Saints Row IV lets you run wild through the streets of Steelport, fighting back against an alien invasion led by the nefarious Emperor Zinyak. Along with a number of creative weapons, you’ll also have access to superpowers, making it easier to get around the city and unleash havoc.
If you’re just getting into the city for the first time – or it’s been a while since you played Saints Row the Third – we have some beginner’s tips to help you out. There are some minor spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution.
When it comes to character customization, go nuts. You can start with the basics and hop right into the game, but the pure joy of creating something shouldn’t be missed, whether it’s a tubby president in a jogging suit, or a busty bald female with nipple stickers and a bathing cap. More options open up as you visit shops, so don’t be afraid to spend a few bucks on luxury items.
As you set up your character, you’ll have different voice and taunt styles available. Don’t go with basic choices – see what fits your character the best. In addition, don’t miss out on the chance to use video game voice actor Nolan North as your default voice, even if you’re female. His little touches to in-game dialogue fit perfectly.
Using your overhead map is easy. Simply hit the select button and pull up the map, which is in the top left corner of the screen. From there, you’ll see everything in the city, ranging from shops to alien checkpoints to mission objectives. You can set a marker and follow the street signs to reach the desired location. You can use shortcuts as well, in case you don’t feel like taking the long way around – and you’ll get to explore parts of the city.
A running grab move is the best way to get a jump on enemies. This allows you to take them down quickly, where you can stomp to finish them off. Don’t do this if you have a large group of soldiers to deal with. Clear them out first with your assault rifle.
Taking a hostage is oftentimes the best way to get out of certain gunfights. Simply grab someone when they get close and turn him or her into a human shield. This protects you from incoming gunfire for a limited time, and you can snap the person’s neck afterwards, or simply toss them around.
When you reach the 50’s-inspired level after losing your initial battle with Zinyak, you’ll eventually visit the park, where you can unleash chaos with a rocket launcher. As you do this, watch out for both cop cars and traffic. You’ll do the most damage with these objects, accumulating a high-enough total to get Zinyak’s attention, thus beginning your escape from the virtual world.
Perform a “running theft” by launching into your run (with the left trigger button), then hit either the Y or triangle button to dive through the windshield. From there, you’ll instantly take control of the vehicle.
Stock up on weapons and ammunition. There are shops that not only give you fresh ammo, but also upgrades to your current weapons, including rate of fire and clip size. The stronger your weapons become, the more dependable they are in firefights. On top of that, keep an eye out for melee weapons like the baseball bat; definitely effective up-close.
Even if you don’t clear a building with your super jump, you can still reach the top with ease. Simply jump along the side of the building and you’ll slowly skip your way up. With some time-based objectives – like the initial super-speed race – it may not be the quickest option, but you’ll get there.
When it comes to aerial enemies – like alien bikers or those hovering ships – save ammunition. They’ll do a good deal of harm, but your best bet is your freeze blast. With one shot, you’ll send one of these babies careening back down to Earth – and may crush a few enemies in the process. Sometimes the freeze blast will take time to recharge, so just run around or use your gun, then fire away.
As for stealing cars, try to find something that suits your objective. Need to reach a checkpoint in a hurry? Hold out for a sports car. Want to do some damage at an alien checkpoint or just create carnage on the freeway? The dump truck or ambulance is your new best friend. Even motorcycles prove useful, enabling you to weave around traffic in a hurry and pop a wheelie.
Saints Row IV is now available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.