Review – Saints Row IV: Re-Elected (Switch)

I was eagerly waiting for the more than obvious Switch version of Saints Row IV, arguably one of the best open world games of all time alongside Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Mercenaries, and Just Cause 2. Being able to play Saints Row: The Third on-the-go was good, don’t get me wrong. But Saints Row IV is the perfect culmination of a franchise that started off as a lame GTA clone, but eventually shifted to a game about a super-powered president fighting aliens while listening to Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend“. This is the game I really wanted to play on-the-go. Deep Silver and Volition did not disappoint.

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Keith David is leaving the tough choices up to me.

When the Switch port of Saints Row: The Third was first released, it was marred with technical issues. The game, which has never been a good looking title to begin with, featured an underwhelming resolution and a very inconsistent framerate. Granted, most of those issues were fixed with a patch released a few weeks later, but some problems persist to this day. I was curious (and worried) about how well Saints Row IV would be ported, as this game is a lot more demanding when it comes to lighting effects, as well as the fact that you’re running as fast as a speeding train at all times, destroying everything unlucky enough to touch you.

I’m happy to inform that yes, it does run much better than The Third, but let’s face it, Saints Row games have never been known for their technical achievements. Framerate issues are less frequent, but still show up whenever things get busy onscreen. Weirdly enough, the game often peaked at 60fps when things weren’t busy onscreen, such as when I was climbing a tower or aiming at an alien ship in the sky. The gameplay is a little bit more intuitive than the one featured in The Third, as you’re almost never going to drive a car. Running and jumping around like the jock version of The Flash is more practical, and let’s face it, a lot more fun. Aiming and shooting is a little bit more precise than before and just like most Switch ports, Saints Row IV allows for your to use motion controls to aim more precisely.

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You’re like The Flash, but dumber and more arrogant, therefore, more entertaining than the actual Flash.

With all the issues out of the way, I feel like I’m now free to boast how much I actually like this port. It’s Saints Row IV… on the go! Right from the get-go, the game lets you know that it wants to be as ridiculous as humanly possible. That first mission in which you’re climbing a nuke while “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” (Aerosmith’s worst song of all time) is playing in the background, is the perfect mix of cheesy and hilarious. Things only get dumber (and more amazing) from then on, ranging from the amazing arsenal at your disposal (Dubstep Gun and The ‘Merica being the highlights) to the outrageous DLC episodes included with this package as well. I wouldn’t be able to tell which of the two, How the Saints Save Christmas and Enter the Dominatrix, is best. They’re equally hilarious.

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Who needs cars when you can run and jump over gigantic distances with your superpowers?

The sound design still holds up. Nolan North’s portrayal as The President is probably the best thing the man has ever done in his life. Better than Nathan Drake in Uncharted, better than Deadpool in that underrated title from 2013. Everyone else does a fantastic job as well, from Zinyak’s stereotypical posh British accent (he’s a villain, of course he speaks with a British accent), to the fact that Keith David himself is your vice-president.

The soundtrack, as you can see from the two examples I mentioned above, is filled with gems. There are many radio stations available and you can even listen to them without being inside a car (let’s face it, you’ll never going to drive in here). That being said, the radio station that plays pop and rock tunes from the 80’s and 90’s is the only one you’ll ever need.

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No idea what’s going on…

All in all, although the Switch port of Saints Row IV still features framerate issues and isn’t exactly a pretty game. However, it compensates by being hilarious, chock-full of content, and incredibly fun. The sole act of fooling around the map with your superpowers, wreaking havoc, and killing everyone in sight, will entertain you for hours. Very few open world games nowadays manage to entertain you outside of missions, and even fewer games manage to entertain you like Saints Row IV do. Having this on the go, being able to be a superhero while listening to “The Safety Dance” wherever I go, is way too satisfying.

 

Graphics: 7.0

It’s a very noticeable improvement over the Switch version of Saints Row: The Third, but framerate issues still linger.

Gameplay: 7.0

Given how you’re mostly going to use superpowers and not worry too much about precise aiming controls, controlling the President in Saints Row IV isn’t as bad as expected. Most issues are a consequence of the aforementioned framerate issues.

Sound: 10

The voice acting is still as fantastic and over-the-top as ever, with the welcome addition of the absolute cheesiest soundtrack in the history of gaming.

Fun Factor: 10

You won’t find an open world game that is as absurd and hilarious as Saints Row IV. Being able to play it on-the-go more than makes up for any framerate issues you may find on the way.

Final Verdict: 8.5

Saints Row IV: Re-Elected is available now on PS4, Xbox One and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Saints Row IV: Re-Elected was provided by the publisher.

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