Saints Row IV: Re-Elected & Gat Out of Hell
Developed By: Volition & High Voltage Software
Produced By: Deep Silver
Available for: PS4 & Xbox One (Gat Out of Hell is available as a standalone on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
Release Date: January 20th 2015
It’s always hard to judge a re-release. It has to offer enough to warrant a second purchase as well as still be an enjoyable game. Saints Row IV: Re-Elected & Gat Out of Hell offers a lot of content including a brand new standalone campaign, but is it worth picking up again.
As I mentioned before, Gat out of Hell is a completely standalone experience. The puckish rouge who leads the Saints is chosen by the Devil to be the only person worthy enough to marry his daughter. Johnny Gat has to lead the charge into hell and rescue the protagonist. Almost immediately afterwards Johnny and Kenzie, who can be switched out at any time, gain a full set of powers. A few powers have been replaced from the main Saints Row IV story. Telekinesis has been switched out with the ability to summon helpers, but felt rather useless until I found the Titan elemental upgrade. Aura, the other new power places a damaging elemental aura around your character for a short time. The powers that carry over have completely new elemental effects that keep the standalone feeling distinct. The wings bestowed upon Johnny and Kenzie allow extremely rapid travel around the city and make collecting countless power up orbs more entertaining.
The main campaign only consists of a few standard missions at the beginning. Otherwise, your tasked with completing activities and challenges to draw the ire of the Devil himself. A few cutscenes help break up what would have been a rather monotonous journey.That said, there is actually a surprising amount of stuff to do in hell. Standard activities like races and insurance fraud are back along with some interesting new ones like saving fallen souls or beating up demon frat guys. Gat Out of Hell, like any true Saints Row game features a plethora of overpowered weapons. My personal favorite being the recliner that has a few miniguns and missiles attached. All this said, you’ll likely kill the Devil and finish the campaign in about four hours.
There are a few other problems that plague Gat Out of Hell aside from its short length. While flight controls are mostly smooth, you’ll often lose your flight from bumping into an object like the pole that holds up a street light. Additionally, activating flight causes you to fly not in the direction the character is facing, but instead the direction the camera is facing. Gat Out of Hell is also a bit buggy and caused an error forcing a restart at least twice. Worst of all is that so much could have been done with the famous historical figures who appear in the game, but they get nowhere near enough time on screen. While Gat Out of Hell was entertaining, it just felt like it could have been so much more.
Saints Row IV is still more or less the same game it was two years ago, a fun but unpolished superhero romp. Re-Elected does look a bit nicer than the original version, especially when it comes to the worlds ability to keep up with my super speed. Aside from the minor graphical improvements and voice commands, Re-Elected doesn’t offer anything new. The two short, but entertaining pieces of DLC are also included. Enter the Dominatrix tells the story of what Saints Row IV originally could have been along with mocking commentary from the characters in the game. How the Saints Saved Christmas has our favorite gangsters taking down aliens in order to save Santa Claus.
Bounding through the virtual Steelport is just as fun as it’s always been. Chucking cars at enemies, bounding across rivers, and causing countless dollars worth of destruction is still the crux of the game. I still don’t understand the point of having vehicles in the game as once you get super speed they become utterly worthless, aside from the occasional tank. With the sheer power you generate with your weapons and superpowers, the game quickly becomes a bit too easy. Paradoxically, the superpowers that are the core of the game are removed for story missions. Somehow, this doesn’t manage to hamper the game, as the story missions are completely unlike anything else on the market. Spy missions, side scrolling beat ’em ups and a Tron-esque world quickly make you forget about the lack of superpowers in these missions.
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected & Gat Out of Hell offers a wealth of pure escapist fun. Gat Out of Hell simply isn’t long enough to justify a second purchase of the game, though anyone who hasn’t played Saints Row IV will find it a fun way to kill a few days.