Saints Row IV Re-Elected / Gat out of Hell

Game Review by Tom Hillman | 23 Jan 2015
Game title: Saints Row IV Re-Elected / Gat out of Hell
Publisher: Developer: Volition, Publisher: Deep Silver
Release date: 23 January 2015
Price: £49.99

Saints Row IV: Re-Elected is the latest last-generation remaster to be released on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. All in all it’s a pretty sizeable package that includes the last-gen original, all of its DLC and a new standalone expansion called Gat out of Hell. For those who’ve never played a Saints Row game before it’s a bit like Grand Theft Auto but with the weird cranked up to 11. Saints Row games have a ridiculous story, self-aware humour and extremely entertaining challenges to occupy your time. You play as a member of the Saints, a group of loveable rogues who were once gangbangers but successfully made the jump into mass pop culture and stardom.

Saints Row IV didn't look all that hot on last generation consoles and that's even more noticeable in 2015 with remasters such as the incredible looking GTA V and Metro Redux having already been released. For some reason there’s still pop-in and frame rate issues to contend with even on current generation consoles meaning that unfortunately Saints Row IV Re-elected feels more like a bare bones port than a lovingly created remaster.

Its expansion, Gat out of Hell is set in a Helltastic version of Steelport where the dead roam the streets and Demons tear around in souped up monster trucks. With no pun intended, the setting feels a bit soulless and the world doesn't have a tremendous amount of depth to it. It all feels rather superficial and considering what they could have done with the setting, it's something of a shame. Storywise, it's about as campy as you can get in true Saints Row style. Your character from Saints Row IV aka The President is sucked into to Hell after Satan decides that he/she is the only one fit to marry his daughter, Jezebel. Naturally Gat and Kinzie have to rescue their boss and jump in headfirst.

Strangely enough there's very little story content to speak of in Gat out of Hell – in fact the vast majority of the expansion is a collection of mini-games and challenges. By completing them and generally causing mayhem you’ll fill your 'Satan's Wrath' bar and when it’s full you’ll finally unlock the ending. It’s a bit of a shame as you’ll meet some great characters along the way such as Blackbeard, and an evil version of Shakespeare who manages his club called The Tempest. Unfortunately their exposition is all a bit paper-thin.

The expansion will keep you busy for around three or four hours depending on how much collecting you want to do, which isn’t bad as expansions go, and the new weapons do look cool; for example you’ll get your hands on a launcher that shoots explosive frogs, a gun that shoots out homing insects and a minigun-toting armchair. The only problem is that regardless of how cool the guns look, they still suffer Saints Row’s slightly lacklustre combat. There’s very little visual, audible or haptic feedback from the game to indicate that you’re even hurting your enemies until they explode into a bloody mess – which is rather unrewarding.

There are also some puzzling omissions from the expansion; customisation has been a pillar of the Saints Row titles for years now, yet there are no clothing shops and unfathomably there’s no in-game radio. The wings on the other hand are easily the best addition to the expansion, and whilst they’re a little frustrating to start with due to having short flight distances and poor control, once you’ve upgraded them you’ll be soaring around the city trying to collect as many soul clusters as possible before you have to land.

Gat out of Hell is a fun distraction but not one that we’d recommend buying on its own. However, if you never got chance to play the fantastic Saints Row IV first time around then this Re-elected/Gat out of Hell bundle is the best option available right now. It's just a pity that such a great game has received such a poor remaster.