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Saints Row IV: Same stuff, now with more fun

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Carjacking, shooting dead, speeding, flying, running, insulting, punching and blowing-up these are a few of the things you are doing in Saints Row IV. If you isolate them like that it seems like a ticket to a penitentiary, what i didn’t say was speeding faster than a car while running, punching so hard that the target explodes, flying/gliding like a bird after jumping off a building. What is obvious is that realism really isn’t the key, non-stop excessive fun at the expense of virtual NPCs is. When a game includes the ‘Dubstep Gun’ alongside the usual armaments for pixelated purveyors of death and destruction, you just know it’s time to suspend your disbelief and pop your huge sociopath cat shaped hat on.

The Boss and Crew. She looks a heck of a lot like Lara Croft don't you think?

This is not the same world as before, Zinyak has taken over. The Boss looks like a sexier and more dangerous Lara Croft, now with 400% more posse

The Boss has never looked better

Just in case you needed convincing, that she looks like Lara

and another picture just to make absolutely certain

and another picture just to make absolutely certain

Saints Row has proven itself to be a viable contender in the Grand Theft Auto-style or sandbox game genre. It makes no attempt at trying to be better than GTA or wanting to compete directly with GTA except that it’s also an open-world albeit a wacky and insane one. They might be doing this out of respect, it might also be fear because Rockstar, makers of the GTA series gives as good as anyone else and when they feel threatened (outside of the legal aspects anyway) they strike with parodies or in-jokes about the offending game or developer within their own games. For Saints Row being so off kelter is not such a bad thing and with the hijinks players got in the previous installment, Volition must have thought ‘let’s turn this s#!t up to 11, no screw that how about 12 or 13?’. Care towards character development or a deep storyline were kind of set a side to allow for the craziest set pieces, weapons you probably haven’t thought of and strippers, lots of near nude women walking around Steelport’s streets.

That's big, the UFO thing that is

That’s big, the UFO thing that is

For this instalment of the Saints Row franchise we see the addition of super-powers to the player character and weird happenings in the city of Steelport (similar in most ways to the previous version). Without giving away too much it’s kind of like ‘The Matrix’ except not so full of itself as well as Mass Effect 3 except not serious… in any way. Also I made my character look almost exactly like Lara Croft and that is cool because walking around kicking-ass and taking names is much better when the character looks like the hottest virtual female character ever to grace the computer monitor, chase camera is a grand thing. It’s this customisation-ability that sets Saints Row apart from the average, I was bored playing The Bureau, I needed something to liven things up and fill in the gap between now and GTA V. Playing this game now, I am wondering how much fun GTA V will be when you can’t leap buildings in a single bound or perform super smackdowns.

Launching from static. like Neo

Launching from static. like Neo

Leaping buildings in a single bound, as opposed to 2 or 3 bounds

Leaping buildings in a single bound, as opposed to 2 or 3 bounds

Super speed makes cars redundant

Super speed makes cars redundant

Speeding, not a crime when it's sans vehicle

Speeding, not a crime when it’s sans vehicle

Gliding, falling with style - As your powers develop you can run faster and glide further

Gliding, falling with style – As your powers develop you can run faster and glide further

It looks like she's tickling this zin alien...

It looks like she’s tickling this zin alien…

...Nope she's just stuck her hand right into his chest cavity

…Nope she’s just stuck her hand right into his chest cavity

This looks like a sex act in mid-air...

This looks like a sex act in mid-air…

...Ends with a slam so hard he pulverizes

…Ends with a slam so hard he pulverizes

This could be painful for the zin

This could be painful for the zin

Swinger

Swinger

Heart-touching

Heart-touching

Puny human

Puny human

Wrestling moves are awesome

Wrestling moves are awesome

More awesome when you have superpowers

More awesome when you have superpowers

Blur of blood and pain

Blur of blood and pain

Have you ever been so mad you just swung an alien by the leg?

Have you ever been so mad you just swung an alien by the leg?

Lara... flexible

Lara… flexible

So in essence Saints Row IV is crazy fun, it’s kind of like a big block of DLC except the graphics engine has been polished somewhat. The lighting effects are nicer and all the more important as most of the game is spent in darker hours or aboard a large moveable object suspended in the void of space. Play to run faster than the fastest car, jump so high you can flip off invading aliens and then smash them so hard on the ground with super strength they become pulverized, this is the game Infamous and Prototype avoided being. Saints goes far to be ridiculous, so much so that it includes a wheel modification at an in-game shop called ‘Rim Jobs’ that looks like glowing dicks for spokes, I think you see where this is going – nothing is sacred.

One of my favourite guns in the game, the Dubstep Gun. Makes music and kills baddies dead. Also civilians dance to the beat

One of my favourite guns in the game, the Dubstep Gun. Makes music and kills baddies dead. Also civilians dance to the beat to cool lights

Same city, new objectives

Same city, new objectives

Tomb Wars

Lara taking on the aliens with a laser sword, this = awesome

Steelport - Not the same as we remember it

Steelport – Not the same as we remember it

You go around collecting these "Clusters" to upgrade powers

You go around collecting these ‘Clusters’ to upgrade powers

Another of the side quests is destroying power generators to take down shields

Another of the side quests is destroying power generators to take down shields with your bare hands

Power generator destroyed!

Power generator destroyed! Look at the lighting effects

Mad-Tomb-Wars

Mad-Tomb-Wars-Max

These things change from red to blue when you take them down

These things changes from red to blue when you take them down

For all the super powers a girl still has needs, like this supercar for instance... requisitioned from the local police

For all the superpowers a girl still has needs, like this supercar for instance… requisitioned from the local police, cheers Mr Wayne

I wish there was something important to say or a segue to something profound and deep about how Saints Row IV is a commentary on the deepest desires of the teenager and young person in western society but it isn’t. What is for me is a whopping good time, a generous serve of lunacy sprinkled with crack.

Oh you came for pictures? Have some more freshly snapped ones (click for hi-res)

Kinzie makes a return

Kinzie makes a return as your guide… oracle if you must

That's Keith David!

That’s Keith David, Vice President of the USA

Walk into the glowing door

Walk into the glowing door, the fate of the world rests on your lithe, toned shoulders

SR4 takes you to interesting locales like this virtual world... again

SR4 takes you to interesting locales like this virtual world… again

Text adventure SR4 style

Text adventure SR4 style

The Boss and Keith David share a moment

The Boss and Keith David share a moment

The team near the beginning, about to gain a fourth

The team near the beginning, about to gain a fourth

Matt Miller! escaping the alien ship with goop all over... reminds me of a movie

Matt Miller! escaping the alien ship covered in goop… reminds me of a movie

Oversized mech suit, nothing is beyond SR4

Oversized mech suit, nothing is beyond SR4

Boss calls dibs

Boss calls dibs

Keith David recreational

Keith David recreational

Pods with humans inside... where do I find Neo?

Pods with humans inside… where do I find Neo?

Some rail shooting action

Some rail shooting action

Do you play Saints Row IV and want to know how to get your character to look like mine? Check out youtube for a tutorial video for all the settings at Image as Desired.

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