September 11, 2013

Saints Row IV Areas of Concern

I hate Roman numerals.....

WARNING: This review contains Mature Subject Matter. Parental Guidance Advised


After sifting through Saints Row The Third, let's just say that I didn't have much hope with this instalment of the franchise. The previous Saints Row game had strong sexual references, and.......well, strong sexual references.

While this game does have suggestive thematics and scantily clad women, it's not on the same level as Saints Row The Third. Does that make it okay, however? Read on, to find out!

-Mr. President, Kyle van Rensburg.

Basic Plot:

The Boss (your character) becomes the President of America after saving the world. Aliens invade. He/she tries to save the world again. Things don't go so well, and now he/she sets off in order to exact revenge on the evil leader Zinyak.

The Boss acquires superpowers in the process, turbocharging his/her mission of vengeance.

Will The Boss get his/her revenge? Will Zinyak be defeated? Will the Saints gain the upper hand or fail miserably? Will Fry and Leela finally get married---oh sorry, wrong story.

Release Date: August 2013.

Developer: Volition, Inc.

Publisher: THQ Deep Silver

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC.

Genre: Open World Action Game.

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg.

Areas of Concern:


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

General Violence:

--People can get shot, stabbed, blown up, and beaten:

-Shootings: blood sprays out, staining the environment, cries of pain are heard, and their bodies spasm in reaction to the bullets. You can take human shields, with blood being shown when they are shot.

You can also freeze enemies and shoot them, resulting in sprays of blood and chunks.

-Stabbings: Sprays of blood are shown as your character stabs and slices. Throat slitting is also depicted, with arterial sprays of blood.

-Explosions: You can use rockets, grenades, and AA guns. People are sent flying, with some blood spurting. Vehicles can also get blown up, wreckage and explosions being seen. You can use a super power to set enemies on fire, with cries of pain being heard and they flail around.

-You can send yourself flying into a large enemy, they scream in pain and explode into blood after a while.

-Beatings: Punches, kicks, and stomps are shown, with spurts of blood. Some kicks send enemies flying. Your character can throw people out of cars and off bikes. You can also run up to random people and hit them in the crotch.

You can super punch enemies, punching a hole into their abdomens with blood spurting, and also punch, kick and stomp them very hard, with blood splattering.

After the enemies die, you can see blood pooling out from underneath them. 

--You can fight against several robots, both big and small, with wreckage and explosions being shown.

Storyline Violence: 

--A man stabs, shoots, punches, and breaks the necks of several people. He throws a knife in the head of one enemy. Blood spurts are shown throughout, and cracks are heard when their necks are broken.

--In an interactive sequence, your character bashes a man's head against the ground, with blood spurting out. Afterwards, they have a fight and your character is stabbed.

--There are several sequences where massive explosions go off, knocking people back, strewing wreckage everywhere, and making rainbows. (The last part was a joke. Ha.) 

--A "reality" show you take part in is called "Mind Over Murder" where players chuck vehicles, people, and stuffed heads of a mascot through hoops to score points.

--We see a man after being impaled with a sword, blood all over the surrounding environment. He suddenly comes back to life, and is stabbed several times in the face, blood spraying.

--A man punches and stomps on several people with exaggerated blood splatter effects.

--A man stomps on and pulls the head of an alien, decapitating him, with the bloody spine being shown in detail. 


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive
--We see an image of a topless woman, but without any detail. (No nipples....) We also very briefly see a fictional topless woman WITH detail on a magazine cover.

-We see several scantily clad women throughout the game, wearing only bras and g-strings, exposing a lot of skin. 

--Players have the OPTION of going to strip clubs: We see woman wearing only thongs and pasties gyrating around poles. One loyalty mission has your character going to said strip club and doing a similar "Sexy Dance" (quote from the game).

If you want to know which mission contains this sequence, it is the "Ben King Loyalty Mission".

--You have the OPTION of "romancing" your team mates (both male and female). Your character walks up to them and suggestive dialogue is heard: 

"Hey you wanna [expletive]?"

