What can you say about Saints Row that hasn’t been said before? Starting life in many people’s eyes as a GTA rip off, the love of the bizarre has meant that Saints has forged its very own crazy, if not sometimes peculiar, path.
Saints Row re-elected is the polish applying, shinier looking, DLC adding definitive edition of the 2013 last gen Saints Row IV. As the Saints boss, you have become president and a hero to the people in some sort of unique and twisted way. Further to this you, of course, are the only thing standing between humanity and intergalactic planetary, planetary intergalactic alien invaders. And it gets crazier from then on in.
Yes it is unbelievable, dumb, stupid and shake your head sigh inducing but it’s also clever enough to keep me laughing and coming back for more. Really though I would be treading old ground if I gave you a 2000 word review to read through when I could just give you a link to Digital Pariah’s review he did when Saints IV actually came out in 2013.
It does look prettier on the PlayStation 4 but you can certainly tell this wasn’t built from the ground up especially for next gen. As is standard with next gen, voice commands have been added and on the PlayStation 4 the touchpad has been incorporated in quick time events. Is it worth laying down your money on Re-elected? If you played last gen probably not. However you can purchase a physical copy of Re-elected bundled with the new standalone chapter Gat Out of Hell for pretty much the same price as purchasing the last gen Saints IV and Season pass; so if you haven’t played this yet then that’s a good bargain to be had right there.
That brings us to Gat out of Hell.
You know when you watch a movie trailer and it makes you want to see a movie so much that you buy your ticket, pay for the ludicrously overpriced popcorn, that has been eaten by the time the trailers have finished, and sit in an uncomfortable chair for two hours only to discover that the best parts of the movie were actually what you saw in the trailer? Well do you remember that musical number trailer last year when Satan, Jezebel, Gat and Kinzie went full on Glee in a musical number so audacious that you sniggered throughout? Well, yeah, that really is as good it gets with Gat, and it never really gets as good at any other point.
This short song and dance number is an amazingly bright spot in a very short, very repetitive, and shockingly for Saints, uninspired romp through Perdition. Giving nothing of either story away, gat is set up straight after the events of Saints IV.
Setting the Saints in hell seems like a great and natural idea on paper and Johnny Gat is instantly at home mowing down the devilspawn while stylin’ and profilin’ with Shakespeare and Blackbeard. The cut scenes and banter between characters overall feels quite limited in relation to the other Saints games and add-ons. The occasional gag works – how else would a Ouija board laugh – but by and large exploring hell is, well, quite hellish. I mean the fact that a self-aware observation at the half way mark on the lack of traditional missions just highlights the repetitiveness of your actions rather than solve the issue.
So really Gat isn’t worth your time except for the fact the action is still outrageous and simply bloody fun. You can spend a good 30 minutes creating chaos, just because you can. Weapons have the distinct Saints feel of being stupidly ridiculous and to add to this is the upgradeable super powers such as ground stomps and auras that damage opponents just by approaching them. Overpowered? Yes. Appropriate here? Strangely yes, and did I mention flight?
Within minutes of arriving you are bestowed with wings and flight is simply fun. They are not powered so the occasional flap or dive to keep your momentum is required and that just feels right. Flight also allows you to take part in an OCDers dream with over 1000 orbs to collect within Hells skyline.
Although it is lacking a few toys in the sandbox, the ending of Gat demonstrates that Volition still have plenty of crazy and outlandish ideas left in their tank. Putting a score to this pack is a strange one and it will certainly not score the same with quite a lot of people. Played last gen with DLC versus played last gen without DLC versus did not play last gen at all combined with the sometimes lacking Gat out of Hell. Personally I didn’t pick this up last gen at all and thoroughly enjoyed Saints IV as I have with most of the Saints franchise however Gat out of Hell at times felt like it had been bundled in so the calls of “another remake” could be more easily deflected rather than add to the franchises reputation. You will have to make up your own minds on whether you should purchase based on what you did last gen.
MLG Rating: 7/10 Format: Xbox One / PlayStation 4 Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Saints Row IV Re-elected & Gat out fo Hell by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 1 week on a PlayStation 4. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.