MCV takes a look at Saints Row IV, the latest installment in the chaotic street warfare franchise, which introduces an extra-terrestrial twist to the series.
We detail the game's features and talk to new publisher Deep Silver about its hopes for the title.
Saints Row IV is out August 23rd.
Saints Row IV continues the outlandish open world gameplay the franchise has come to be recognised for.
The game returns to the city of Steelport as players once again take control of the Third Street Saints. In an interesting series of events the leader of the gang has become the President of the United States, providing them with the highest level of authority.
Far from the gang-warfare of previous entries in the franchise, players will lead the Third Street Saints against a threat they haven’t experienced before: aliens.
The chaotic gameplay of the series’ previous outings returns but with a twist. Consumers lay down their handguns and delve into a wide arsenal of alien weaponry that allows for a new level of destruction and hilarity – none more so than both the dubstep gun and inflate-o-ray.
Saints Row IV also introduces a variety of superhuman powers to tinker with. Players are able to leap over buildings, outrun sports cars and send enemies flying with the power of telekinesis.
The series’ popular multiplayer mode makes a welcome return. Players are able to team up with their friends and explore the streets of Steelport at their own pace whilst completing missions together and causing double the chaos.
Deep Silver will invest heavily into its disruptive TV and online campaign for Saints Row IV whilst also working on less traditional forms of video games marketing.
Saints Row IV branding will feature at the Notting Hill carnival, which takes place across the game’s launch weekend.
Its release will also be accompanied by the production of Saints Flow, an in-game brand of energy drink that Deep Silver plans to sample at UK events throughout the summer.
The out-of-the-box marketing for Saints Row IV will also result in the production of a music single that Deep Silver plans to launch as a tie- in with the game.
The publisher will also ramp up its social media activity to generate a strong online presence for the game ahead of its release.
The Saints Row franchise began back in 2006. The original game went on to receive both critical and commercial success selling over 500,000 copies during its first month of release.
Success of the series continued with Saints Row 2, which achieved similar opening sales. Meanwhile, Saints Row The Third became the franchise’s most pre-ordered title to date.
Saints Row IV was officially unveiled in March 2013 by Deep Silver after it acquired developer Volition and the Saints Row franchise through THQ’s bankruptcy auction.
Publisher Deep Silver will be launching special edition SKUs of Saints Row IV.
Amongst these is the Commander-in- Chief edition, which provides players with a variety of additional in-game content including the Uncle Sam costume and additional weaponry.
Meanwhile, a special edition of the Commander-in-Chief edition will be exclusive to retailer GAME. This edition offers players two extra costumes in addition to the existing bonus content.
Deep Silver also has plans to launch the Super Dangerous Wub Wub edition of Saints Row IV. This edition offers all of the bonus in- game content in addition to a 12- inch replica of the game’s Dubstep Gun as well as the Dubstep Doomsday Button and Johnny Gat Memorial Statue figurine.
The launch of Saints Row IV will also be supported by the release of the Signature Game Guide from Brady Games.
As a franchise Saints Row has – ironically – matured to become the most outrageous game series in the marketplace.
With age it’s become focused on delivering fun throughout the entire consumer experience and Saints Row IV picks up this mantra exactly were its predecessor left it.
Saints Row The Third resonated very positively with the consumer that was looking for something a little different from the standard video game offering. A consumer that wanted to play a game that didn't take itself too seriously and was primarily great fun to play either as a single player experience or with a mate. That’s the simple appeal of the franchise.
Saints Row The Third was a huge success in the UK with over 1m units sold across boxed and digital since its launch. But the potential of Saints Row IV is much greater than merely what the previous iteration achieved.
Research indicates that players of Saints Row The Third have an 80 per cent purchase intent for Saints Row IV.