The lights are on
What was once planned as downloadable content is now a full-fledged sequel, and new publisher Deep Silver debuted the first gameplay demo of Saints Row IV at PAX East. In a room at the Westin hotel in Boston, developer Volition ran through some features and abilities that gamers can look forward to in the upcoming open-world title.
At the outset of the game, you learn that your character has now been elected President of the United States. This was made immediately apparent thanks to a remix of "Hail to the Chief," as well as the fact that the character was decked out in full USA regalia (Uncle Sam hat, American flag pants, etc). Within seconds, the Commander in Chief was hitting pedestrians in the crotch and knocking them out with Stone Cold Stunners.
After a few more nutshots, we got a glimpse of some of the ridiculous new weapons. The Inflate-O-Ray does just what you'd guess, filling up human targets with air until their head looks like a hot air balloon just before it explodes. Another was the dubstep gun, which immediately makes pedestrians in the vicinity dance. Any cars in the area magically sport hydraulics and start bouncing up and down.
Weapon customization was a great system in the previous game, but it was strictly for function. In Saints Row IV, customization has been extended to include cosmetic upgrades. For one example, Volition showed how the standard bazooka could be modified to look like a guitar case ("El Fugitivo") or the Super Scope light gun for SNES (called the "Soopa Six" here).
Brand new to the series are the new superpowers, and they look like they'll be a blast to control. Your character can sprint at insane speeds, knocking cars and people out of the way. He can also jump ludicrous distances, glide/fly, and perform a move similar to the thunder drop in Infamous. Enemies and pedestrians can be turned into blocks of ice with an ice projectile, and they'll shatter when struck. Telekinetic abilities allow you to lift and throw objects at will, so you're free to toss trucks at pedestrians or throw a helpless old lady off of a skyscraper. Volition says that these superpowers can be used while firing standard weapons, so you won't have to worry about constantly switching back and forth.
Activities will be making a return, and this time they'll come with bronze, silver, and gold awards depending on your performance. One new activity we saw was Mech Suit Mayhem, which is similar to the previous game's Tank Mayhem but instead gifting you with a (you guessed it) bipedal weaponized mech suit.
We saw less than ten minutes of the game in action, but that was more than enough to make me confident that it's going to be a blast. Combining the already-great Saints Row gameplay with a wide array of new weapons and powers sounds like a surefire recipe for a good time.
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