When Saints Row started off it was nothing more than a Grand Theft Auto wannabe. But, with much love and the help of what I can only assume is plenty of booze and drugs, the beautiful people over at Volition and High Voltage Software have taken this game series to new heights. How have they done this? Well with plenty of warped minds (more warped than mine) that manage to come up with numerous inconceivable enemies, plots, vehicles and weapons to keep us gamers entertained for hours on end. And thanks to those same guys, the fun many of us had on previous gen consoles can now be enjoyed on the PS4 and Xbox One. Yup, Saints Row has hit next-gen bitches! What’s special Re-Elected though is that it brings to the PS4 and the Xbox One the full Saints Row IV experience coming with some awesome DLC and the new standalone expansion “Gat out of Hell”.
To start with I’ll just jog your memories a little by doing a quick recap of the Saints Row IV story. You’ve pretty much disposed of all other gangs in Steelport and you’re now the leader of the free world (or at least that’s what Americans call it, I personally think they’re deluded because we all know Britain is the true leader). Anyway on your way to a press meeting you pass down a long corridor and you’re asked to pass a bill on either curing cancer or solving world hunger, then hilariously asked whether you want to punch a dickhead or punch a dick in the head (both have the same outcome). As you are about to take the podium you’re pulled to the side and advised that there is an alien threat, but before you know it they’re already attacking Earth and are abducting people. Next thing you know you awake in a simulation and from here you try to escape and take down the alien scum who has put you through all this crap.
As for the differences with Re-elected to the previous gen version of Saints Row IV the obvious one is remastered graphics. Yep, as the IGC boss Craig Roberts would say “this is the remastered generation”, never before have we seen so many remastered copies of games being re-released despite having only been made in the last 7 years, some not even classics or worthy of being touched up (in a none sexual way). I suppose the difference with this is that it comes with a standalone expansion which is pretty much like a new game, but the upgrade in graphics isn’t really all that impressive if I’m honest. Yeah it looks a little sharper and details are more defined but it’s not all that much of a jump up in quality.
The next difference that is noticeable is that the game makes use of the touch pad on the PS4 controller. It is used mainly to open a map of the area, nothing fancy I know but it can also be selected to be used during live action scenes. For example in the tutorial mission you’ll have to swipe up, down left or right to dodge falling debris as you climb a nuclear missile. Then in game you’ll battle what look like giant lizard men, playing the part of what I’d say was alien prison guards or big brothers (there to make your life a misery), and again the touch pad can be swiped as indicated on the screen to finish off the battles. But this is not something that really impresses too much; I mean it was hyped to be this ultra-cool new feature of the PS4 and it really hasn’t been utilised to its full potential in any game I’ve played to date.
As for that there is not much more else to the original except for the DLC which sees new missions, weapons and such added to bring more fun to Saints Row IV. Moving on to the standalone expansion, Gat out of Hell, we see a whole new storyline which is just as bonkers, if not more berserk than the one that takes place in Saint Rows IV. Add to that additional weapons and further opportunities to wreak havoc, it’ll be sure to leave you with countless extra hours of parents telling you you’re wasting your life playing computer games.
The story see’s everyone having fun playing with an Ouija board at a birthday party, when all of a sudden the President is sucked in through a trans-dimensional portal. You then get to play as Johnny Gat or Kinzie Kensington and follow the President to Hell where he has been kidnapped by the devil himself, and is due to be wed to the Devils beloved daughter. You’ll have to cause some havoc in Hell though to gain the attention of the devil in order to get an invitation to the wedding of the millennium and rescue the boss.
Now the idea of the story is very original, nothing I’ve seen before that’s for sure and it has plenty of funny moments in it which you’d expect when coming from a Saints Row game. However the story doesn’t really take very long to work your way through, a few hours tops which I understand as it is only an expansion but it would have been nice if there was a bit more substance to it all with this being the launch of Saints Row on the next gen consoles. What lets it down more though are the graphics, all people you see wandering around are dead people but they all look the same just blurry grey shapes. The only difference being the enemies you face which are essentially demon police officers but again it’s a generic design and they all look the same. It would’ve been nice to see a few varieties of the tortured souls wandering around and not just grey blurs.
Following that the environments aren’t all that impressive either. Again I understand that Hell isn’t a magical place full of rainbows and bunnies but it is like they have built half a game and left it before adding all the detail you expect of next gen games. The buildings all look the same dull boring colour, the ground as well. The only difference is the lava which you see around the place. Luckily though there are some nice vehicles driven by demon police and a few varieties of beaten up wrecks which you can drive round which is a nice touch and one of the only areas it feels they’ve put some imagination into it.
Luckily the game does have some nice abilities you can have some fun with, the main one being that you can fly around using wings that you earn, just like an angel. These work in the same way as running, in that they use up your stamina, so make sure you don’t misjudge your distance or you could find yourself falling into a pit of lava. I would’ve liked to see some form of aerial attack introduced as well whether it is firing a barrage of bullets down on people below, or maybe you kamikaze into the ground causing an earth rippling effect to wipe out surrounding enemies. But alas I never discovered them, although there are other abilities which you can unlock and upgrade on a different system to the ones Saints Row IV via a newly designed menu. Takes some getting used to after playing Saints Row IV but it is just as simple really.
My favourite part about the new expansion though has to be the weapons, oh the weapons. Now I must congratulate whoever comes up with the ideas for these because I kinda fell in love a little with one gun in particular. It’s essentially a gun that fires frogs which explode. It is pure brilliance and to have the ability to make it rain frogs down on unsuspecting people just to watch them all explode brought so much joy to my life. Now I can’t assure you that no animals were harmed in the design of this gun because for all I know the devs may or may not have created the real thing in a secret lab somewhere just to see it work in reality. If they did and they read this, please let me see it!!!
Overall though the expansion was a bit of a let down compared to the main game. I know the main game came with the DLC which meant extra content but the expansion felt empty pretty much. I know there was a whole new map and the guns were really cool but other than that and the story line it seemed as though Gat out of Hell had lost some of the Saints Row magic. If it was a little more challenging, the graphics weren’t as dull and generic, and there was just a bit more content to it this could have been just as good as the main game. Unfortunately Gat out of Hell falls short of the usual Saints Row standards, but I suppose if getting the two together then it’s not bad as you are essentially getting two games for the price of one. If you had Saints Row IV on the older gen consoles though then there isn’t really much to say it’s worth while buying again, but if not then it’s worth taking notice of if you enjoy these open world anything-can-happen type games.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.