No one knows how to throw a party like the President.
By the time of Saints Row IV, your customizable protagonist has climbed from street-level thug to President of the United States. If you know anything about the series, you’ll know that he/she won’t be content with a desk job, so you’ll be back on the streets of Steelport taking a hands-on approach to your citizens. Or maybe “fist-on” may be more accurate. Or “telekinetically-launched-monster-truck-on.” You know, maybe we should just drop the terminology and let the president do what the president wants.
Saints Row developer Volition has released its gameplay walkthrough from PAX East, featuring about seven minutes of just that. The demo hits most of the major bullet points of Saints Row IV: superpowers, combat with the alien Zin, weapon customization, and a new Activity. Some of the new weapons seen in previous trailers make an appearance, including the Dubstep Gun (which does a surprisingly smooth job of delivering funky fresh beats in-game).
The superpowers are the most drastic change from previous games in the series, and we see quite a few of them in action. Super speed, jumping, and gliding make it easy to get around, to the point where I’m not sure why you’d even bother with vehicles anymore. The city of Steelport has been designed with much more verticality to account for these new abilities. Ice blasts let you freeze enemies before shattering them, and telekinesis turns anything in the environment into a weapon. Your enemies may be aliens with lasers weapons, but hopefully this demo represents a maxed-out character, because the arsenal at your disposal hardly seems fair.
The new Activity, Mech Suit Mayhem, is exactly what it sounds like, inexplicably dropping a giant robot for you to jump in and cause as much damage as possible. With the money you make from challenges like that, you can buy custom appearance modifiers for your weapons (a new feature of the series); the video shows the player disguising his rocket launcher as a guitar case, though knowing Saints Row, that’s probably more for laughs than any need to conceal your absurdly destructive weapon collection.
Saints Row IV returns to Steelport on August 20 in North America, August 23 worldwide.