Following on from the release of Saints Row: The Third last year, Nintendo Switch owners are able to return to Steelport once again in Saints Row IV: Re-Elected. The Saints Row series has always been one that’s just as bizarre as it is action-packed and that’s evidenced more than ever in Saints Row IV: Re-Elected – the opening mission alone sees you climbing a nuclear weapon as the sweet melody of ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’ blasts in the background, which pretty much sets the tone for what’s ahead of you. Fortunately, it makes for a VERY fun experience too and it’s certainly another welcome re-release to see hit the Nintendo Switch.
The Saints Row series became progressively more weird with each new entry, though with Saints Row IV: Re-Elected it really peaked; it’s something that’s especially obvious in the game’s narrative. After saving America from a nuclear threat, you end up earning the love and adoration of its citizens, which naturally sees you become President. Quite a rise from a lowly thug on the streets of Steelport, right? Things take a turn for the worst though when aliens end up invading Earth, with the player captured by the overlord Zinyak and placed in a simulation. It’s up to you to fight your way out of that simulation, take down Zinyak, and restore peace to America. Told you it was weird…
Gameplay-wise, you’ve got more of the same that we’ve seen in other Saints Row titles – you know, a large open-world full of zany tasks to complete, action-fuelled missions to conquer, wacky vehicles to race in, and plenty of enemies to wallop. Whilst there’s an obvious story path to follow that sees you slowly reclaim the different districts of Steelport, there are so many side missions and optional tasks to indulge in that it’s easy to lose hours in-game simply playing around and having fun.
Want to know one of the best things about Saints Row IV: Re-Elected? You’ve got super powers that’ll make you feel like a real superhero as you smash enemies about without a care in the world. Whilst the game has its fair share of weapons to use (both melee and ranged), using the likes of the Blast to launch enemies away with force, Telekinesis to toss foes around freely with your mind, or Death From Above to annihilate them from the skies ALWAYS felt more satisfying. The super powers apply to your manoeuvrability too, with the player able to zoom through the streets with super speed and even jump to insane heights as they leap around the city.
It almost feels like Crackdown 3 in a way, yet somehow Saints Row IV: Re-Elected manages to make the super powers feel a lot more enjoyable despite releasing six-years earlier – it shows just how well the game has aged. With plenty of upgrades to earn for your abilities as you progress, they never stop feeling fun to use and you’ll continually feel yourself growing more powerful the further on through your adventure you go.
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected comes with all previously released DLC, so there are plenty of new costumes, weapons, and missions to indulge in – you’ll even get to save Santa Claus, which is always a treat at the end of March. Unfortunately, the ‘Gat out of Hell’ spin-off isn’t included in the package, but hopefully it’s something we’ll see come to the Nintendo Switch in the future.
One thing that’s certainly worth mentioning is that Saints Row IV: Re-Elected’s performance is much improved over its predecessor, which took a few patches before it was able to run smoothly on the Nintendo Switch. Don’t get me wrong, the game has made a few sacrifices to its visuals here and there, but it all runs smoothly throughout and I rarely encountered any drops in the frame rate. Like Saints Row: The Third, gyro controls have also been brought into the port too, so those who like to get a bit more hands-on with their aiming will be able to do so. In all, it’s a very good port that’ll ensure that Nintendo Switch gamers will get a satisfyingly steady fix of open-world action.
Despite being a seven-year old game, Saints Row IV: Re-Elected remains a hell of a lot of fun to play, with the zany narrative and the over-the-top gameplay still standing tall in 2020. Best of all, the Nintendo Switch port is a good one, with a steady performance throughout – it’s certainly an improvement over Saints Row: The Third, so those put off by their early experience there can rest assured everything is a lot smoother this time around.
Whether you’re looking for an open-world action-packed fix or just want to play a really weird game, Saints Row IV: Re-Elected is certainly a worthy addition to any Switch owner’s library.
Publisher: Deep Silver
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC