Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saints Row: Gat Outta Hell

Happy Price: 4.99
Rating: 7.0


As a standalone game, you feel a bit cheated because Gat Outta Hell feels very much like DLC to Saints Row IV. It is pretty much the same game with a different narrative and reskinned guns to make them more hell themed. As you fly and sprint through hell, your job is to create as much chaos as possible in order to piss off the devil and have him confront you. 


The most unique and best feature of the game was the story. After playing with a Ouija board a hell portal opens up and steals the president. Johnny Gat goes into hell to rescue his buddy, because he's Johnny Gat and a complete badass. The devil is to marry his daughter to the president, so that the union can assist the devil in corrupting humanity. The president has great leadership skills and is ruthless, so he's the perfect candidate for a son in law. There are many surprises inside the story including musicals and many unique endings the player can select. The voice acting and animation are superb making the story immersive and worth your time.

You'll find prominent figures from history down in hell, both fictional and from the SR universe. These figures include Blackbeard, Shakespeare, the Twins, and Vlad the Impaler. These characters have found themselves new roles in hell, and each are favored by the devil in some way due to their work on Earth. Exploring these is fun and entertaining, as it makes you think how their talents would translate to modern society. For example, Shakespeare in hell is an EDM DJ, begging the question if his talents would have rose to the surface in the modern age or would've been diluted by the lures of modern technology.  


If you've ever played Saints Row IV, skip this section. It is the exact same. If not, keep reading. Johnny Gat has two main ways to navigate the area and avoid enemy gunfire. That is sprinting and flying. Upgrading these two movement mechanics will greatly enhance your experience defeating tons of demons and hellspawn. In order to conserve ammo and generally move around as fast as possible, I sprinted around and kicked people in the nuts as much as I could. The benefit of doing that is health would drop right next to me, and I'd get to see a sweet animation like a wrestling move. 

In terms of shooting, you get a small selection of weapons. There are the pistols, sub machine guns, machine guns, melee, special, and explosive. There are two to three variants of each of these weapon types, and each must be individually upgraded so choose carefully on which you'd like to build out, because you won't be able to build them all out. Don't think the hell version of a weapon is going to be superior than the Earth version, for example the rocket launcher and shotgun are superior than their hell version counterparts. Early game, I assumed since the hell versions looked cooler they'd be more powerful, so I wasted money upgrading them. When the opportunity arises, make sure you get the couch gun. It is by far the most powerful gun in the game, and eventually it can be upgraded to the point where there is unlimited ammo and no reloads. This made defeating the devil a cakewalk.

You do also get super powers, but pick one and upgrade that as much as possible. The currency to upgrade them is limited, and is annoying to obtain early game. Once you've upgraded flying enough it gets a little easier, but it's still a task. Each prominent figure you help out in hell will award you a different power. There are four that were stated above, each with something to offer you. These super powers assist in battles, but are far from the main thing that kills things. Those are still going to be your guns, but when in a tight situation the super powers help. I stuck to the stomp since it cleared out areas which would help when I had to stay and protect an area for long periods of time. A few mission types require this, and it suited me well. The three other options include spawning imps, an arcane blast, and an aura. 


Hell is a difficult thing to create because it's not real, but at the same time this makes it awesome because you can create it however you imagine it to be. The environment is very underwhelming and I feel like I'm in a hell skinned version of a city from Saints Row IV. No pun intended, but there is no soul to the environment. It feels like I'm in a test version of the game or something, and the details have not been fully fleshed out. There isn't any real soundtrack, so when you're getting place to place it feels dreadful. This clashes with the theme that Saints Row has created, where hell would likely be a fun place. I expected there to be music that got my energy up, but instead I got something that made me want to shut the game off. To me it seemed like there were a lot of assets from other games that were re-used, and just were re skinned. That was disappointing.


Probably not worth your time. The narrative was the most fun part, and you an youtube that online. This is miles from SR III which is one of my favorite games. SR IV took a step back, and this takes a step way back. It has it's moments of great polish, but It's still taking and building off of a highly polished franchise. 

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