Friday, November 27, 2015
Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell (Xbox One) Review
Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell continues the new Saints Row tradition of going over the top. Playing as either the arguably most well-known character of the franchise, Johnny Gat, or Kinzie, hacker extrordinaire, you must rescue the president (the boss from Saints Row IV) from Satan's clutches. Yes, this is the real plot. If you have played Saints Row IV, this shouldn't be a surprise to you.
Anyway, in some ways it plays very much like SR IV. It is however, a standalone expansion, and does not require the base game to play. Awesome! More games should do that for DLC that doesn't affect the main game (looking at you, Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix). Gat Out of Hell is definitely a download title, though, as the city and content is noticeably smaller than SR IV. It is also cheaper, being a $20 standalone expansion.
Both characters share the same weapons and powers. The powers are reminiscent of SR IV, as are some of the elements, but there are some new additions. The summon is new and very useful once you power it up. The three elements are summoning little imps, a big ogre-like creature, and a tower. At first the tower isn't very good, but once it gets range and damage enhancements, that thing can take down tough hellspawn in two hits!
You still get super speed and super jump, but now get wings to fly instead of the glide. It took about 20 minutes to get used to how they work, but I like them much more than the SR IV gliding. It was much easier to move around the city with them versus the glide, and even doing the achievement/trophy for going from one side of the map to the other was much easier than it was in SR IV. After I got used to them, I really like the wings and don't want to go back to the glide.
There is no real mission structure to the main story, which is a big departure from the norm in this genre. You do very few actual story missions. The main goal is to get Satan mad, so you do this by doing the distractions (side missions), or just generally causing mayhem. It's a nice idea, but not a good substitute for actual missions, which would have given the title more playtime.
The side missions and challenges are more hell themed to fit with the game. The races are flying races, not running, and there is one game where you have to catch falling souls before they hit the ground. There are survival ones too, but they are reminiscent of the virus mini-games from SR IV. They also keep the insurance fraud, and it is still fun. Though the achievement for hitting 5 cars before touching the ground can fall down a flight of flaming punches.
The biggest knock against the game is the length. Beating the main story took me about 5 hours. Taking over all of the districts, having all powers, collectibles, weapons and gold medals in the side quests took me 11. I also had over half of the challenges done, too. So, while fun, the game might not be worth the full $20 asking price unless you intend to get all achievements and 100% it.
However, easily the best part of the game are the special weapons. Modeled after the 7 deadly sins, there is a weapon for each one. Wrath is a flaming sword, lust is a shotgun that makes enemies amorous and things like that. My two favorites are greed and sloth. Greed is a golden chain gun that shoots out jewels as the bullets. It costs a lot of in-game money, but it is very appropriate. Sloth is a recliner that has a machine gun and rocket launchers in it. You don't run around, the chair just slides along the ground as your character sits back and lets the mayhem commence. It might be a small detail, but these two in particular felt well thought out and just really fun and cool to use.
Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell is very, very fun and not too hard, but might not be worth the asking price. If you get it with Saints Row IV on the current gen consoles, it is very much worth is and worth playing. It is a condensed Saints Row experience that I think I prefer to the base game!