Title: Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell
Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PC
Publisher: Deep Silver
Price: $19.99 / £14.99
Release Date: Out Now
TL;DR: What Happens when you take the Fun out of a Saints Row game.
Family Friendly: Click here for more information.
Verdict: Skip It
When we last saw the Third Street Saints, things were going pretty great for them as a whole. They had defeated their alien oppressor, gained access to all of his spoils and used a time machine to go back and make some mischief (at least according to the credits sequence). As a developer, you would be hard pressed to find a way to top that sort of insane chaos, and yet Deep Silver has set out to push the limits of the Saints Row franchise further by taking them to the one place you would have never thought they would go – Hell. On the surface, the pitch for Saints Row: Gat Outta Hell sounds great, but one has to wonder if a game can shrink its size, consolidate its location and character and still find the same amusement that was found in the last couple of Saints Row games. Well, it depends on what defines a Saints Row game for you.
Gat Outta Hell doesn’t waste much time with setup or much in the way of story per se, as things get going with a rolling start. The Saints are celebrating Kinzie’s birthday and during the celebration, the crew decides to use an Ouija board, and during the game, The Boss is sucked into a portal that transports him/her to Hell. In true Johnny Gat fashion, he decides to jump through the portal into hell, bringing Kinzie along for her birthday with the one intent of destroying Satan and saving the boss.
Sure, the premise is thin, but Saints Row games have never been huge on creating heavy duty narrative, instead centering their entertainment on situations and events which normally have a solid payoff. Here however, the events never really form. Gat Outta Hell instead decides to dole out activities that we must complete to create enough havoc to get the Devil to show up and fight. That is about the entirety of the premise behind Gat Outta Hell – repeat various activities until devil shows up and then kill him. There is no real humor beyond a weird musical number, but even that never goes far as Deep Silver already released the entire number in a trailer before Gat Outta Hell was released.
While the adventures and activities you are doing are not all that creative or fun, the biggest issue I found was with the main characters themselves, both Kinzie and Johnny Gat. I love Johnny Gat as a character when I am alongside him in a Saints Row game. His lack of a conscience allows The Boss to get an unfiltered opinion on a subject when needed. Kinzie’s weird sensibilities and the fact that she is really smart gives The Boss the tools to succeed during crunch time. They are fun characters but here they just are not provided much to work with in the script. Unlike having a main character that you create from scratch, Johnny and Kinzie are predefined and lack the ability to change them in any way, either by look or by costume. Beyond sprouting some wings and flying, there is not much for either character in Gat Outta Hell, and that includes anything in the way of witty dialogue.
The biggest issue challenging Gat Outta Hell is that it is not really a solid game, instead feeling like a bunch of ideas that have been threaded together to make a retail product to get the Saints name out there on new consoles in the short term while a far more solid idea is developed. The charm and the fun that have come with the last two Saints Row titles are almost completely absent here in Gat Outta Hell, instead replaced by rote repetition of tasks that are far too shallow to keep one’s attention.
One might decide that they want to play Gat Outta Hell if only to stay complete with the series up to this point, but that is almost akin to saying that one wants a root canal if only because they enjoy the sensation of pain. Maybe when it is on a deep discount Gat Outta Hell might be a game to jump and pick up but until then, it just does not have enough going for it to really earn a place in someone’s collection. Instead, just revisit some of your better Saints Row memories from the past games and remember why the series is supposed to be fun in the first place.
- Some of the new special moves look pretty awesome
- Activities are of the standard Saints Row variety
- There is a lack of any real driving story or narrative
- Leans far too heavily on activities and not on main story missions
- Main characters lack customization options or entertaining dialogue.
As with just about any Saints Row title, Gat Outta Hell needs to stay in the hands of adults only, as sex, language, awkward situations and so much more show up about as often as rain falling in Seattle. While the blood is not pouring out, there is a heavy amount of violence and now in this latest game, references to the underworld which may be uncomfortable for some. Definitely 18 and older for Gat Outta Hell.
Review conducted with retail code purchased by the reviewer