GAME REVIEW: SAINTS ROW: GAT OUT OF HELL / DEVELOPER: VOLITION, HIGH VOLTAGE SOFTWARE / PUBLISHER: DEEP SILVER / PLATFORM: PC, PLAYSTATION 4, PLAYSTATION 3, XBOX ONE, XBOX 360 / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Proving that the Saints Row universe can manage to go just that little more insane, Gat out of Hell is the Jedi Academy of the series. Using many assets and ideas from its direct predecessor, it tells a new story and streamlines the experience. That and it also gives players DJ Shakespeare as an ally.
The story this time is that the superpowered President of the United States is kidnapped by Satan, intending for him to be married off to his daughter. None too fond of this, Johnny Gat and Kinzie promptly pursue the Lord of Hell directly back into his domain, and promptly engage in gang wars throughout his city of New Hades.
If you’ve not been a fan of the storyline or gameplay up to now, Gat out of Hell won’t sell you on the series. This is purely one for established fans, but in that regard it hits the bullseye dead on. New Hades offers a unique setting to the series, with a brand new aesthetic of fire and brimstone along with demonic powers to boot. Rather than wasting your time, you’re outfitted with a pair of burning angelic wings almost from the get-go and very little time is wasted from there. While the experience might be brief, there’s a much more palpable sense of progression and advancement without so much time wasting as its predecessor.
Atop of this, despite being a cheaper, shorter title built off of Saints Row IV, the writing remains top notch. Offering genuine hilarity from the start, the writers behind the franchise manage to throw in a few curve balls to keep things alive, including full blown musical about its events. If it’s more humour you’re after, Gat out of Hell has it in spades, and the quality of voice acting matches it perfectly.
This said, however, you are getting what you pay for. The graphics aren’t the only thing which has seen no real improvement, with the same mission types being translated from Saints Row IV. The same open world bugs from IV still plague the game, and quite often you’ll see some very odd scraping errors. While it might not be wasting time, a little more focus on internal innovation over the visuals would have been very welcome here. Perhaps the strangest thing is that, for all its gleeful goofiness, in sticking to one location Gat out of Hell feels far more grounded than IV despite its satanic trappings.
If you’re just after more Saints Row, the lower price and story will please you to no end, but if you’re after a genuine sequel you might want to pass this one.
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