I had never bought into the Saints Row franchise. Going in, my impressions were based on past things I had heard. That being, that these games are full of guns and cars! My hesitance to play them in the past is mainly because of my incompetence in shooting games. Having a love of music, especially Heavy Metal/Hard Rock is well known by friends and family. So when I saw promotions for Saints Row IV: Re-Elected for the Nintendo Switch that included a guy dressed like Neo, from The Matrix movies, toting a guitar case as a rocket launcher you best believe my curiosity was piqued! And I’m glad I followed through on that instinct as this game was a helluva a lot of fun to play! Welcome to our review of Saints Row IV: Re-Elected for the Nintendo Switch console!
Hooked On A Feeling!
Since having never played a Saints Row game before I’m not one to be able to compare this Nintendo Switch port to other versions. All I can say is the biggest part of Saints Row IV is the word “fun”. The fun is enhanced with a chock full of humor, sometimes a bit lewd and often resulting in a laugh out loud!
The fun factor was evident from the opening sequence where you watch cinematics play out as you are a non-speaking, non-gender specific savior of the United States. You triumph over evil and are reveled by the public, so much so they elect you President.
Are You Happy To See Me Or Is That A Banana In Your Pocket?
Next up is the impressive character creator with a multitude of options. While it’s not on the ridiculous scale of a Black Desert Online it’s closer in comparison to DC Universe Online‘s editing processing and choices.
You have a variety of choices for skin color, hairstyles, voice pitches, and taunt emotes, just to name a few. You can even choose Nolan North’s voice to be your vocal cords. Heck, it even has a setting to control the protrusion of your genitals and breasts. This all just lends itself to the offbeat humor this game puts in place, never taking itself too seriously while providing some unique scenarios and RPG choices.
When all was said and done I tried to create my own version of Mr. (Joe) Fix-It from the Incredible Hulk comics but ended up with a Mr. Fix-It / Joker variant.
A Thrill A Minute, The World Goes Crazy
No sooner are you comfortable in the White House when an alien invasion makes life uncomfortable. You and the Saints get transported to a bizarre dream-like simulation which allows for all the crazy scenarios in the game’s story/campaign. For example, possibilities like being transplanted into the 1950s, in a Leave It Beaver scenario.
It’s all hilarious tongue-in-cheek stuff that ends in mayhem with driving and crashing cars and taking down the enemy with a multitude of guns. Later on, you’ll level up and be able to unlock crazy superpowers like super jumping, super sprinting, etc. I truly did not expect the semi-RPG element the game included. Some of it gets a bit redundant but the laugh-a-minute keeps the momentum of pushing forward.
I Can’t Drive, 55!
As the campaign unravels you’re given real-time objectives, e.g. get to this checkpoint, kill these aliens, drive fast to this location. Incredibly fun things like stealing a car, running into things, or using cannons to shoot down alien vessels all have their places and joy-ride moments. Even things like RPG launchers with unlimited ammo will bring out the bad boy (or girl) in any of us. Of course, it’s these types of things that make it one to keep away from younger gamers, in my humble opinion as a father and grandfather. Though remarkably, all this fun is created without using a lot of colorful language (i.e. swearing).
It’s all done nicely with cut scenes that put your character at the center of focus. It’s one of those games where your character actually takes part in the cinematics and has a voice, you in part created!
Shooting segments are sometimes rough, which can be typical with the Switch’s tiny Joy-Con sticks, but it wasn’t a major annoyance. I’ve heard turning up the sensitivity helps but did not try this solution. Even so, as a beginner, I was able to manage and get the job done.
The game also performed really well in undocked mode. Sound through the small speakers is sometimes tough to make out, especially dialogue. This was nothing cranking up the volume and turning on the dialogue text option couldn’t fix. Controls to zoom in close during sniping and switching weapons were easily learned motor skills as well.
Another thing, for me, was the amazing soundtrack. When you first learn to drive you can change the radio station and choose from among a dozen radio stations. I picked a classic mix and enjoyed driving a cop car down main streets trying to get to the next checkpoint listening to Thin Lizzy’s Boys Are Back In Town.
Also worth noting, this edition comes with all twenty-five Saints Row IV content packs and supports co-op gameplay.
Bottom line: Saints Row IV – Re-Elected was an unexpected blast to play. I still suck at driving and shooting but being terrible while playing this one I didn’t mind so much. For me it was a good choice for introduction into the Saints Row series, so much so I think it’s time to look into trying Saints Row The Third – The Full Package also on the Nintendo Switch!
This review was accomplished using a Switch code provided by PR.