The madness returns on Xbox One and PS4. Saints Row IV is likely one of the most (intentionally) ridiculous games you will ever experience, one that is most certainly going to supply the player with a ridiculous amount of hours of elation. This review will not exactly cover the game as a whole, as it's been out for some time, though will primarily focus upon how exactly it feels to play Saints Row IV: Re-Elected on the PS4!
Having not tried the game on the Xbox One, I can't exactly comment on the differentiation with regards to performance on the two NextGen consoles, though I'm sure the range of differences is minute. So, let's hop right in and take a look at Saints Row IV: Re-Elected!
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected Review on PS4
PS3 & Xbox 360 Versions
For those of you that aren't too familiar with the game, let's take a quick look at what exactly Saints Row IV was like and what it was about when it was released for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Essentially, the player is granted the opportunity to play as the President of the United States and is tasked with saving the world (and stopping rival gangs) following the invasion of the planet by aliens. Awesome.
The game gifts you a whole host of insane super powers in order to combat the British-accented Alien overlord, essentially allowing the player to surpass superman in terms of sheer unstop-ability. Some gaming publications found that the power that was bestowed upon the player was actually too much, with IGN comparing the title to being Superman - seriously powerful, but being unstoppable gets boring.
Personally though, I found it to be a welcome break from games that required any from of...well...skill! Saints Row IV allows you to become an unstoppable force and grants every second of destruction a form of delightful glee. Sure the weapon upgrades are unnecessary and yes the enemies are too easy. But being able to pick up a tank with telekinesis, hurl it across the map and then somehow manage to catch up to it with your super-jump ability is...glorious.
The game wasn't interested in presenting us with a challenge, it gave us an incredibly fun story that worked remarkably well and then gave us every super power we could possibly want and told us to run rabid. The unfortunate elements of the title came with its similarity to Saints Row The Third's rather uninteresting map and the fact that your abilities and powers were limited in certain missions.
Though all in all, Saints Row IV was a game that delighted in its own madness. It was some of the most fun I've ever had in an open world environment, and what more praise can you really offer a game like this? But what about Saints Row IV: Re-Elected? Is it worth revisiting this madness on the PS4 and Xbox One?
PS4 & Xbox One Versions
The first thing that we all look to when a game is remastered for our NextGen consoles is the graphics. How much have they changed? Well, if we look at some of the other great remasters of last year, such as the Halo: Master Chief Collection, The Last of Us: Remastered and the glorious GTA V, the differences were beyond noticeable. Unfortunately, I didn't really feel that leap with Saints Row IV: Re-Elected.
A 60fps update is clearly favoured by the developer as the default refresh option in Saints Row 4, however, the experience is actually rather uneven. The engine fails to achieve this consistency which can dramatically affect the smoothness of the game on the PS4. However, the upgrade to full 1080p is noticeable and welcome.
Thanks to Digital Foundry, you guys can check this out for yourselves. You'll be amazed to see the video starting off around 58 FPS, but then actually dropping into the 30s during big action sequences, with the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions demonstrating a smaller drop.
The lack of anti-aliasing in Saints Row IV: Re-Elected is somewhat strange, especially as there appears to be enough GPU overhead for the effect to be included, especially if a 30fps cap were to be added! Now, no one was buying Saints Row IV for their graphics on the PS3 and Xbox 360, that much is clear. The game really didn't look that great at all in fact.
So there is certainly a noticeable improvement, however it really is rather bizarre to witness the frame rate dropping so alarmingly throughout the game. Thankfully there were no real glitches or bugs that impacted upon my experience, but we have come to expect a bit more from the PS4 and Xbox One than what Saints Row IV: Re-Elected has demonstrated in the graphics department.
But this is why you'd be interested in getting the whole package on Xbox One and PS4 right? The Gat Out of Hell expansion, which is also stand alone title for those that just want to stick with the LastGen consoles!
Players are sent into hell via a nefarious spirit board incident and left to combat demons, the horrors of the underworld (including prominent historical figures) and, of course, the Devil himself. You play as either Johnny Gat or Kinzie Kensington as you tear apart Hell in a quest to save the leader of the Saints’ soul. Historical icons, old friends, older enemies, a talking gun, a full length musical number, and a whole lot of other shenanigans all await!
When it came to Saints Row IV, there was only one thing that I felt was absent: Wings. Thankfully, Gat Out of Hell has come to answer our prayers (or should I say blasphemies?!?!!....I apologise). The campaign here is a whole lot of fun, with some great voice acting and mental sequences of joy, and the map was certainly a great improvement from Saints Row IV, but when compared with the likes of GTA V and such, their really is something still missing in terms of charm and diverse-ability.
However, once more, the story missions are delight. With some genuine great laughs and seemingly endless pop culture references, Gat out of Hell will certainly hold your attention. If you're someone that is dying to replay Saints Row IV, then the Saints Row IV: Re-Elected title will be a far better way to delve into Gat Out of Hell. But I'm not so sure about buying it on its own. It felt too short and bundled with the PS4 and Xbox One is the perfect way to play it. And if you missed the game last year, then this is now the definitive version out there.
In terms of remasters, this game doesn't exactly meet the standards that have been exhibited as of late. But then, this was always a rather unusual title to begin with. If you were content to cling on to a fun plot and mindlessly blow apart a city with ease, then Saints Row IV was remarkable fun. However, if you were hoping to play a better looking version of the game, you won't find too much to ogle at on the PS4 and Xbox One.
Therefore, if you want to give the hilarious Gat Out of Hell a try and zip around the city of Steelport once more, I have to recommend you give this a whirl! Naturally though, the additions in this game are not enough to bring back those that felt there was something missing with this game in the first place. With Gat Out of Hell, you simply have demons replace the aliens and a few more laughs with wings to be had. It was always a game that I mindlessly enjoyed, and even with its imperfections, that same experience just got a little bit longer and better with Saints Row IV: Re-Elected!