Before reading any more it has to be said, if you haven’t played Saints Row 3 or 4 you should do so. Otherwise your mind may not be able to comprehend the madness that is Gat out of hell, or it may help you realise if your SR satisfaction has been quenched or not.
The Saints Row series has proven itself to be serious, funny and absolutely insane! Turning away from the comparison of GTA to choose its own path, whether it be from and alien invasion on earth causing the president of the world to take action in an Anti-Air gun, or a Matrix-esque virtual world. Only Deep Silver Volition(aka Volition) could top it off with a trip to hell to save the Boss from marrying Satan’s daughter Jezebel.
Graphics / Story
Being thrown into Hell is definitely an interesting feeling. The actual world itself is half the size of SteelPort which still gives you plenty to work with, plus the atmosphere is perfect! You definitely feel as though you’ve entered a twisted realm, it may not feel like the underworld or a place where Hades would hide, but when the buildings look the monotonous colour of brimstone with lava dripping from flying rocks, crazy architecture and lakes of magma, it’s positively hellish. But again, the game feels like it’s making a parody of itself and there’s enough differences that you don’t feel as though you’re in a re-vamped SteelPort. As far as graphics go though, they’re only a slight improvement to its other games, while still looking a bit rough, but mostly sticking with a style that the game’s comfortable with.
Saints Row’s humour has always been funny and over-the-top which is what it’s become known for (notorious or otherwise). How many people did you beat to death with large phallic object in SR4 and not have a grin out your mouth as you did it.
The games story although quite linear allows a lot of exploration. Naturally a lot of unexpected stuff happens in the game and plenty of hours of gameplay and challenges are available for you to enjoy every penny spent. You even get a wonderful Disney number for all your trouble visiting hell, how many games can offer you that.
I loved the feeling of finally being able to fly, SR4 was great with the super jumping and gliding, yet nothing beats the feeling of actually flying around with wings (especially fiery angelic wings) and doing aerial acrobatics when being shot at. This easily allows you to traverse your new world while also gathering ‘Soul Clusters’ to improve your abilities (similar to the clusters from its predecessor). Unfortunately this again makes cars pointless to the game, it’s nice to know you can drive whenever you want but who wants to do that when you can simply get to your destination by running at super-speed, jumping rooftops or flying.
A small example of the powers (as I don’t wish to spoil too much) is the ability to summon a variety of different minions to aid you in the destruction of demons. Or perhaps you would prefer blasting your enemies to stone or just devour their souls entirely while stomping them in an aura of holy light. The choice is yours. More powers can be unlocked through the alters found throughout the game.
To complement your newfound powers you have an arsenal of weaponry at your disposal. You shouldn’t just be satisfied with your machine gun or dual pistols, instead you’re given weapons which are the embodiment of the Seven Deadly Sins, what more could you ask for? Each of these offer a fantastic uniqueness that all offer a level of satisfaction when using them. Whether it’s Greeds ‘Diamond Sting’ which fires money while being gold-plated, Envy’s ‘Uriel’s Edge’ which happens to be a massive flaming sword that disintegrates people, or even Sloth’s ‘Armchair-A-Geddon’ which speaks for itself. All of the weapons can be unlocked through different methods which relate to their name.
It’s fairly interesting to see a game which feels very Gat and Kinzie centric, getting to play as the pair of them felt so good after working with both of them in previous games. The game itself felt more as a gimmick, while trying to bring a special feel to SR players, it doesn’t try and explain more than it needs to and instead throws it right in your face. The downside to all of this is that you don’t learn more about the characters than you’d like and there’s a massive lack of customisation to your player as opposed to SR4’s Boss creation where you could be a; blue metal skinned, green mohawk headed, red eyed super-saiyan who weighs more than a house.
As a standalone expansion, ‘Gat out of Hell’ provides a great game with an enjoyable yet linear story even if it does seem to be a slight re-skin of Saints Row 4. The environment design looks cool and fits with the style of the game well, but the graphics of the game are beginning to look a bit rough compared to most games of its generation. The lack of customisation is a bit upsetting, but is made up with the new powers and weaponry with the humour being on point. It sums up Saints Row as a whole very well while still being crazy and amusing.