Saints Row: Gat out of Hell
Saints Row IV has gone to hell… literally. For about the same cost as a lunch in New York City, gamers can opt for this standalone expansion to Saints Row IV and take part in the celebration of Kensington’s birthday. Like most third rate birthday celebrations, someone always has to break out the Ouija board and ruin everyone’s time by inviting unwanted guests from Hell. This time, Satan himself sucks The Boss into Hell with a view toward forcing him to marry his daughter, Jezebel. Since that simply won’t do for the Saints, Kinzie Kensington and Johnny Gat enter the nightmare world and attempt to thwart Satan’s whole plan. Yes, you read that right and no… we’re not kidding.
Within a few short minutes, players will be traversing through Hell and raising all brands of Cain. Players can switch back and forth between Gat and Kensington (or play with both via co-op) at any time, and both characters are equally suited to the task (that is, once the stolen halo imbues them with the necessary super abilities). In addition to the Saints Row IV abilities of running like The Flash and bounding like The Hulk to get from objective to objective, players are now given a set of angelic wings that provide full flight across the open world. Due to the spot on control scheme, this makes locating objectives and crash landing onto enemies quite enjoyable.
The character’s special abilities are doled out in very short missions early on in the game, and then the player is left to his own devices. The ultimate objective is to annoy the “living hell” out of Satan until he can’t stand your nonsense any longer and decides to face you himself (there’s an on-screen meter that shows how much interest in you he has at any given time). This is accomplished by completing various small side quests and becoming incrementally more aggravating as you progress. You have a wide variety of powers to unleash in hell to bring attention to yourself, including the ability to summon minions to fight alongside you, a direct ground stomp that sends enemies flying and an assortment of bizarre but effective weaponry patterned after the seven deadly sins.
After a set amount of quests are completed, a little more story is revealed. According to the world of Saints Row, Shakespeare, Blackbeard and Prince Vlad (the impaler) have taken up permanent residence in Hell and now need the help of the Johnny and Kinzie (a great opportunity was missed here with the fact that none of the most interesting character stories ever really get “off the ground”) to get things done. The characters also seem to break into song inexplicably, and leave the player wondering if this is a Saints Row game or a mixture of Disney characters performing a number that would normally be reserved for the closing act of a Monty Python film.
Even an average gamer can complete the main “story” mode in about five hours, so a great deal of the title’s potential will be missed. Graphically, the title’s textures are a bit “last gen” looking and, although fine for the setting, aren’t particularly jaw-dropping. The game itself is really just an expensive Saints Row IV DLC that only dwells on the super power aspect of its mother title and offers nothing but the relentless chaos that used to only be incidental to the series. Basically, if one of the main characters from the first Saints Row game had a taco bell inspired nightmare, this would be it.
The main thing going against this title is that it lacks any kind of satisfying conclusion to all of its mayhem, and isn’t close to being fleshed out enough for most players to care. It’s as if the game takes pride in being shallow, even for DLC. If you’ve already played Saints Row IV, you’ve pretty much gotten all you’re going to get from the title, and twenty dollars worth of DLC showcasing some of the more extreme facets of the game isn’t going to offer much more.
Reviewed By: Russell Garbutt
Publisher: Deep Silver
This review is based on a digital copy of Saints Row: Gat out of Hell for the PlayStation 4 provided by Deep Silver.