You should be playing: Saints Row 4

Hail to the chief!

As I mentioned before, I've been catching up with the Saints lately. Saints Row 4 was one of the games I bought during the holiday Steam sale, an impulse purchase that I now sorely regret I never got around to. If I had, it would have definitely have made my Top 5 for last year.

To give some back story, Saints Row the series began as just another Grand Theft Auto kind of game. I never actually played the first game. It just didn't look very interesting to me; if I wanted a straight gangster simulator, I had Grand Theft Auto. Not to mention that was two years before I would have even been remotely interested in such a game.

It wasn't until Saints Row 2 came out that the game caught my eye, mostly because you could now create a female character. Play as a lady crime boss? That sounds good! I put together a character that I thought looked pretty cool. Since then, I've remade her in The Third and 4, because I just couldn't imagine leading the Saints as anyone else.

To say that Saints Row goes off the deep end by The Third would be like saying a certain giant purple melee weapon is a little bit suggestive. But after playing one game as a typical gangster (albeit one with impeccable makeup and a penchant for silk stockings), I was ready for a change. And boy, did SR3 go out of its way to oblige me. It wasn't a great game, but going up against a paramilitary organization while dressed like a pirate was just the breath of fresh air I needed.

Now that I've played 4, I can safely say that 3 looked conservative in comparison. The game starts with the Boss becoming the President of the United States. In any other game that came out in 2013, that would be a climax, not an prologue.

Then: Prologue over! Aliens invade. They seal the president and company into a computer simulation of Steelport in order to mess with them – the British-accented head alien gave the impression of being bored and in need of entertainment. Now it’s up to the Boss, who has been granted superpowers by the simulation, to stop the aliens and save the planet!

Video games were invented for this sort of story! I’d call this game “fun, wacky, insane,” but it still somehow seems like I’m not doing it justice. So I’ll leave you with this recommendation: It’s not a new release, and it’s not one of the “Coming Soons,” but I still think you should be playing it right now!

I'm the daughter of a veteran who spent my childhood in Killeen. As of 2013, I have a degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. I'm a critic of books, films, television, and video games. Find me on Twitter: @rachel_knows

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