You read right. The next game in the Saints Row franchise, Saints Row IV, is set to release this year. August 23, to be exact, on all current-gen platforms except the Wii U. I was very surprised to hear this, considering it hasn’t been that long since the third game came out. I’d heard the rumors though. Back when I was reading on THQ’s bankruptcy & Volition’s subsequent purchase by Deep Silver, there had been rumors SR4 was going to be released in August. At the time I didn’t put much stock into the rumor, but now it’s official
I have to admit, I have concerns. For one, you’ll notice from the trailer that the game looks a whole lot like Saints Row: The Third. Same graphics, vehicles, clothes, etc. From what I’ve read, it’s even still taking place in Steelport. If you compare SR2 to SR3 there’s a significant difference between the two. They have different styles, different graphics & overall feel like two very separate games. My concern is that, due to the shortness of its development, this game will end up feeling like more of an expansion for SR3 than a proper sequel.
But there is reason to hold out hope that the quality of the game won’t be negatively affected by the length of development. For one, supposedly SR4 was in development before SR3 was even released. Also, you may recall that what was originally supposed to be a third story-based DLC for SR3, Enter the Dominatrix, was cancelled during development to be merged with the new sequel. Apparently, this is the basis for the for the fourth game, which may explain why the setting & style of the game matches the third. A third indicator that it might still be a worthy sequel was a comment made by Deep Silver when they purchased Volition. According to the publisher, they were allowing the company to have full reign over polishing a game “long-in-development,” suggesting that even then SR4 was nearing completion.
As for the specifics of the game itself, we don’t know much. This is just a debut trailer, after all. However, we do know some things about the Enter the Dominatrix material that the game is supposedly based around. Enter the Dominatrix was supposed to be about the leader of the Saints being kidnapped by an alien overlord who wants to invade earth for its resources (& women). In order to eliminate the threat from the Saints, he imprisons the leader in a virtual reality world. Based on a few of the images in the trailer, this may still be the plot of the game. There are scenes of female robots, people being strapped into some type of machine, & possibly a floating alien fortress. Personally, I’m interested to see how this works out. It offers some interesting possibilities. You could get away with a lot of things by saying it’s virtual reality. You may notice some Matrix-like moves in the trailer — the name of the DLC was obviously a play on the movie franchise.
There’s a lot of room for speculation right now.
- Will Johnny Gat be alive? A lot of people, myself included, didn’t like that Gat was killed early in the game. But some fans have argued that Gat could still be alive. We never actually see him dead, after all. Plus, if the game is set in a virtual world, possibly based on the leader’s memories, Gat could logically be in the game.
- How will the game follow the story of SR3? Remember, the game gives you two choices for the last mission which leads to two very different endings. I’m curious if the game will set one ending as the proper canon, or will the player get to choose. Perhaps the game incorporates an import save feature like Mass Effect did. No specific NPC’s are seen in the trailer, so for now we can only guess.
- Will multiplayer be better incorporated? I personally didn’t play the multiplayer too much. Some fans have stated they want a unique experience to share rather than just playing through the single-player with another person. Playing with two players didn’t have any impact on the story (your friend didn’t even show up in the cutscenes). For now all I can say is that the trailer does show a scene with two player-characters, most likely in-game.
For all of my concerns, I hope this game turns out good. I really like the Saints Row series. Hopefully Volition will be releasing more solid information as the months go by.