Saints Row 4 PAX East Preview: El Fugitivo Lives!
Early in the game, you’ll get access to your first super powers: speed and jump. Speed will allow you to run ridiculously fast, and also to blow everything out of your way, including cars, pedestrians, and more. Jump will let you launch into the air, traveling insanely high. The building jumping and down smash remind us of Crackdown 2, Boone said of the power, “You’re navigating in a whole new way.” You can later learn things like telekinesis, a freeze ray, and more.
These powers change more than just combat. Rooftops are no longer accessible only with a vehicle. Instead, they’re vital parts of gameplay. Activities that were tied to ground level in Saints Row the Third can now be found on rooftops around the city, and so can collectibles.
Just in case super powers aren’t enough to stem the tide of the alien invasion, Volition is adding several new weapons as well. They only showed off a couple in the demo, but if these two are any indication, the zaniness knows no bounds. First up was the Inflato-Ray, which is exactly what you think it is. Whatever you shoot with it will literally inflate until it explodes. Second is an even more devastating weapon, the Dubstep Gun. This one fires waves of dubstep at your foes (the demo used the same song as the Kroll Show theme) until they finally implode from the power of the bass. There’s so much dubstep, you’ll think it’s another Far Cry 3 trailer.
Weapons bring another new feature to SR4: customization. SR3 allowed you to increase damage, fire rate, and magazine capacity. The new installment takes this to another level, allowing you to modify the look of the weapons themselves. Want to turn your rocket launcher into a guitar case? DONE. It’s even called “El Fugitivo,” which is apparently a reference or something. (Just kidding, don’t flame us.)
One other interesting feature that was mentioned is that anay character created in Saints Row the Third can be imported into Saints Row 4. This won’t be a direct import from your save game, but a download from the community site. There was even mention of a possible ability to take SR4 characters back to SR3 the same way. Not every outfit will make the jump to SR4, so you may lose your favorite duds, but at least you can keep your character.
You may wonder what happened to the ‘Enter the Dominatrix’ DLC. Volition said that some parts of that DLC (they would not specify which) were incorporated into SR4. It’s not just stapled in, either. Anything they used was blown out, made bigger in scope – basically turned up to 11. The Volition folks also said that they would be releasing a Director’s Cut DLC of Enter the Dominatrix after SR4 is finished.
Finally, Saints Row 4 is larger than SR3. While the story content is roughly similar in size, the open-world content is “massively larger.” Volition spoke of more activities (one of which is piloting a mech for mega destruction!), and the way that the new vertical navigation will make them more accessible.
Saints Row 4 will hit stores on August 20, 2013 for PC, PS3 and 360.
Ron’s final word: Saints Row 4 is shaping up to be not just a ‘more-of-the-same’ sequel, but a genuine expansion of the fun and craziness that was Saints Row 3. It’s not re-inventing the wheel, but when the wheel works so damn good, why would you want to mess with it? We still don’s have all the details, but the folks from Volition were talking up the relationship they’ve built with new publisher Deep Silver, and the autonomy they’ve been given.
Couple those things with the other additions we’ve talked about, and you see why I think August is going to be a gret time to be a Saints Row fan.
Devin’s final word: Builds on the quality, zany fun in SR3. Weapons look awesome, superpowers are great, but you’re not invincible. Strong ties to SR3 make this a sequel to look out for, but new fans won’t feel left out. Building jumping and down-smash remind me of Crackdown 2.