"I want rough sex...."

"As long as I get to be on top" 

"Wanna (have) casual sex?"

"You don't have to die a virgin....", and so on and so forth.

Afterwards, they move off-screen and have sex. (Not depicted.) Some of the same sex characters are depicted kissing as the camera pans upwards, and a robot hovers in front of a man implying oral sex.

--An 8-bit section of the game has you talking to a dominatrix in a scantily clad outfit and a whip. Nothing happens, but it is pretty suggestive.

--Your character can be customised: you can make them go naked, with pixellation to cover the sensitive parts. However, at certain parts during the story, you can see their buttocks through the pixellation. 

-You can also make them strip down to their underwear (Shorts, bras and panties...), and you have the option of making them cross-dress.

--A woman dances in a very provocative manner in an extended dance sequence.

--The "Dildo bat" from the previous Saints Row game also makes an appearence in this game: It is a dildo on a, ahem, bat, and you can smack people around with it. 

--A man asks a woman if he can get porn on a device. She replies in the negative, and later on a man makes a remark about Furries and that he feels like he's about to get "yiffed" on.

NOTE: Saints Row IV attracted controversy in Australia for an "Alien Anal Probe Gun" which features in the game. Having watched a full walkthrough, I can say with some certainty that it was removed from the main storyline or made less prominent.


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

Semi-Frequent Strong Language: Uses of F**k, S**t, A*s**le, D**k, P**sy, Sl*t, D**che, P**s, B**ch, H**l, and D**n.

-At one point, an AI repeatedly says the word "F**k" about a couple dozen times in a row.

--God and Jesus' names are used in vain.

Spiritual Content:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--The very first scene in the game is of a god-like being sitting a throne, brandishing angel wings. Two bulls horns decorate either side of the stool. 

--A woman from the future remarks about her past self, well, being her from the past. Her past self remarks: "This isn't a born again thing, is it?"

--List of symbols:

-Five point star. (Pentagram, often associated with Satanism.)

-Fleur de lis. (Catholic Symbol.)

-Lightning bolt. (Lucifer falling from heaven.)


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--A loyalty mission has your character attempting to "score" an alien drug; at one point, your character lights up a crack pipe, only to remark that he is not feeling anything. When you finally score the drug, the screen pixellates and distorts as you get high.

The mission contains several drug references, including jokes about smoking too much, getting a score, and remarking enthusiastically about the drug finally working.

--A few sequences where people consume alcoholic beverages. 

--A woman lights up a smoke. 

Gross Stuff/Gore:

--A man asks what a "Hot Spot" is, and jokes that it's probably an anus. (Hurr hurr.)

--Attacking an enemy's groin results in the game referring to these as "Nut shots" and "Testicular Manslaughter".

--A man makes a comment about feeling like a toilet at a bus stop covered in "jizz" (That's a slang for.......well......sperm), and throws up, with the puke being seen. 


Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

You are a gangster who unquestionably commits crime throughout the entire game, takes drugs without hesitation, and can kill civilians without major penalty.

The only upside is the fact that he/she is very devoted to his/her teammates.

Thoughts & Impressions:

A noticeable step down in quality from Saints Row The Third, especially in regards to humour. Whilst the game is genuinely funny at parts (and vulgar in others), the comedy tapers off towards the end, an unfortunate problem with many works of fiction.

I'll say that the characters are interesting and unique, and I enjoyed the celebrity cameos in the game. (Roddy Piper ftw!) Overall, even if you can get past the content, the game doesn't really strike me as being worth it.

Rather get something like Portal 2, which contains consistently funny jokes, great gameplay, and minimal offensive content.

Saints Row IV is your standard Not Recommended: The offensive content can be overlooked, but it's still there and it may really bother the majority of Christian gamers.

Verdict: 18+


And that's it! Another Areas of Concern in the can. Next week, we may have our first review from Daniel Kay in a long time.

Tune in then!

Writer Bio:

Kyle van Rensburg is the Editor-in-Chief of KVR Gaming. He likes cookies.

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