Disclaimer: This post is made as an entry for PS Asia’s PS Plus Junior Reporter competition. The points and views raised in the review however are not affected in any way.
To think that the Saints Row series couldn’t get any weirder.
Saints Row started off as a competent GTA clone, about gangsters in an open world doing crime and story missions. By the Saints Row The Third the namesake gangster group The Third Street Saints have now become celebrities and fought an international crime syndicate and a super high-tech private army, while Saints Row IV have them save the world from utter destruction, their boss- the protagonist- becomes President of the USA and fight off aliens in a Matrix-like construction of the world with super powers.
So for this lightweight spin-off, Saints lieutenants Johny Gat and Kinzie go to hell to save their boss, and have to find a way to get out of hell. Hence, the pun in the title.
With all the ludicrous set-ups aside, Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell is a solid short romp in the Saints Row universe, but it does not fundamentally bring something new and ridiculous to its gameplay. But if you’re a fan of the already ridiculous Saints Row IV, this is right up your alley.
Graphics & Sound
Let’s get this out of the way: Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell is built upon the Saints Row IV engine used for the previous generation of consoles, and it shows. Some graphical textures are downright muddy in 1080p and performance is all over the place.
With the PS4 the game can now go up to 60fps, but that can vary wildly depending on how much action is on-screen, which will drop to a solid 30fps from time to time. Inconsistent frameraes aside, the audio volumes are out of whack, some sound playing too loud while some plays too softly.
But at least, despite the varying performance of its audio and video, the sensation of wrecking mayhem, lobbing rockets after rockets at the demon horde feels satisfying. And that’s where it counts when the game is all about causing as much damage and destruction as you can.
Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell is pretty much like the previous Saints Rows, especially Saints Row IV. Gat or Kinzie (you can switch between them) roam around the city of New Hades, an all new city with inspirations from the precious setting, Steelport. You get super powers in the form of angelic flight- with wings!- and a super sprint. Other powers will be gained throughout the game, each with 3 different variations to it.
The story missions are pretty loose in form, where you can just go to point A, get distracted with some distractions and activities, then continue on, clear some waves of enemies and continue to point B. After recruiting your four allies in Hell, a destruction meter will be shown to show you the progress until the next story point or mission unlocks.
The game can be entirely played via online co-op, with both Gat and Kinzie wrecking havoc together.
Since the game is pretty much a standard Saints Row affair, the unique flair in Gat Out Of Hell is the biblical theme. There are weapons based on the 7 Deadly Sins to find, and all of them feels fun to use, like the Armchair-a-geddon, a cozy chair with minguns, representing Sloth.
It is noted however that the game has some stability issues. Throughtout my playtime, I’ve encountered several game crashes out of nowhere, which can be annoying. So be warned.
Content & Longevity
Saints Row : Gat Out Of Hell is a stand-alone expansion to Saints Row IV, and that explains why the game is really short. It took me 3 and a half hours of playtime to unlock the last mission.
However, for completionists, there’s good news (or bad news, depending how you look on it). There’s plenty of collectables and activities to be completed before reaching 100% completion. The 7 weapons based on deadly sins are also not story critical, so you need to do some scavenging to unlock them all.
Also, there’s no character customisation, a staple of the series that doesn’t make an appearnace here.
Saint Row: Gat Out Of Hell may not be something spectacular, but for a standalone expansion, it is decent enough for some quick playthorughs over the weekend or two. Playing online co-op with a buddy can be a lot of fun, but if you’re already tired with the open world sandbox format from previous Saints Row, there’s nothing really new to get excited with.
A 6.5 /10. 7 if you really like Saints Row.
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