The Saints Row franchise has been around since its first release in 2006. Each game has received good reviews and a loyal following, and Saints Row IV is no different. Before the PS4 release, this title was originally released in 2013 by publisher Deep Silver, and developed by Volition, Saints Row IV follows the story of several interesting characters with different special skills. Set in a sprawling world full of activities and challenges, players roam the world at will, following a storyline that swings between violence and humour at every turn. In some ways the game has an echo of the Grand Theft Auto series, but Saints Row undoubtedly put their own unique character into this genre of game. With a bizarre range of weapons, powers, and character outfits on offer, the novelty factor of Saints Row is initially high, although it does fade with time.
The difficulty faced by every game developer when they create a huge world to explore is the nature of travel. Should players be forced to travel the expanse by foot and vehicle? Or should there be a fast travel option to take a shot cut? In forcing players to travel by normal means, every journey takes longer. The concern is that the player will get bored of having to wait so long before they reach their objective, but the positive side is that they get to see more of the beautifully crafted world along the way. Furthermore, they get to encounter monsters or challenges randomly that they might otherwise miss. When you allow a fast travel option to teleport a player to their location, the whole process of unfolding a story line and its quest becomes much shorter. Saints Row IV allows for more conventional travel but at high speed, with players able to leap over obstacles along the way. If you preferred a more sedate speed, the armchair with machine gun attachments may be more to your tastes.
The Re-Elected version of this game is essentially a remastered version of the game and makes some small adjustments which allow for a sharper visual experience. There are a few other additions but they are mostly small background details that don’t add anything major to the game itself. Simply put, if you already have the original version, you wouldn’t be likely to go out and buy this one, although the Gat out of Hell expansion pack does provide some new material for those who enjoy this game. The expansion allows a player to explore a new hellish dimension of the world with new branches of the story to explore. While this does sound appealing, you don’t get a substantial amount of fresh content compared to the size of the original game.
If there is one negative aspect of Saints Row IV Re-Elected, its the fact that the momentum of enjoyment is more or less carried along by new characters that you meet in each branch of the story, but you end up doing much the same thing throughout. Killing bad guys with unusual weapons can only stay interesting for so long, and perhaps some more diversity in the way each mission is carried out, would add a new dimension.
All too often it seems that a great game will release an expansion pack or remastered version to try and milk some extra profit from their creation, without adding all that much new content. Saints Row IV Re-Elected struggles to shake off that assertion, but it does create an improved version of the original which would be great for those players who never got around to buying the original game.
You can point out a few down sides to the latest offering but in the end, it is important to give credit to what is a really well developed twist on the free roaming criminal genre. With a couple of fresh ideas about how to keep the enjoyment coming for a greater number of hours, there is every chance that when we see a Saints Row V in the future, it will find a way to surpass what is already a good offering, in Saints Row IV Re-Elected.