Saints Row 4 Review

How far Saints Row has come. For a series once fascinated in cautiously emulating GTA, we now have the so-called triple-A’s most outrageous game; an open world epic that plays by one rule set only – that there are no rules.

Playing as both the boss of the Saints and the president of the USA, your day-to-day life of cancer-curing, bill-passing and stripper-pole White House installation is rudely interrupted when aliens decide to destroy the planet. You survive, and are inserted into a simulation of Steelport, created by marauding Power Ranger hyper alien Zinzak.

In this simulation, the rules of normal life no longer exist, so our pres is imbued with super powers that let him sprint at the speed of sound, leap over buildings and fire icy blasts from his hands. And with this same simulation, Volition has freed itself of any shackles – crafting a world, narrative and missions of extraordinary creativity, crackling humour and ripe parody.

The first hour is one of the best in recent memory, and even when the game settles down into a more measured pace it blasts you with ideas so ludicrous and off the wall I felt like high-fiving anyone in my immediate vicinity. Structurally, it actually mirrors Mass Effect 2 more than Grand Theft Auto, as you round up your surviving gang members and take on loyalty missions for them, before ploughing into an all-or-nothing final battle.

It’s not perfect; in many ways Saints Row 4 shares DNA with the games of Suda 51 – simultaneously works of left-field genius and self-indulgent slog. And it might not be a technical triumph (audio bugs and sporadic crashes are joined by a sketchy framerate and a fairly low resolution on consoles), but it makes up for it with style, panache and a freedom of movement only before seen in Crackdown and Prototype.

Even a heinous final boss encounter can’t dampen the mood. Saints Row 4 is a comedy gem; built by creators that are clearly on our side, and totally in love with what they do. It’s pretty easy to love them back.

Version Tested: Xbox 360. Played for 15 hours.Click here to read about's new review policy.

8 / 10

  • Outstandingly creative at times
  • Genuinely hilarious
  • Technically ropey
  • Some poor levels

Click above for enlarged Saints Row 4 Screenshots


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User Comments

DaveSimonH's Avatar


I ended up swapping to a £25 preorder, which was delayed to Saturday release and they knocked another £5 off. So went from £30 to £20 :)

Really enjoying the game so far, the story is pretty daft but the various powers are a lot of fun.
Posted 17:00 on 29 August 2013
Clockpunk's Avatar


My MOTM copy arrived yesterday (to my utmost surprise), and after an hour... I can say it is a bloody fun title. You do feel powerful, as the game gives you a lot from the get-go. Perhaps a little too much, but... that is only a minor niggle.

REALLY like the weaon skins. Could have perhaps done with unlocking them, using some of the zanier ones to reward exploration, but that is just an off-shoot ofthe above point. It is a great litle implementation, only a minor detail, but is very much appreciated - but I can see microtransactions coming in quickly and often for additional skins, a la Gears of War...

The only other niggle I have is the music... you can set in manually at any time (presumably because it is a simulation), rather than silence when walking and random stations in cars, and is a little disconcerting/disconnected.

Very much over the top, in pretty much every respect.

For some reason, not quite feeling as invested as I did in SR3 from the get-go, but I've only just done the tutorial section, and fully expect to get invested once things get underway. (Plus the imminent arrival of GTA V is blowing interest in most other games out of the window).
Posted 11:13 on 21 August 2013
BC_Animus's Avatar


Btw amazingly got the You're My Hero achievement in SR3 today. Shocked at how much time and effort I have devoted to that game - usually with these open world games I get bored with the side quests about a 3rd of the way through and give up on the game.
Posted 21:54 on 16 August 2013
BC_Animus's Avatar


I've been playing Saints Row 3 this past week and loved the crap outta it, but I'm not going to pre-order SR4 simply because I KNOW in about 6 months time the game will be free on PSN+ and will be 66% or more off on Steam at some stage. And, in about 9 months time there's gonna be a GOTY edition which will be 2/3 the price and will come with all the DLCs... I'm kinda fed up with this model of releases to be honest, blah.
Posted 21:52 on 16 August 2013
DaveSimonH's Avatar


I've pre-ordered at £30 (PS3 version) which isn't too bad, although I imagine its price will drop quickly with GTA V release on the horizon.

I essentially got SR3 free on PS+ so don't mind paying more on release. I wasn't even remotely interested in the series until it was added to PS+, now I'm sitting on a SR4 pre-order.
The PS+ service is definitely good for marketing, add a game with a sequel on the way and get people hyped for that. Worked for me :)
Posted 01:00 on 15 August 2013
BenRawR's Avatar


I would love nothing more than to play this, however I have one niggling thought.
If this is to come out on PS4, which it damn well should, then there will be no technical limitations or framerate issues. I guess I'll have to wait until my PS4 arrives and simply weep at the loss
Posted 18:29 on 14 August 2013
DancingRhino's Avatar


It sounds mentall.

I'll probably play it later as I don't want to overdo the open-world stuff before GTA V.
Posted 15:46 on 14 August 2013
Clockpunk's Avatar


Hmmmm... the throwback to Mass Effect 2's structure sounds intriguing - certainly the best of that trilogy. Looking forward to playing this next week! ^_^
Posted 14:08 on 14 August 2013

Game Stats

Saints Row 4
Out of 10
Saints Row 4
  • Outstandingly creative at times
  • Genuinely hilarious
  • Technically ropey
  • Some poor levels
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 23/08/2013
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Volition
Publisher: Deep Silver
Genre: Action
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 606 27
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