Saints Row 4 Preview: So Far, So Good, So Maybe
That said, I want to talk obliquely about these moments if only to get across that if anything works in Saints Row 4, it’s the sharp-as-nails wit that manages to be as smart and clever as it is dumb and obvious. To that end, here is something of what you can expect:
- Definitely make certain you test out all the voices during character creation. Like Saints Row 3, SR4 has a secret surprise voice that is ridiculous and hilarious. But while in SR3 it was the option to have a moaning zombie voice, in SR4 the joke rests entirely on the voice actor hired for it.
- A reference to a certain movie about asteroids from the late 90s that is both a fun pat on the head for longtime fans and a total mockery of the Michael Bay school of emotional manipulation. And it’s hilarious to the point I dropped my controller laughing.
- A really funny gag about the speed at which radio signals travel outward into space from Earth, which not only gives you all you need to know about how far from Earth the Zin forces have taken our hero, but how said hero apparently spent the 1990s.
- An absolutely brilliant moment early in the game that parodies science fiction and general culture of the 1950s, and also makes explicit some of Saints Row 4′s superficial Destroy All Humans moments.
- A very hard-to-find nod to Minecraft.
Again, if you want to know specifics, Google it, but I assure you these jokes are best experienced in-game.
In each instance when they appear, you’ll feel flattered for your ability to get the references, you’ll be amused at how the operative motto in the SR4 writing room appeared to be “We won’t say no,” and you’ll be giggling at the sheer absurdity of it. These scenes also show off how Volition really mixes up gameplay, with vastly different mechanics depending on the setting. And they’re gorgeous, painstakingly crafted moments from people who have clearly done nothing but ingest pop culture from the last 50 or so years regardless of quality. I thank them for their sacrifice.