SAINTS ROW IV RRP: $ 89 ( reviewed on Xbox 360)
FOLLOWING a brush with the Australian Classifi cation Board which resulted in a few toned- down tweaks to the gameplay before launch, members of the Saints gang are fi nally back.
This time they’re running the United States of America and if that isn’t outlandish enough, Earth is being invaded by aliens and the whole shebang is set in a Matrix- esque parallel universe.
Just when I thought the Saints Row series couldn’t get any more twisted, along comes the fourth instalment, which takes its blend of open world action and adult humour to a new level.
The storyline, while it’s completely bonkers, is well written with better pacing and variety than past scripts in the series. There’s more to do, more to see and more surprises.
The core gameplay remains largely unchanged from previous Saints games, though it’s not all familiar stomping ground.
Setting the world in a virtual reality gave the developers an excuse to go even more over the top.
The added context and the drip feeding of extra powers and weaponry though, gives it a solid sense of pace with a focus on variety.
Playing as the Saints’ boss, you have access to a range of new powers.
Super sprinting, mega jumping, midair gliding, and telekinesis mind control are joined by quirky fi rearms such as the Infl ato- Ray, Thumpgun, Dubstep gun and some weapons too racy to mention.
Add to this a selection of side missions that take you out of the main city and into parody mini- games based on other famous video games, and you’re presented with a entertaining content that feels consistently fresh.
Visually, it’s a familiar- looking Saints Row. Art direction trumps raw processing power, and the character customisation options are as deep and rich in choices as always, allowing you to construct a boss fashioned after any gender, race, build, and dress sense.
What Saints Row lacks in cuttingedge visuals it makes up for in content overload.