Reviews// Saints Row IV: Re-elected

Posted 28 Jan 2015 12:18 by
Out of all the games that have been re-released on our new consoles, Saints Row IV is probably the biggest surprise. As brilliant as the game was it doesnít really need another go-around. Its looks were never really the focus of what made the game so well received and it's hard to see what they could have added to take advantage of the new hardware.

Thatís not to say itís not welcome. Saints Row IV was slightly overlooked when it was released in August 2013 due to Rockstarís Grand Theft Auto V hitting the shelves just a month later. So itís good to see it get a second chance to entertain gamers because if there is one thing this game does, itís entertain.

Saints Row IV is fantastic. Clever humour coupled with dumb gags all held together by a game thatís genuinely fun to play. When developer Volition goes off the rails it does so in spectacular fashion and this is the developer's ultimate train wreck. Youíre bounced from setting to setting. You meet characters that are as flamboyant and as off the wall as youíll ever see, and you can customise as far as your imagination will take you.

However, when it comes to re-releases the bar has been set high and unfortunately Saints Row IV Re-elected fails to leap from one generation to the next without falling a little short.

Weíve seen some fantastic work done to drag older games onto the new systems with the likes of Tomb Raider and of course GTA V and Weíve come to expect a lot from games that want you to repurchase. There simply isnít enough here to justify that.

The visual improvements are noticeable when compared to the older version but at no point does it show that itís running on a far more powerful console. The image looks sharper, character models are more defined and that muddy texturing has been sorted, but it still manages to feel like an old game.

As you burn through the city, leaping from roof top to roof top youíll notice a spot of slow down and although everything looks great when running at 60fps, it highlights when the game's not achieving it. That always bugs me. Although Iím not a frame counter I certainly donít expect a game that doesnít look quite as good as other new-gen titles to chug once in a while.

All previous DLC has been included along with the fun but disappointing Gat Out Of Hell expansion but itís not enough to earn a second purchase. Maybe Iím just demanding from these sort of re-releases, but I wanted to see more from a team thatís so wonderfully creative.

For every compliment thereís a ďbutĒ. When I see someone making what looks like a definitive version of a great game, I want them to achieve more. I want them to go all out to remove those little niggles that have to be uttered after every positive, and if thatís not possible then maybe add some new incentives to make us want to re-experience what it has to offer.

Saints Row took so much from GTA and it would have been nice to see them pinch one more idea in the form of a first-person mode, especially with the first-person PC mod being so popular amongst fans.

Instead we have voice controls that will barely be used as they donít offer any improvement to how you play. On the version I was playing (PS4) they donít work consistently enough to justify using them, anyway.

That being said, I find it hard to be too negative about Saints Row IV because itís as fun to play now as it was back in 2013. It manages to play like Crackdown while taking pot-shots at Mass Effect, and itís so endearingly funny that you can forgive the fact that it still looks sub-par.

It may not be worth the extra cash for those who have already played it through, but if this re-release means that a few more people will experience what itís like to be
President of the USA while jumping naked through a city collecting orbs and shooting aliens, then Iím all for it. Although there might be prettier and more sophisticated games out this year, youíll be hard pushed to find a more enjoyable one.

Pro:
Still a fantastic game that should be played if you havenít already done so

Con:
Fails to improve enough to justify another purchase

SPOnG Score: 8/10
Companies:
Games: Saints Row IV

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