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Filling the open-world with 'GTA V' and 'Saints Row IV'

One of the biggest video game releases of summer 2013 is Deep Silver and Volition’s Saints Row IV. In spite of the closure and liquidation of THQ, Volition was quickly purchased, and development of Saints Row IV remained on track and unchanged. Set for release next Tuesday on Aug. 20, Saints Row IV is a distinctive game brimming with humor, personality, and, above all, fun.

Saints Row IV
Deep Silver

You can find Examiner’s Game On review of Saints Row IV here.

Being set in an open-world and having a similar premise – at least up until Saints Row: The Third – the Saints Row series has long been compared to Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto franchise. With Saints Row IV and Grand Theft Auto V releasing only weeks apart, the comparisons will continue, but these two games will offer drastically different player experiences.

Earlier this month, Scott Phillips, Design Director of Saints Row IV, spoke on how Grand Theft Auto V and the Saints Row IV are different games and that each title serves a different need for gamers – full story can be found here.

“Saints Row and Saints Row IV specifically are very different games than GTA and serve a very different need/niche for gamers. I don’t think we need to live in a world where only one open world game exists and I think if you saw anything from E3 this year it was that open world games are the future,” said Phillips during the Reddit AMA.

Having played Saints Row IV for that last couple of weeks, we can honestly and confidently say that Phillips is correct. Though both titles share an open-world design, they cater to different needs and as such, stand on their own qualities, yet complement each other.

Saints Row IV is an over-the-top video game packed with sexual innuendos, vulgarities, immaturity, brilliant comedic writing, and entertainment. The amount of love that went into the game is evident immediately upon starting – find footage of the game’s opening mission here. Saints Row IV doesn’t take itself seriously, and that is one of the game’s redeeming qualities as it is able to deliver comedy in a raunchy style that adult gamers will find hilarious.

The concept of Saints Row IV is fantastic as players are the President of the United States and must deal with an alien invasion. Trapped in a virtual world, players are equipped with super-powers and battle alien forces. Sounds pretty awesome, right?

Providing players with adrenaline-charged super-powers and granting, essentially, complete independence, the world is open for the player to explore. Fly, run at blazing fast speeds, or, hell, drive a car around town. The choice is yours. Admittedly, there is something amusing about flying in the sky, scaling skyscrapers, running at lightning fast speeds, and jumping hundreds of feet in the air while listening to ‘The Touch’ by Stan Bush.

Naturally, there are plenty of wild mission types to enjoy – a quick example being committing insurance fraud by falling into oncoming traffic and getting hit by cars or falling off rooftops to earn money.

Everything about Saints Row IV is bizarre.

With no rules or laws to abide by, Saints Row IV is a virtual playground for you to have fun in and cause havoc. This freedom allows Saints Row IV to stand apart from other open-world games and is why the title is the perfect candidate to accompany GTA V.

Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V will be extravagant in its own way but will take a more realistic tone and approach than that of Saints Row IV.

When looking for a deep, movie-like experience, Grand Theft Auto V will satisfy that need. In the meantime, Saints Row IV will scratch the cause chaos and amusement itch. GTA V will take players on heists, intense firefights, and provide a majestic storyline with an amazing cast of memorable characters. Saints Row IV will give players a Dubstep Gun, super-powers, humor, and hours of enjoyment.

Both games share similarities, but they satisfy different needs. Together, you get all you’d ever need or want from an open-world game.

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