SAINTS ROW IV Impressions

GameTyrant by Lucas Lowman

The Oval Office with purple lighting? Looks like the Saints have taken the White House, or as they have renamed it, The White Crib. That is where my adventure began as President of the United States. I am taken on a sort of cinematic tour of the White Crib, and there are strippers, champagne, and a Tiger. What else would you expect from the Saints?

Humor is alive and well in the Saints Row universe. Steve Jaros, who wrote the first 3, came back for the fourth. My favorite quote from the demo was, "Tell my wife... I have another wife."

But let's get to the demo.

I am on my way to a press conference to address the people, but a few things hapen along the way. I'm asked by my Vice President Keith David, voiced by (you'll never guess) Keith David, which bill to pass because only one stands a chance in congress, I can either solve world hunger (a bill enititled "Let Them Eat Cake") or I can cure cancer (a bill entitled "Fuck Cancer"). I choose the latter. Then an irate politician mouths off to me so I can either punch him in the groin or punch him in the face. I choose the former. But just as I am about to get to the podium, aliens attack! From there, I am running and gunning aliens with my pistol and making my way back to the oval office to get more guns.

A little further along I find myself on the front lawn artillery, shooting down alien spaceships, and at one point, they line up in a wall formation, a clear reference to space invaders. A short cinematic happens as I am taken captive by the aliens. 

This is where the free roaming part of the demo began. I am in a virtual steelport. The overall objective in the final product would be to escape the virtual world and get back to the real one, but this demo was just to give us a taste of what we can do. I had insane guns, a laser katana, and of course, super powers. Super powers are very fun and easy to use, and when the game comes out in August you'll be able to customize and create your own super powers! 

I had so much fun using my superspeed and wreaking havoc that I totally forgot that there were missions and objectives I could be doing.

I got to talk to Principal Designer on Saints Row IV, Scott Phllips, about many aspects of Saints Row IV.

When asked how the idea of super powers came to be in Saints Row IV:

They came very early on, we thought it'd be nice to jump over a building or be able to fly across the city. Telekinesis was one of the first powers we developed for the game.

Telekineses is awesome. You can basically pick up anything and throw it super far. From people to cars to giant foam heads. 

I also asked what games inspired the design of Saints Row IV beside the preceding chapters. He replied,

Crackdown, Prototype, and Infamous were all big inspirations. We looked at what they did well and what didn't they do so well that we should stay away from. Crackdown was a big inspiration from the jumping animation to the collecting of clusters. We very quickly found out that people would just lose themselves in the game trying to collect these clusters.

The clusters were basically the equivalent of the orbs in Crackdown. I only got a 30 minute demo, and that isn't nearly enough for a game this size and of this caliber.

Scott told me the key phrase for Saints Row is this: "Embrace the crazy. Fun trumps all."

Saints Row IV releases August 20, 2013.

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