- + Flying
- + Upgrading pushes you to complete more challenges at a faster rate
- + The obscene humour and characters
- - Graphics aren’t anything special on newer consoles
- - Sometimes samey mission structure might put some people off
Want to look beyond the score? Check out our written review…
I’ve always regarded the Saints Row series as the younger, immature brother of Grand Theft Auto. Ever since the Saints entrance in gaming back in 2006, the series has always been in the shadow of Rockstar’s more established trend setter. With each title produced, the developers at Volition have narrowed down the series’ character, opting to walk away from the beaten path of maturity provided by Rockstar’s efforts; presenting over-the-top crude characters and equally ridiculous situations. The fact that many of their PR campaigns were based solely around sex, says a lot about its approach.
Jump forward a year and a half since 2013’s Saints Row IV and we’ve got a re-release on our hands, alongside a newly-added expansion, Gat Out Of Hell. My time with the series has certainly been sporadic to say the least, as I never felt it had ever found its footing. I poured a few hours of my time into Saints Row The Third, but ultimately left it due to boredom. Getting the chance to delve into the fourth title — which includes all DLC released as well as its story add-ons — was a much more pleasant experience. I started with Gat Out Of Hell, wherein the boss of the Saints has been captured by Satan in a bid to wed his daughter, Jezebel. Given the task of getting your boss back, series regulars Johnny Gat and Kinzie Kensington head to hell to face old enemies and friends in a highly enjoyable stand-alone campaign.
In the expansion you’ll find around four hours of gameplay if you just want to give the campaign a quick sweep, though there’s plenty to discover and countless side-quests to complete. Through acquiring the ability to fly and speed run from point-to-point, I’d be lying if I said a large portion of my time wasn’t spent darting across buildings and collecting souls to upgrade my powers further. It was addictive. I’d never felt like this in the series before but I was glad to see that it wasn’t taking anything seriously. Alongside some hot new abilities, I also got accustomed to some fresh surrounds in New Hades, which consisted of five islands and was surrounded by lava. Toasty.
There are a handful of activities to participate in, many of which you’ll be tasked with performing multiple times but at a higher difficulty rating, making it a challenge to get a gold medal on every turn. Some of the challenges include having to survive three waves of enemies, saving souls that fall from the sky or navigating race courses whilst flying, which I found incredibly satisfying. I feel as though most players will become hooked once they start collecting the hundreds of blue orbs occupying the streets in order to upgrade their powers. In doing so I felt like a god, which was ironic seeing as I was in hell.
All of this and I didn’t even consider the fact that I had an entire fourth entry to play through. Regardless of whether Saints Row IV was included or not, I feel as though Gat Out Of Hell stood out with enough substance to keep anyone going for quite a while. Having the fourth game playable with all DLC was a huge bonus and it only furthered my enjoyment. To keep it short, Aliens take over planet earth and you get dumped in a virtual representation. Oh, and you also play as the president of the United States. Aside from the newly-added Gat Out Of Hell, there’s also Saints Row IV’s ‘Enter The Dominatrix’ campaign add-on to progress through as well.
I couldn’t believe how addicted I became to Saints Row IV and its expansion. It was the first time in the series that I actively enjoyed every minute and couldn’t wait to get back for more. Despite the fact that its graphics aren’t anything to shout about on PS4, I didn’t care, because I was having fun below or above ground. I love the fact that Saints Row has managed to bring such a huge amount of silly storylines and characters, that it doesn’t matter when an Alien pops up or when someone is killed with a dildo. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and I couldn’t admire it more for that fact. Well done Volition.
Dip into insanity in Saints Row IV Re-elected & Gat Out Of Hell on PS4 and Xbox One for £34.99, whereas the Gat Out Of Hell expansion can be purchased separately for PS3 or Xbox 360 for £24.99, both available from GAME UK.
*Saints Row IV & Gat Out Of Hell was provided to Start Replay on PS4 by Deep Silver, Gat Out Of Hell was also provided separately on Xbox One by Xbox
Take a look over a few more images of my time in Saints Row: