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E3 2013: Saints Row 4 hands-on

E3 2013Saints Row

From a gangster to a boss to an icon, the head of the Third Street Saints has come a long way. Five years have passed since the events of The Third, and somewhere during this time the leader of the Saints has become the President of the United States. The path towards ridiculousness starts strong and builds from there.

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Within the first few minutes I was immediately put on the spot. I had to make important choices. Would I be remembered as the President that cured cancer, or ended world hunger? Should I accept the high five, or smoothly avoid it? Do I take the high road and punch this dick in the head, or take the low road and punch the dickhead in the dick? Tough questions.

“The path towards ridiculousness starts strong”And then the aliens attacked. Now, Saints Row hasn’t always delved to such depths of the bizarre. Its buggy beginning and even its sequel were silly enough, but nowhere near the ridiculousness that was part 3, let alone this latest entry.

After a quick gunfight through the oval office and a brief stint operating a strategically placed artillery defense system against the oncoming invaders, the demo moved from the White House lawns into a computer simulation. Having been captured by the aliens, the President has been placed in stasis, living within an artificial world. Only by performing activities can you break down the simulation and hope for escape. Also, you now have super powers.

Telekinesis, super jumps and hyper speed are only a few of the new abilities you’ll have available to dish out the digital pain to the aliens that roam this world. It’s in this open world that everything starts to feel more familiar, but with the inclusion of the aforementioned superpowers, everything from the way you move about the city to the types of activities available have changed. Now, not all of these abilities will be unlocked from the start, but after awhile you’ll be bounding and gliding across town with ease.

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With every sequel Saints Row drifts further and further away from its humble Grand Theft Auto clone beginnings. What once was an alternative is now a beast, filled with its own unique share of oddities. It’s so far over the top that it can’t even see the top through the clouds. And yet, I can only imagine what heights the rest of the game will strive to.

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2011.

Gentle persuasion

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