Saints Row IV bids farewell to whatever remaining sense of restraint that the series had after Saints Row the Third, and gives way completely to scattershot, ridiculous, video-gamey fun.
Saints Row IV takes the player through the destruction of Earth and the extinction of most of humanity, and the leader of the Saints -- the now president of the former United States -- must stop the evil Zin empire and their foppish leader Zinyak.
The story is over-the-top and full of surprises, all of them good, and it's topped off by a surprisingly strong character focus and witty, often intelligent dialogue. It's a game that does a great job of looking childish and stupid when it's actually pretty smart.
Throughout the course of it's robust campaign, Saints Row IV gives the player piles of creative guns, effective superpowers, and kooky appearance customization options to mess around with. The sandbox city, while reused from Saints Row the Third, feels new and fresh. This is thanks to new content accessible via the new super-speedy running and jumping somewhat similar to Prototype, but done with more fluid and smoother controls.
The story is comedic and loaded with memorable moments, high-quality comedic banter, and a truckload of fantastic gameplay set-pieces. Some set-pieces are so fleshed-out that they could have come from a completely different game.
With all of these different mechanics coming and going, some may say that the game lacks discipline, and that's somewhat true -- but that's a big part of the game's main appeal and charm.
To quote Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw in reference to the game:
It's a mess, but it's a fun mess.
Saints Row IV is the epitome of power fantasy.
It's bite-sized sort-of-sequel Saints Row: Gat out of Hell is also a blast, and built directly on the foundation of IV, so if you end up liking four, jump straight onto Gat out of Hell and enjoy another couple of hours on the fun-train.