Volition's Saints Row series has been a major player in the open-world action genre for a long time. Originally released as a game that looked to the likes of Grand Theft Auto, the series started to stray away from a more serious approach with humorous undertones after the second game. As a comedic game that touched on intense topics, Saints Row 2 was forgotten when Saints Row 3 came along, with the third entry changing the very core of the series.
This change wasn't just visual or related to gameplay elements either, Saints Row 3 switched the entire tone of the franchise from being a somewhat-believable gangster series, moving it into parody territory. Saints Row 3 followed the same player-created 'Boss' as its predecessor, but instead of running a gang empire, the player became the face of a multi-million dollar empire, ruling the city with cold, hard cash rather than through pure violence. Many fans of the first two games found Saints Row 3 to be a bit too over the top while others thought it was a breath of fresh air. The former category of gamers would soon be shocked to discover that the game that came after would turn every dial up to eleven.
In Saints Row IV, the player steps into the shoes of the very bombastic president of the United States, which is seemingly doing quite well. Cancer's being cured with the sign of a document, the world hunger crisis is solved, the "White Crib" (which is basically the White House, just more fun) is a building where major political issues are worked out and parties are held and the government has the entire country as its fan club. Suddenly, however, the country is attacked by an advanced alien race called the Zin, led by extraterrestrial tyrant emperor Zinyak. Zinyak and his minions assume control over the country and the beloved president (that's you!), sending the core characters into a Zin-created Matrixesque simulation made up of various dimensions. And so, while your bodies are in stasis on the Zin ship and your digital self fights for survival in the simulation, the world burns and disintegrates miles below.
Re-Elected sees the player acquire superpowers for the first time in the series and it's up to you
to use them to help weaken the simulations in which your presidential companions are stuck. These let the player run at the speed of light, jump miles off the ground and slam it when coming back down, use telekinesis and elemental attacks, and more, and all of the mentioned powers can be upgraded by spending "data clusters" that are spread across the vast in-game world. Apart from having superpowers, the player also has a vast weapons arsenal at his/her disposal and all of the weapons are upgradeable as well - including the now-iconic Dubstep Gun.
The game doesn't take itself seriously, which is, honestly, a fun change of pace from the many ultra-serious third-person action games on the market and it's a great addition to the Switch library, releasing with all of the extra content previously released for the game.
Saints Row IV actually runs quite well on the Switch, both in handheld mode and on the TV screen. We will say though, that there are some issues in the realm of the Saints and Zin(ners) such as texture pop-ins, NPCs flying around the map, and some screen tearing, for example. Apart from this, the Switch-exclusive motion-controls available for aiming your weapon don't work that well in this particular game, since it requires the player to basically turn the camera 360 degrees constantly since enemies will often swarm around the boss. This makes the motion controls lose their set centre location and requires the player to stop and reset the aiming, which won't help in battle.
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected is an entertaining addition to the Switch library and it's a fun game to play if you want to get lost in a wacky, bombastic action-adventure. That said, we caught ourselves questioning whether the world really needed yet another version of the game, and the Switch version isn't the best one out there. If you don't own the game on any other platform or if you really want to play Saints Row IV on the go, then, by all means, get yourself a copy - it's still a fun experience even after all these years, and it works just fine on the Switch.
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