Saints Row IV and the Art of Stealing Thunder


By now, all of us sandbox junkies should have the dates memorized: August 20 and September 17.  The countdown has begun until we will once again be getting lost in an entirely fresh world, beating people up with giant dildos, running over hookers, blowing up cars, and declining offers to go bowling with Roman.  But, after the unexpected and explosive success of Volition’s Saints Row: The Third, Rockstar will finally have a competent competitor to deal with in sales.

And they should, because the games release less than a month apart.

So, let the battle of the fanboys ensue!  Saints Row IV (which releases on August 20 of this year) will no doubt be looking to swipe a few sales from GTA loyalists and casual gamers alike, and there’s a good chance they will.  Volition’s combination of borderline-psychopathic action and tongue-in-cheek humor turned out to be a recipe for an insanely good time.  And it doesn’t hurt that they give you the ability to configure your own protagonist with nearly limitless options.  Unless GTA V’s already-released main character models change drastically in the next few months, you probably won’t be playing as an overweight, huge-breasted purple zombie lady when it launches on the 17th.

Volition rounded up a whole truckload of hype with a new trailer last week, as well.  In typical Saints Row fashion the trailer advertises super powers, UFOs, presidency, and so much more wrapped up in ADD-friendly clips of about half a second each.  In response, the internet had this to say:


Well I imagine it was something like that.  That’s what the internet is like these days, isn’t it?

Meanwhile, Rockstar managed to beat a pulse into the dying GTA V hype by releasing—drumroll, please—screenshots.  While the screenshots didn’t show any gameplay or new mechanics and were generally pretty insignificant overall, they did look beautiful.  Especially the picture of a delightful San Andreas sunrise—it’s so lifelike I’m tempted to plaster it over my bedroom window to wake up to every morning.  Wait, maybe it’s a sunset.  Or solar flaring striking the earth. I’m not good with weather.

It’s probably a safe bet that both games will be ludicrously fun and consume more of my time than my actual life does.  With a month’s head start, it’ll be interesting to see how Saints Row’s sales stack up to the legendary Grand Theft Auto series.  With hardly any coverage thus far on either game, we’ll just have to wait patiently for more kickass, adrenaline-pumping, curiosity arousing trailers and—er—screenshots.  So for the next few months I strongly encourage you to get out past titles of both series, strap on your jetpacks, load up your rifles, and drive over bystanders on the sidewalk—because we’re in for a rambunctious and belligerent fall.*


DISCLAIMER:  Please allow 6-12 months for the inevitable delay of Grand Theft Auto V.