Note: That this review is for the standalone Saints Row IV Re-Elected game. It does not take into account Gat Out of Hell. For thoughts on Gat Out of Hell, see Dan O.’s review here.
There’s still nothing like a little Aerosmith to set the stage for the newly elected President of the United States and his friends to be abducted, get super-powers, watch earth get vaporized, and utilize a Matrix-like simulation to defeat the smooth talking leader of the Zin invasion. And that’s just the start. When I reviewed Saints Row IV back in 2013, I loved the over-the-top, never-know-what-to-expect attitude of the whole thing. Just when you think the game is going one way, it throws a curve ball and then pelts you in the back of the head with potatoes and rabbits (Disclaimer: It does not actually pelt you in the back of the head with potatoes or rabbits). The PS4 version of the base game is identical in content to its last-gen counterpart, so I implore you to check out my original review. It still holds up, and much of what I would have to say would be exactly the same.
Equip the Whip
While there are no literal potatoes nor rabbits to be seen, the ridiculous scenarios and dialog throughout are more than enough to remain entertaining, and the DLC that I never got a chance to play on the PS3 really ratchets that dial up from 11 to 17. Enter the Dominatrix features “deleted scenes” from the original concept of Saints Row IV, making the game fully self aware. The BDSM filled story is told via storyboards and an “all access documentar”‘ style exposition in an entertaining fashion that only Saints Row can pull off, and the ending is batshit crazy, but oh-so-good.
How the Saints Save Christmas brings a holiday theme to the game, teaming you up with Santa himself to take on the evil Clawz that is ravaging the North Pole. Ever think you would see severed reindeer heads mounted on poles around a burning Christmas tree? Yeah, me either, but I was forced to look as Santa wept for his beloved sleigh team. To have both of these packages included in the game does pad content a little bit more, adding a good extra three to five hours to the game, which is a boon as one of my original issues with Saints Row IV was that everything was over all too quickly.
Saints Row IV Re-Elected purports to be a remaster of the original 2013 game, but I’d be hard pressed to put it in the same category as other PS4 remasters like The Last of Us or Tomb Raider. While it does look a mite bit better than it once did, it has nowhere near the graphical overhaul that have been given to the games mentioned above. With the included Enter the Dominatrix, How the Saints Save Christmas, and additional costumes and weapons, this feels more like one of those complete package “Game of the Year” re-releases with all DLC for the new generation than a full blown remaster.
I mentioned that my original review of the game holds up, and that is also true for the issues that I had with it. Even on this new version, I have had a couple of freezes and crashes, some that kicked me back to the PS4 menu and some that required me to reset my PS4 completely. While it’s not entirely clear if these were related to the game or to the PS4, it still marred my experience enough to make mention of them. Considering that the original game gave me these same issues, and other games on my PS4 don’t have these problems, it’s likely an issue with the game, which is a bit mind boggling considering this is supposed to be an overhauled remaster. Maybe they just wanted to retain that original experience fully intact, crashes and all?
A Second Term
Saints Row IV Re-Elected is not for the faint of heart or the easily offended. There is plenty of cursing, dick-kicking/punching, sexual innuendo, and overt violence, not to mention the “what the fuck” moments that Enter the Dominatrix will bring on if you live-stream it. True story, I can’t believe that my character was wearing THAT on live internet TV while hurtling furries into cages with telekinesis and taking part in pony cart races. If you can handle it, the humor provided is unlike anything else that you will find in gaming, and never knowing what will happen next means that the whole thing is a ticking time bomb of ‘”what the hell just happened?” moments.’ Seriously, you will never guess the ending of Enter the Dominatrix, so stop trying and just go play it.
If you’ve already played Saints Row IV, Deep Silver was clever in their release, and are offering a bundle with Gat Out of Hell. Unfortunately, this review isn’t for the full combo with Gat, and by itself, Saints Row IV Re-Elected doesn’t fully justify its campaigning for another term. If it’s your first time in office, however, then this is a great opportunity to jump in and take part in what is a pretty awesome open world super-powered (anti)hero game.
Review code for Saints Row IV Re-Elected provided by publisher. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy here.