I've been looking for a reason to come back to video game editorial and reviews. Work's been busy, but I miss my games too.
Anyway, recent game I just got my hands on and finished? Well, try Saints Row 4. I have always been a loyal fan of Saints Row because this game is simply full of havoc and mischief. I still remember Saints Row 3, where I totally hijack helicopters and stock pile up on RPGs. I guess it's a very different experience compared to Far Cry 3. Not sure why, perhaps Far Cry series grew too realistic.
Well, Saints Row 4 was quite disappointing because of how they evolved. The previous 3 part series mirrored mob family/clan fighting like Gangster 2, but this newly released Saints Row part 4 din't really meet my expectation. Well, in terms of storyline it just grew too outrageous with an alien invasion, and fighting in a simulation and constantly going back-and-fore into the simulation. The storyline got a little draggy at the end, because of many small tasks which needed to be done.
In terms of richness of the game, I would say it has the right content for countless hours of gameplay. Its sandbox style allows you to wonder around and conquer shops and do side-quest to increase your popularity within each area. Pretty much the same feature in most sandbox style games. They managed to bring back some old faces from Saints Row 3, i.e., Doctor Genki and his maze arena. Player customization is one of Saints Row series' strong points. So, you will expect features such as facial, voice, gesture and other appearance customization. It got really funny when you as the President have such a girly voice....
Alright, now comes to the gameplay. Saint Rows 4 has done it again with their sweet looking and also silly looking guns like the gun that shoots music/soundwaves? Get high with headshots from your single shot laser pistols! In terms of gameplay movement, the player movement is intensified by special player abilities such as speed-dashing and high-jumps and even wall-running! Players can choose to drive vehicles, and earn points for reckless driving. However, I must say that the driving aspect was/may become neglected when players max out their dashing and jumping abilities. For me, the driving part was quite a mess, because keyboard driving can be quite difficult.
The gun-fights and enemy engagement were quite challenging, especially if you were on Hard mode. The enemies keep spawning and it's simply endless, if you din't get to your quest. Enemies come at you from the ground and the air, in cars, bikes and ships. It gets really annoying sometimes, so better hijack yourself a helicopter :)
The storyline has a twist at the end, but the ending was pretty much expected... you win!
Perhaps other features of Saints Row 4 is that the player is able to cast skills like freeze, fire and stomp - pretty much the standard spells you get in an open sandbox roleplaying first-person shooter game. On the whole, if you are looking for a shooter this year to cause city havoc and blast enemies and vehicles, Saints Row 4 is the game for you! I rate this game to be only 7.5 / 10 because of it's just one of your typical sandbox shooter games - din't see any 'WOW' factor during my gameplay.
Works well on my GT460 SE, 8GB RAM, Windows 7, with some occassional bugs - just need to reload the game :)