with lava flows and fire. The world is filled with demonic creatures and of course everything is being overseen by Satan himself. In Hell players get access to new weapons and powers which are pretty cool and as whacky as expected with 'well over 100' orbs to collect littered over the city. Ultimately, but sadly this expansion is rather short with approximately 4-5 hours of gaming to complete all the main missions, but ultimately this expansion is really just a series of Activities with occasional cut-scenes. The highlight though is a wonderful musical number mid-game which is just fantastic and a highlight of the entire expansion.

As many of you would remember Saints Row IV was originally Refused Classification here in Australia due to an "Alien Anal Probe" and even moreso due to a mission where drugs provide improved powers and abilities which is a big no-no in games here and was again Refused Classification on appeal. Fortunately a modified version was then submitted removing these offending elements (which constitutes around 20 minutes of gameplay in a 20+ hour game) and the game received an MA15+ rating upon resubmission and it is the same modified version which is released here in Australia on PS4.

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Aliens invade at the start of the game.
Obviously the biggest, and easiest change for any game being ported from last-gen to current-gen hardware is the improvements to the visuals. Some games, such as The Last of Us: Remastered opt to increase the resolution and frame rate with few other enhancements while others, such as Grand Theft Auto V have undergone a complete overhaul with improvements across the board from modelling, to texture, lighting and effects. Unfortunately Saints Row IV falls into the former category with upgrades to the resolution (it's now 1920 x 1080p), and running above 30fps for the most part, as well as some improvements to explosions and textures. It certainly looks better than the PS3 release, but doesn't come close to the PS4's best.

As an open-world game Saints Row IV is a pretty solid looking game with Steelport providing a range of urban environments from city skyscrapers, to residential housing, an industrial port and more. Unfortunately much of this is quite dull and drab with the majority of the vibrant colours coming from uncollected clusters, bright red enemy positions and occasionally lit buildings. Character models too are pretty simplistic compared to other games however the visual effects such as explosions, smoke, fire, lasers (from the Dub-Step gun!) are impressive. Sadly the game does still exhibit some pop-up and draw-in for buildings, especially when travelling at speed or gliding over the landscape.

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Fighting enemies down in Hell!
One aspect of this game that can't be overlooked is the soundtrack which is simply phenomenal and includes artists such as Cypress Hill, Aerosmith, Thin Lizzy, Robert Palmer, Papa Roach, Outkast, Haddaway, Paula Abdul, Junkie XL, The Bloody Beetroots, EMF, Blur, and the classic music from composers such as Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Chopin and Bach to name just a few. It's not just the great songs are in the game, but how they are used during missions - at one point a character in your car will start singing along to the music - badly, but it's funny. Another mission sees you climbing a missile trying to save the earth with some corny dialogue to Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" just like the film Armageddon - it's perfect. Why though didn't the developers get Meatloaf's "Bat Out Of Hell" and modify it for the expansion. Opportunity missed!

The game also features a tonne of scripted dialogue which, while at times very amusing, can also be a little out in terms of tone or delivery. Still there's certainly a lot more good here then bad and with a list that includes Keith David, Daniel Dae Kim, Terry Crews (who takes over from the late Michael Clarke Duncan as Benjamin King), Michael Dorn, Neil Patrick Harris, Troy Baker and Danielle Nicolet it's an impressive lineup. Oh, one final huzzah - you can even select Nolan North as your characters voice!

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PS4 Saints Row IV comes with Gat Out Of Hell for free.
Unfortunately despite the additional power of the PS4 there are still some audio glitches apparent with effects or audio dropping out. Fortunately these seem to be less frequent, and less severe than those we encountered on the PS3 version, but do remain to some extent.

This release of Saints Row IV: Re-Elected + Gat Out Of Hell is a bit of a mixed bag. The visual improvements over the PS3 version are there, albeit minimal, while the compilation's inclusion of all the DLC including the new Gat Out Of Hell adds value (we certainly wouldn't recommend Gat Out Of Hell to PS3 owners for the current asking price though). This is a release we would recommend to those that never played Saints Row IV or for those who never bothered with all the DLC. A solid release overall.

Review By: Dave Warner

GRAPHICSA large open-world game that looked great on last-gen, but lacking on current-gen PS4 compared to other titles.
SOUNDThe soundtrack is fantastic, there is some great (and not so great) dialogue and decent effects albeit with occasional glitches.
GAMEPLAYThis franchise has always been about crazy, whacky fun and entertainment, and in that regard the open world game delivers. Ultimately Gat Out Of Hell is a bit disappointing.
VALUEIf you never played the original release on PS3 then this is definately worthwhile, if you did - and got some of the DLC - will find limited value in upgrading.
OVERALLSadly the upgrades to this game are minimal compared to some other remastered releases, and the new Gat Out Of Hell expansion disappoints (why you would pay $50 for it on PS3 I don't know). Still, if you never played Saints Row IV then this PS4 release, with all the added DLC, is pretty good fun.

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