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Saints Row PS4 review: did we need it?

This review will focus on the PS4 version of Saints Row. Will the reboot of the most extreme open world have convinced us?

Our review based on the reboot of the most famous “GTA clone” will not be completely classic. Saints Row in fact, it is proposed as a purely cross-gen videogame and, as such, it should guarantee a worthy playability even on consoles such as PS4 and Xbox One. The market is still ambiguous and many players are forced to play with their eighth generation consoles.

We at come to meet those who, for market reasons or not, are unable to make the generational leap. Our Saints Row review starts from this assumption as it focuses on our in-depth test on PS4 smooth.

The Saints Return to Town – Saints Row PS4 Review

This Saints Row is, as previously mentioned, a real new starting point for the open world saga. The various chapters of the franchise have gradually undergone a tendency to extremes their nature, starting from the first and the second which sought a more realistic approach, up to the third chapter which pressed on the accelerator of madness and the fourth which, although detached from the original formula thanks to the implementation of superpowers, had a sort of common thread that made us understand that we were playing a Saints Row: irony and parody taken to the limit.

The reboot begins after creating our character with a prolessi who projects us into a future where the Saints clan, formed by us and the roommates Kevin, Eli and Neenah, has now become an empire and, for a reason unknown to us, we will come. practically buried alive. After this flash forward, our adventure officially begins to explain the origin of the clan in that of Holy Unharmed: our playground which, this time, is strongly inspired by the landscapes of New Mexico.

After a series of main missions we will get to know our best friends mentioned above, the various enemy clans and the Marshall soldiers who take the place of the STAGs for Saints Row: The Third.

The premise that then leads to the formation of the criminal empire represents the soul of the plot: the 4 companions are in difficulty because of the rent costs. The simplest way is, for them, to start robbing and carrying out illegal actions in order to scrape together some money. Believe us if we tell you that, practically throughout history, what happens is a succession of nonsense choices that trigger nonsense events. However, it is not that absurdity mitigated by parody and by quotations that, in the previous chapters, have brought us more than a few smiles. It is essentially an unsuccessful mix that deprives the plot and characters of character.

Saints Row PS4 review: did we need it?

Pew Pew – Review Saints Row PS4

In Saints Row we have the possibility to dedicate ourselves to the main missions or secondary quests scattered around the map or operated from our smartphone. The smartphone represents the in-game menu that will allow us to make different choices, including consulting the map, customizing our boss, or selecting skills. In fact, in the title there is a level system which will guarantee us to unlock passive or active enhancements. The latter are operable in the combat phases and, the more our level goes up, the more these buffs will be eccentric and strong.

In terms of gameplay, the game officially opens once our organization’s headquarters are unlocked: the church. Through the HQ, in fact, we will be able to manage the Saints network, buying and placing properties around the map. Every property, from the mechanic to the insurance company and toxic waste disposal company, will offer us a range of new secondary. The purpose of these missions is to “max out” the company by guaranteeing us new weapons, aesthetic objects and, above all, to make more money.

Whether they are main or optional, however, the gist does not vary. The missions translate into John Wick-like scenarios where we will have to kill decides and dozens of enemies with deficient artificial intelligenceor in car chases that, due to the new ramming mechanics and the possibility of going on the roof to shoot, reminded us of a mix between Bornout Paradise and Pursuit Force (come on, I’m not the only one who knows).

The shooting is very basic and, after a few hours of play, the only reason why it could be fun is because of the various types of weapons available. The driving system did not convince us at all. The soul of him is arcade and this is also evident due to the very long drifting that can be carried out. In most situations, from chases to driving at high speed, we felt we had little control over the vehicle. Clearly, the technical sector on old-gen does not help at all.

Saints Row PS4 review: did we need it?


The spearhead of the videogame is customization. The editing of the character is very complex, with the possibility of changing the aesthetic features of the boss in every aspect, including the “modesty”. The clothing is also very varied. Santo Ileso is full of shops or stalls where you can buy clothing or accessories, as well as tattoos. These are very numerous but unfortunately there is no possibility to move or resize them.

Customization does not stop at our protagonist. The means of transport can also be completely modified. In addition to aesthetics, individual vehicle upgrades are available such as the off-road kit, towbar and magnetic plate for helicopters. Each car has furthermore un perkfrom the tighter drift, to catapulting us into the air by pressing a button and so on.

Around the map we can find objects that flash purple. By opening the smartphone and photographing them, we will add them to our collection and, subsequently, we can place them around our HQ. If not even the customization of the Church is enough for you, you will be pleased to know that weapons and the crew itself can also be modified.

Saints Row PS4 review: did we need it?

Come gira su PS4? – Review Saints Row PS4

Playing Saints Row on the smooth PS4 produced a strong nostalgia effect in us. That’s because it reminded us of the times we played not-so-well-optimized cross-gen titles between Gen 7 and 8 on our Xbox 360. The list of technical flaws in Volition’s new open world is substantial, but we’ll just summarize it.

One of the things that immediately catches the eye is the pop-up. Once in the driver’s seat, just look in front of us to see objects pop up a few meters from the car, as well as pedestrians and buildings that acquire textures. The apex, however, is reached in the missions, with enemies that spawn in front of our noses out of the blue.

The frame rate is far from stablewith peaks exceeding 30 fps and dips below 20. We have encountered bugs galore. From the most harmless such as the weapon that, although selected, does not appear in our hands for some time, up to entire missions that we had to repeat due to objectives that were not marked as completed or for infinite loads.

The concept of Holy Unharmed we liked it instead but, unfortunately, it turns out to be a practically empty city. The only aspect that enriches the vast map are the little shops aimed at customizing the character. Such a pity. Also because, there are plenty of ways to get around the streets of the fictional town, including the wingsuit.

Saints Row PS4 review: did we need it?

Spoiler: no

The title of this paragraph answers the question we asked ourselves at the outset. Did we really need this reboot? Well, we don’t think so. What is missing in this Saints Row is precisely what has always distinguished the franchise from the various GTAs and clones, or rather character. Then add strong technical uncertainties and the damage is done. As great fans of the series, we sincerely hope that Volition returns to dare again, proposing a Saints Row worthy of having this name.

Points in favor

  • Full-bodied customization compartment
  • We liked the Santo Ileso concept …

Points against

  • … but it turned out to be an empty city
  • Several bugs that often compromised missions
  • Pop-up too obvious and which leads to the sudden appearance of enemies
  • Repetitive
  • Plot and characters lacking in character