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Saints Row IV: Re-Elected

Posted by GG Goblin On April - 1 - 2020

Get silly with the Saints on Switch.

 
The original Saints Row was a serious Grand Theft Auto clone, an open-world gangster-em-up, that proved quite popular but couldn’t hold a stolen candle to its inspiration. Developer’s Volition decided for the sequel to start taking the series in a different direction, and so with each subsequent entry in the series, the developers ramped up the silliness to make people talk and make the games really stand out. With the most recent entry, Saints Row IV, things really moved to a new level of craziness, and glorious fun was to be had. Now, some seven years on, Saints Row IV: Re-Elected comes to the Nintendo Switch, bringing not only a remaster of this mad game, but also packaging in all of the post-launch DLC, resulting in a very attractive bundle of purple-clad gangster goodness.

 


 
Much like Saints Row The Third, which launched on Switch only last year, the player will be once again fighting their way through the streets as they try to wrestle back control of their city from enemy factions. Once again, the third-person action is packed full of memorable moments and even more memorable weapons, some of which really do cross over into the world of the bizarre. There are a mass of customization options available to the players who like to make the game more their own, and the immature humour continues to carry through in spades. Fans of the Saints Row games, especially those who only discovered the Saints on Switch, will by no means be disappointed here.

 
Perhaps the best thing about Saints Row IV is the way the developers have taken what was originally a world of street gangsters and turned the absurdity up to eleven. For this latest entry, the main character has rather unbelievably been elected as President of the United States. As if that wasn’t enough to make your mind boggle, aliens have also invaded and dropped the player into a virtual reality version of the open world city, in a Matrix style. Talk about throw everything at the player. It may seem like a hodge podge of ideas, but this collection of circumstances gives rise to Saints Row IV’s most exciting idea – super powers.

 


 
Yep, that’s right. This gangster’s got powers. From the super speed that really removes the need to steal a car, to being able to jump tall buildings in a single bound, the powers make a big difference to the game and open up whole new ways to play. Being able to zip around the city in a blur is great fun, and unlocking powerful elemental blasts can make dealing with those pesky aliens a joy. It may all be very silly, but it is the ultimate power fantasy and that is something almost everyone will be able to get behind at this moment in time.

 
But Saints Row IV: Re-Elected is not for everyone. While many players may decide that a more serious game would be better suited to them, it is the youngsters that need to be shielded from the Saints. Aliens, super powers, they may all sound like the ideal set up for a kids game, especially on the Switch. But the Saints Row games are also known for their juvenile humour, bad language and sex jokes. This is not a game for the kids, just letting you know.

 
But for the older player who can enjoy a little puerile humour, it doesn’t get much better. Saints Row IV has a sense of self awareness that allows it to laugh at its own crazy situations. The humour and bad language comes thick and fast, and the self awareness means that much of the humour does hit the spot, with the target audience at least. With obvious reference to The Matrix, Saints Row IV also makes reference to plenty of video games, and getting the “in joke” time and again will give the player a great sense of satisfaction.

 


 
The moment to moment gameplay in Saints Row IV is great fun, but the inclusion of the super powers does make the game feel that bit more disconnected from the previous game. There is less emphasis on driving for example, which is generally one of the most interesting parts of the game, and the combat becomes far easier once the super powers come into play, which then takes the emphasis off the wonderful collection of imaginative weapons that the player can otherwise use. The missions, side missions and mini games are nice and varied, and tend to offer short bursts of directed action, which makes the game great for commuting and the like as knocking out a mission may only take a short time.

 
For those who maybe dipped their toes in Saints Row: The Third on Switch, the good news is that Re-Elected doesn’t suffer from any of the performance problems that hampered that port. This is a very well ported game that runs exactly as players would expect, without any problems beyond perhaps slightly long loading times. Both docked and handheld mode run great, and the game looks nice considering its age.

 


 
The open world of Saints Row IV: Re-Elected offers so much to do, and it all runs so perfectly on the Switch that it is difficult to find fault. The over-the-top gameplay will not be to everyone’s taste, and the sense of humour and subject matter will certainly rub some people up the wrong way. But for any grown up Switch players who want an open world filled with guns, cars and super powers, Saints Row IV: Re-Elected is crazy purple fun.

 

 ★★★★★★★★½☆ 



 

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