Juan over at SwitchWatchTV got his hands on the new port for Nintendo Switch, Saints Row 4. This is a really fun game with tons of stuff to do. It isn’t known for its story, which is pretty basic, but the gameplay is solid and will provide hours and hours of entertainment. Check out his review below here on SwitchWatch.co.uk!
President, UFO’s, explosions, Matrix, simulations, Super Heroes, and much more!
What am I walking about, well if you have never played Saints Row 4 on other consoles, it’s been ported to the Switch and it’s one of the most insane games you will play. But is it any good? Stay tuned to find out. There was Saints Row 4 which came out on Xbox 360 and PS3, and then Saints Wow 4 Re-elected on Xbox One and PS4, which basically had all the DLC and a boost up in graphical fidelity. This is the version we have on the Switch.
As with any port, for those that have already played it wanting to know if it performs well, we will start with performance. For those brand new to the franchise, we will get into the rest of the review after.
Visuals & Performance
For the most part, the game performs rather well on the Switch. It runs smooth enough when running at high speed across the map and making those incredible jumps up and across buildings. I did find, however, in handheld mode the game looked rather dark even when turning the brightness all the way up, and of course it takes a hit to it’s visual fidelity. It still played well in handheld, and for the most part I didn’t notice too many dips or stutters.
The story in Saints Row 4 is probably not worth talking about too much. It’s so far removed from the previous installments of building your criminal empire that it’s just absolute nonsense. For players that enjoyed the first 3 installments, this may have gone way too far into “what the hell were they smoking when this was written”. For others that play this installment first, it’s kinda like “Holy crap! This is nuts, but who cares, as I am still having a lot of fun”.
Suffice to say from what I picked up, it was about an alien invasion while you are president of the Untied States. You get put into a simulation which reminded me a lot of the Matrix, and you need to somehow get out of it to destroy this alien race.
If you watched our review of Part 3, then this is more of the same but amped up to the max. Some of the newly introduced game mechanics have some downsides in my view, but nevertheless there is lots of fun to be had.
For those that don’t know, Saints Row 4 is an open world action game where you can either complete main quests or take part in side missions. Alternatively, you can just go around causing havoc at your leisure. My favorite was part 2, as I enjoyed the story, but I do have to admit the gameplay here is just over-the-top, unadulterated crazy fun from the crazy weapons, super powers, and vehicles.
I want to start off by saying that creating a character is actually a fun experience as there are so many options. My little girl said that I had to have red hair, as it’s her favored color, and not one to disappoint, that’s what I went with. But there is plenty more variation!
As you begin, there are a bunch of missions to further the story along which I had fun completing. if you are a movie buff, then you are just going to absolutely love movie references and fantastic humor. Saints Row 4 pulls this off because they have some great music incorporated into the game which when you hear these tracks will in most of you evoke memories, but we will get onto that later.
The main difference in this game is the Super Powers you are given, which allow you to traverse the maps at great speeds and jump off buildings and up building leading to some cool little side missions and ways to explore the map. My only problem with this is you can end up getting from one place to another very quickly, which leads to seeing a lot of the map quicker than I would have liked. Seems like a bit of a weird criticism, you may think, but when you have played it for a number of hours you will know what I mean.
I am old fashioned and still like to rob a car and drive myself to my destination while seeing some of the sights along the way and causing havoc. Although that’s not to say you can’t do that still. I suppose it’s nice to have the option while running around the city like The Flash and smashing cars and whatever else out the way and incorporating I would say rather more crazy fun mission because of these mechanics.
The benefit of being invaded by Aliens and being in a simulation is you can practically do some utterly nuts stuff. Like one mission has you flying a UFO and causing as much devastation as possible, which I just loved. What I took from the game at this point was something which is what I needed right now; a game which is fun to play. One that does not take itself seriously at all and is a great laugh. One which is mindless fun and can just take your mind off things for a while. A great release if you will. I dunno, as our reality right now is a little bleak. Being transported to another place and wreaking your own havoc is just what I needed.
It has a bit of everything. If you want to have some cool gun play, then it’s a fun time on missions where you will be coming across aliens to take out. Want to drive around for a bit? Then there is wealth of vehicles you can steal and do that while listening to radio stations. Want to run around a city like a superhero while jumping all over the place? You can do that too and have a blast.
If you want to cause violence, then you have all the tools at your disposal; laser guns, machine guns, pistols, shot guns, bats, and all other weapons you can think of to cause damage. I’m not going to recommend this for its story, but Saints Row 4 has all of the gameplay elements you loved from previous installments but gives you some utterly crazy stuff to do. I think some may like the gameplay direction this took while others will want to go back to Saints Row 2 when the story was decent and the game was set more in reality.
There is a local coop mode for those wanting to wreck havoc together, which was well implemented.
The music in Saints Row 4 is absolutely top-notch. Some absolute top tunes are included here, and if you like your movies, you are going to love all the movie references here. Radio stations like the Mix include tracks like AeroSmith’s I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing which played while I was trying to clib onto a rocket, Montel Jordan’s This is How We Do It as I was gunning down a raft of aliens, Haddaway’s What is Love, and Cyprus Hill’s Insane in the Brain to name a few.
The Mix was certainly my number 1 station, but there are 109 songs spread over 7 stations, so certainly something for everyone here. It works fantastically well with some of the hilarious references and humor in the story parts of the game, and then when you are traversing the map, you can go with whatever you want. I was a little disappointed with the sound of the cars. It would have been nice had they sounded beefier and more sound when you had to break hard and skid around a corner, but it’s a tiny criticism. The guns sound great and so does the destruction, so over all a decent job.
The game is priced at £34,99 in the UK and $39,99 in the US and Europe respectively. If it were me, I would head on over to Amazon and pick up the physical for the same price. Is it worth the money? Well, that depends if you have already played this. It offers nothing new from the other versions other than being able to take it on the move.
It’s 15 hours to complete the main story, but you know as well as I do that with all the side missions and messing about in the city you could spend 40 hours completing everything. None of it is that challenging, but it is a good fun time.
Also, this version includes all the DLC, which includes Enter the Dominatrix and How the Saints Saved Christmas, both short but fun. All of this DLC adds another 7 or 8 hours to the main game.
Story - 8/10
Gameplay - 8/10
Audio - 8/10
Visuals & Performance - 8/10
Value - 8/10
Saints Row 4 has a bananas story, but don’t buy it for that. Buy this for it’s humor, music, and overall fun gameplay. It’s just utter mindless fun which is certainly what many of us need to unwind to right now. This has all the great DLC and is a complete package for a decent price.
- Great value
- Fantastic and bonkers gameplay
- Excellent audio!
- Bizarre story