After the demise of THQ, and the acquisition of Volition by Deep Silver, it’s safe to assume that Saints Row 4 will become a reality sooner rather than later, but far from being excited, I just don’t see Saints Row 4 being the Saints Row we need.
Now I’m not saying Saints Row 3 was a bad game, it just was certainly not as memorable or fun as Saints Row 2 – it was a desensitized version of fun, like the developers were telling you which toys were the most enjoyable. Instead of keeping the whole “Serious story, funny people, and lots of things to discover” way, they went with “Goofy story, Cardboard characters, and here are all the fun things”.
I don’t hate Saints Row 3, it just was a huge let down for a fan of the series. I think if Volition can follow a few easy steps they can make a Saints Row 4 we’d all like. It’s mostly a matter of self-control at this point, they just need to hold back on few things(pop-culture reference and dildo bats). It’s like they found a way to make a parody of the parody game, it was far too self aware and felt more like a mockery to the originals than a sequel.
None the less, here is my proposed list of changes Saints Row 4 should make…
5. Tone Shift
Keeping a consistent tone is very important to making an amazing game, Saints Row 2 had that down. They made a game that had serious storyline that was over the top, but not goofy. When you lost a friend in Saints Row 2, it was like “Okay, full revenge time!”. While Saints Row 3 felt more like a shallow parody of Saints Row 1 and 2, with no sense of reality or consistency. They wanted you to feel bad for Johnny Gat dying, but then had a (terribly different) Shaundi making jokes as you dove through 2 different Aircraft Carriers (blowing them up as went through them).
It just didn’t feel consistent, it felt like they tried to be funny too often. The reason Saints Row 2 was so funny is that they only made some jokes in the cinematic that felt in place with the time and characters.
If SR4 could benefit from any game the most in this area, it would be SR2. It never pushes the wacky fun things in your face, it never felt like a parody of a real game. Obviously being funny was a key part of the game, but it never shoved that part into your face.
It reminds me of why it’s fun to watch bad movies that think they are good, instead of bad movies that know they are bad so they ham it up to parody level. That whole cynical “it’s funny because it’s bad” thing is tired horse that should be laid to rest.
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This article was first posted on January 27, 2013