Sunday, January 5, 2014

How the Saints Save Christmas

I finally played the Saints Row 4 DLC:  How the Saints Save Christmas.  I meant to play it on Christmas day, but I ended up being too busy.  Or at least too easily distracted by other things.  I wasn't busy/distracted with Christmas related things, oddly enough.  Both Christmas and Thanksgiving were very laid back, more or less solitary days this year.  I still got to celebrate them with family on other dates though.

My short review:  It was fun.  I did keep running into my two biggest problems with the game though.  One, you can't shoot guns while mid-air.  Maybe this is a holdover from the very little I played of Crackdown, but it just feels like you should be able to.  Two, the most fun weapon in this game of a million zany weapons is the energy sword.  It cuts enemies in half, and they evaporate into pixels or something.  It's powerful and really fun.  But it's fun is limited by the fact that you can't run up to someone and cut them. You run up to them, wait for the running animation to stop, and then you can stab them.  Also once again, you can't jump and cut mid air, which makes it near-impossible to kill certain enemies with it.  Walking through a mob of enemies and slicing them up was fun, but imagine how much more fun running through a mob and cutting them up would be, or jumping up and slashing down from above.

I realize that Volition added a ton of extra features to SR4 before releasing it.  I realize that and I appreciate it, I love this game.  But those two things kept jumping out at me, because as I said even though I knew couldn't do them I kept feeling like I should be able to.

The missions were repetitive, but they were by no means frustrating.  The story was cool.  The little video at the end with the Christmas stuff was very cool, even touching. Worth playing for the video at the end alone, in my book.

I'm actually worried about the next Saints Row game, if there is one.  It will be hard enough if it's a reboot and there's no superpowers, just because it's hard to come back from that.  It's hard for me to play other shooters without superpowers now.  Mostly it's because I don't know what else they can do gameplay wise.  The mission types do get repetitive after a while, and they haven't added much past adding new elements to old mission styles.  They had two good "fun extenders" in SR4 in the form of adding superpowers and also by having each character request that you do the side missions for them in a sort of playlist, with specific rewards for completing each list.

I worry that doing the exact same mission types in a new setting will get more wearing if the series goes on, no matter how self-aware it is.  I have faith in Volition to make it work if they try and tackle it, but those are the thoughts creeping around in the back of my mind.

Til then,


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