Saints Row IV: Re-Elected review for PS4, Xbox One

Platform: PS4
Also On: Xbox One
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Deep Silver/Volition
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1-2
Online: Yes

Don’t let that “Re-Elected” part of Saints Row IV: Re-Elected’s title fool you. There may be some minor graphical enhancements (allegedly — I have to admit I can’t see much of a difference), and a couple of new vehicles and superpowers, but basically, this is the same game that graced the last gen systems in 2013. If you’re hoping for an all-new Saints experience, this isn’t it — you’ll have to look at Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell for that (though I can’t say I recommend doing that).

Saints Row Reelected 2

Not that I consider that to be in any way, shape or form a bad thing, mind you. I loved Saints Row IV on PS3, probably even more than my esteemed GA colleague did — and he gave that version of the game an A-. For me, every moment of the game was pure joy, an opportunity to run around Steelport with ridiculous superpowers destroying everyone and everything in my path, with the added bonus that the in-game city was set inside a computer simulation, which meant I never had to feel even the slightest twinge of guilt about harming innocent people. If I were to create my ideal video game, in other words, it would probably look a lot like Saints Row IV. It’s probably also worth noting that I never came anywhere close to finishing it last time around, because I was just having too much fun zipping around Steelport with those aforementioned superpowers.

Consequently, I welcomed the opportunity to revisit the game on a current-gen system. Not that it’s made a huge difference, of course. A dozen hours into Saints Row IV: Re-Elected, and I’m still roughly where I was with the last-gen version: not anywhere close to being done the game, entirely because of the constant distractions that come along with being a superhuman inside a computer-simulated Steelport.

Saints Row Reelected 3

So I’m not talking from the perspective of someone who’s finished the game, if that sort of thing bothers you. Then again, I’d think that if ever there was a good excuse for raving about a game you haven’t finished, “I was having too much fun with it to even bother trying to stick to the story missions” counts as a pretty good one.

Because seriously, without any hint of hyperbole or exaggeration, Saints Row IV: Re-Elected is one of my favourite games ever. It gives you slightly overpowered superpowers and sets you loose in a richly-imagined, vividly-coloured alien world. It never takes itself too seriously, but it never feels like it’s constantly winking at you, nudging you in the ribs with how “clever” it is. I mean, we’re not talking about Portal-level humour or anything; you’ve still got a dubstep gun, and the game includes all the DLC from the last-gen version…which means yes, you’re rescuing Santa again in How The Saints Save Christmas. But at the same time, it’s a game that knows how to be silly, which is a pretty rare quality.

Most importantly, though, Saints Row IV: Re-Elected works. You wouldn’t think this should be a point in the game’s favour…unless, of course, you played Gat Out of Hell and saw how badly that game came together. Here, by contrast, the only obvious glitches are the ones that are supposed to be there — and, I’ll add, they look every bit as wonderfully weird as they did the first time around.

Saints Row IV Gat 2

Now, I know that some people have criticisms of this game: that it’s too silly, or that it’s too easy with those superpowers (to say nothing of all the upgrades you can make to your character). But you know what? I don’t care. Regardless of what any sticks in the mud may say, as far as I’m concerned Saints Row IV: Re-Elected is just plain awesome in every respect.

Grade: A

Saints Row IV: Re-Elected + Gat out of Hell (Video Game)

Manufacturer:  Deep Silver
ESRB Rating: 

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