The Saints Row franchise is always going to have an interesting place in the history books. It was the first GTA clone, and then it slowly but surely became its own bit of insanity that brought gamers to the table time and time again. And despite it being almost seven years since its release, the 4th title has come to the Nintendo Switch, and as you’ll see in this Saints Row IV Re-Elected Review, it still holds up…mostly.
Game Name: Saints Row IV Re-Elected
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Publisher(s): Deep Silver
Release Date: March 27th, 2020
Price: $39.99 | Nintendo eShop
I mean…I guess it’s spoilers…the game has been out for seven years though…whatever, roll that beautiful Saints Row IV Re-Elected Review text!
After the events of Saints Row The Third (which I will maintain is the best of the series in many respects), the Saints find themselves useful to the government. So much so that they stop an attack to destroy America…become even bigger “puckish rogues”, and The Boss (that’s you) gets elected to the Presidency of the United States of America.
God Bless The Saints.
Anyway, just when the party is getting started in many respects, the White House is attacked by the Zin Empire and its leader, Zinyak. Who captures you, all your fellow Saints, and many of your allies, and takes you aboard the ship of his.
Naturally, you break out of the “personal nightmare” he’s put you in, only to be put into a “simulation” of Steelport (the city from the third title). Now, you have to free your Saints, beat Zinyak, and try to save both the planet and the universe in general. You know, regular Saints Row stuff.
If there is a word to describe the Saints Row franchise, it’s escalation. And Saints Row IV Re-Elected is no different. For while Saints Row 3 was “grounded” in gang warfare, this battle to your alien enemies is enhanced by the ability to wield various Superpowers and weapons that defy reality.
I’m talking leaping tall buildings in a single bound, wielding ice and fire, using telekinesis, running on water, and more. And as you explore the virtual Steeleport, the powers you get not only expanded but grow in power, making you a one-man or woman army.
Focusing on the storyline overall, Saints Row IV Re-Elected does a fun job of making this both feel like an insane plot, while also focusing in on the characters, as well as embracing the history of the series. For example, not unlike you, all of your fellow Saints are trapped in virtual nightmares. Breaking them out, and then doing their “loyalty missions” really shows the personalities of the characters, and what makes them tick.
My personal favorite was the Shaundi missions, as we see that she’s still reeling from the death of Johnny Gat in SR3 (no spoilers for those who know what I’m talking about). Hearing her not only try and cope with that but then MEET her past self and talk with her is both deep and hilarious at the same time. The rest of the Saints get varying levels of depth as well, and it makes it a blast to place the main missions.
Which is where the bad things start to creep in. You see, Saints Row The Third had a majority focus on story missions and THEN you could do other activities to boost your rep and control over areas. Saints Row IV Re-Elected has more of a focus on “Side-Quests” via doing things for your various Saints. While this starts out as fine, it soon gets very tedious, and the repetition can get rather annoying if we’re being honest.
For example, to use stores, you have to hack them to get them to your side. To do this, you must do a puzzle, which is fine. But, as you continue, they get harder and harder, and it gets boring after having to do 32 of them. Other missions are the same where you do variations of past SR activities as well as new ones that don’t exactly hold up.
Plus, while it’s true that you doing this will help you build up money to improve your character, I feel there could’ve been more fun and creative ways to do all of this. Including more story missions, of which it feels like there is a lot less. Especially when some of them are “optional”…even though they shouldn’t be considered that.
The other real problem with Saints Row IV Re-Elected is that once you reach a certain peak, you don’t need help doing anything as long as you are smart. For example, you don’t need your homies to back you up when you can freeze people, shoot them into oblivion, or run away at supersonic speeds to reach your next destination. This means that outside of forced missions, cars are pointless.
Now, on the plus side, the “digital world” offers some fun things to track down. Including a hilarious look at the life of big boss Zinyak via a text adventure (kid you not), as well as audio recordings from your fellow Saints and even your past enemies to help you dive even more into what makes them tick.
Which brings me to another important aspect, the voice acting. Say what you will about Saints Row but the voice acting has always been awesome and they’ve gotten the best stars and crew to voice just about everything perfectly. I’d honestly be remiss for not putting it in this Saints Row IV Re-Elected Review. I mean, you have variations of the bosses character (including a full-on Nolan North voice from Nolan North himself), and all of your crew who bring a lot of life to the madness going around you.
My personal favorite is Kenzie Kenzington, just saying.
But in truth, what helps make Saints Row IV Re-Elected a game you want to play even 7 years after it’s all said and done is…it’s just fun to play! Especially with EVERYTHING going on in the world right now you need mindless crap to do and nothing says that than having superpowers and destroying waves of aliens. I’ve played the game before but even with semi-fresh eyes it took me over 17 hours to beat the game, and I didn’t unlock everything since I was aiming to get this review done. So you can easily put over 20 hours into it. Perfect for pick up and go gameplay and to spend some time just relaxing.
Saints Row IV Re-Elected may not be the best of the franchise, but it’s still really fun, and if you haven’t played it, or haven’t played it for a while, you should try it out.
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Saints Row IV Re-Elected Review
Saints Row IV Re-Elected brings another Saints Row adventure to the Switch, and it honestly does hold up for the most part. So step up to the Presidency…and go kick some alien butt!
Saints Row IV Re-Elected Brings The Pain and The Fun In A Delightful Port