Can Saints Row IV Kill Its Own Spark?
Not that long ago, Saints Row IV was unveiled to the world, generating much ado about the killer sandbox title. Â A trailer showcased plenty to look forward to, although minimal information about the title was actually given. Â Finally, a little over a week ago, a PAX East gameplay video surfaced on YouTube, which you can see below.
It took me awhile to gather my thoughts. Â There was a gun that inflates heads until they pop, a deep weapon upgrade system, morphing aliens that hunt you down, a mech suit, and super powers. Â And no, I didnâ€™t get this confused with a Power Rangers game; this is full on Saints Row. Â Iâ€™ll admit that, at first, I was blown away at how much fun it all looked. Â But then I started to get a little worried…
At some point, it feels like Saints Row has started to rely heavily on gimmicks. Â What was once an obnoxiously idiotic (but still inexplicably awesome) crime simulator has progressively gotten more identifiable by its craziness, separating it from nearly every other sandbox game out there. Â It never takes itself too seriously, which is why the series is a blast to play. Â Whatâ€™s so scary then, you ask? Â Because, young grasshopper, too much of a good thing is rarely ever a good thing.
The unstoppable lead character, improbable story events, the ludicrous Third Street Saints; these are all at the heart of Saints Row. Â But constantly trying to outdo previous efforts by bigger twists and crazier gameplay wonâ€™t necessarily make for a better game; its exactly how a developer can figuratively jump the shark.
Not to mention that, after this fourth installment, whatâ€™s next? Â Volition will once again have to re-raise the bar of the series, meaning what? Â The Saints take over Mars? Â Give the player a Transformer to drive? Â A simultaneous zombie, werewolf, and vampire plague?
Grand Theft Auto, a similar series you might have heard of, constantly attempted to top each previous entry. Â By the time Rockstar got to San Andreas, they decided it was finally time to move in a new direction. Â One realistic, gritty reboot later, we have an award-winning title that was critically acclaimed, Grand Theft Auto IV. Â Saints Row doesnâ€™t have to take this route, and I doubt it ever will. Â But going in the complete opposite direction could kill off this lovable, frantic, tongue-in-cheek sandbox series. Â If itâ€™s any consolation, though, the new dubstep gun is sexy.