Players: 1+ Player Game | Genre: Action
Release Date: 08/20/13
In a Meeting Room buried above the crowded South Hall, I found myself entering a room with a metal detector in it. It went off and I was greeted to come spend forty minutes playing Saint’s Row IV by the PR team stationed behind what appeared to be Presidential “Stands” where the “big man” himself would give speeches. The room was also decorated like the white house would be. This was a completely over the top setup for a game that matches the rooms’ character.
The demo begins after the conclusion of the third Saint’s Row. You have been elected as the President of the United States and rename the White House into the White Crib. Sadly, after being swept into office by a wide margin, unemployment is up and approval ratings are down. Also, Shaundi tells you that the MI6 believes space aliens are about to invade the US. Players quickly have to choose how to punch a Congressman, either Cure Cancer or End World Hunger, or if you should hang out with a guy who knows you. As you head in to field questions at a press conference, the aliens come, staffers are abducted, and you get armed to kick butt.
Players start shooting through wave after wave of Space Aliens. These guys just sorta sit there and take it. The game even makes fun of itself saying the Aliens must have skipped combat school. After making your way around the White Crib with several dozen kills under your belt, the President ends up on the lawn of the White House and shooting down ships in a turret. Once you take down all the turrets a scene between you and the head alien appears. We aren’t shown the outcome of this but the next sequence has the player with super powers. Apparently somehow you develop powers like what would be in the Third Crackdown game. Players can run like the flash, leap like superman, and glide over the city like Batman. This is all handled with the trigger buttons on a controller.
The biggest problem I had with this scene is there was no direction for what to do. After a very scripted beginning scene, I am hoping that this is just an issue with the particular slice they chose for the press demo.
Another issue I had was the super jumping mechanic. Players need to jump to get to higher places and there is very sporadic control over where you land due to a flaky camera. With a release coming up in August, unless the demo was running really old code, there is about zero percent chance for them to fix this.
But if there is one thing going for Saint’s Row IV, it is a lot of fun. Expect to spend 20 to 40 hours running through this title when it ships this August on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.