And so it has come to this.
What started as a clone of a more successful game - a half decent one at that - has spawned a series that has carved its own identity on the market. The outrageous farce Saints Row has become is a welcome injection of fun and comedy that the industry is craving.
We?ve seen the Saints evolve from fighting other street gangs to taking on an Alien Invasion. Now we find them stepping further into insanity as that try to kill Satan in his own back yard.
Gat Out Of Hell
may be described as an expansion to Saints Row 4
but it?s presenting itself as a stand alone title. You can buy Gat Out Of Hell
without the need to own Saints Row 4
which is welcome news to those who have already played through it and no longer own a copy.
One thing I love about these games is how they start. The third and fourth of the series raised the bar for how to open a game. They?ve rolled out the gags before you?ve even created your character and put you in incredible situations to let you know the score from the get go.
For a game about fighting demons in hell, Gat Out Of Hell
takes a while to get going. The opening cutscene has a few chuckles but you?re thrust straight into the main game without the fanfare that almost seems a staple in the series.
If I?m honest my first hour of play wasn?t a great one. Maybe it was because I was playing the PS4 version but this game feels incredibly dated. From the way it looks to how it plays, it shows how far the third-person action genre has come and this doesn?t meet the standard we?ve come to expect.
However, after the initial disappointment subsides and you readjust, Gat Out Of Hell
settles down and you?re back in the wonderful world of the Saints.
You?re asked once again to return to Steelport, but this time it?s had a makeover. Civilians have been replaced with ghouls, water has been turned into lava and the skies burn bright with the fires of hell.
It?s all a bit daunting at first. You expect new mechanics to come into play. Being surrounded by what look like the Hollows from Dark Souls
makes you think you?ll be in constant combat as you get from point A to point B, but the rules are pretty much the same as in all open world games like this.
The majority of the population avoid you unless antagonised. Cause too much trouble and a variant of the police will turn up to try and try to take you down. There are side missions, quest givers and reputation meters. It?s kind of a shame that the rules haven?t been shaken up a bit to adapt to the new setting, as the lack of any innovation makes the whole thing feel more like a re-skin than something truly worthwhile.
Take the likes of Red Dead Redemption
?s Undead Nightmare
, for example. It?s a bizarre take on a much loved game that not only tweaks the location, but offers a new twist on how it?s played. The same can be said for Far Cry: Blood Dragon
. They knew that we?d already played the games they?re built from to death, so more of the same wasn?t going to cut it.
That?s not to say that there aren?t some nice little touches in there. Coming across enemies from previous games in demonised form will make fans smile every time and the ambulances that swerve to try and hit you as they chaotically drive around will get a laugh out of most, but it?s not enough to make you feel as though you haven?t done all of this before.