"Saints Row" the open world third person video game franchise that debuted as a cheap knockoff of Grand Theft Auto series has always been unapologetically imitating but also unique in a silly way. The newest in the series Saints Row IV doesn't deviate from that pre-established goofiness. In fact, it drives right through it, off a cliff and straight into outer space into the alien world.
In Saints Row IV, the intergalactic story makes nearly everything that's come before this edition seem tame by comparison. If you played the similarly phenomenal Saints Row the Third, you'll remember that the Saints are no longer just a street gang, they're international stars, complete with their own energy drink and fashion line. Here, they go a step even further and have gone judicial; the leader of the Saints is now the President of the United States.
But that is just the tip of iceberg of irrationality and derision the game has to offer.
It's an interesting twist that the developers have fun playing with, especially early in the game (you're given the time to make one major discovery - do you cure cancer with a bang or end world hunger?), but it also seems like it's an idea that isn't given proper time to build since the game rushes to the major event that sparks most of the game's story so quickly. Not too long into your term, the world is attacked by a hostile alien race and imprisons you into a virtual world meant to signify your doom. The world looks an awful lot like a place in heaven, the draw distances and world are so vivid and lifelike, making the city a ton of fun to explore.
The game does tend to get boring after the repetitive tasks in the middle of the game and you might be asking yourself why did you end up playing this game. Graphically, the game is annoyingly glitchy, an issue offset by the fact the game is set within an unstable computer simulation. Saints Row IV won't be very friendly to newcomers of the franchise because the bulk of the adventure is spent on reuniting the gang - and some other characters - from the previous three installments.
A positive thing about the Saints Row IV is its friendliness to modding, along with the game's own customization, the third party user mods and tool make the game a lot more interesting. For example you can modify your character speed and stamina, which makes it fun to play the game (see http://deviatedhacking.com for a modding tool.). The customization of the game is also very unreal. Want a polka-dot skin on your assault riffle? Go for it. Want your station wagon to have rims? It's your choice. The most impressive customization feature is with your character as all features are gender-free, so if you want a 300 LB guy with a mullet wearing a bikini you can, or a woman with facial hair and a man's voice. There's even a voice option for Nolan North, the voice of Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series and just about half of all of the other male roles in gaming.
In the end, to summarize, while the game is plagued with problems, Saints Row IV continues down its predecessors' path of being an outrageously stupid, goofy and unique game that invites players to do these mindless acts.