Saints Row IV

Common Sense Media says

Over-the-top alien bloodfest for mature audiences.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although the game never takes itself seriously, Saints Row IV doesn't really have any positive messages. Sure, it can be argued it's about protecting our world and running the country, but there are so many politically incorrect comments and scenes and inappropriate situations that it's difficult to find any positive influences in the game. Given the gangbanging, drugs, killing, and strong sexual dialogue, take heed of the Mature rating.

Positive role models

The game stars you as a superhero who not only becomes president of the United States but who also must fight alien evil to protect Earth. Although that sounds like a positive role model, you must use a number of weapons -- including bizarre ones -- to kill countless enemies, and you can also kill civilians. Similar to past games, it could be argued that this title glamorizes gang culture, as you're the head of the Saints and your gang members make up your Cabinet.

Ease of play

This third-person game is pretty easy to play, especially for those who played Saints Row: The Third. The left analog stick controls the player movement, and the right stick is used to aim; triggers aim and fire, and face buttons perform other moves.

Violence

The game features intense violence and blood, customizable weapons, and superpowers you can unleash on people, such as throwing them using telekinesis or exploding their heads with an alien gun. There isn't as much gore as in previous games, such as Saints Row: The Third, but two online gamers can team up to kill Zin aliens together, resulting in large pools of blood.

Sex

Saints Row IV features a lot of sexual dialogue, including options for hetero, homosexual, and bisexual relationships. There is talk of casual sex and implied violence and sex: a girl slugs a guy who asks her to "f--k," then jumps his bones and kisses him. Many of the female characters show ample cleavage and have very tight clothing. The male and female characters can be seen nude but with a black bar covering privates (blurred and pixelated).

 

Language

The game has some very strong language including "f--k," "motherf--ker," "f--king," "s--t," a--hole," and more.

Consumerism

The game's soundtrack plays some contemporary pop songs.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The game lets you consume alien narcotics to get high. (The Australian version removed this mission, along with other controversial material, to be allowed to be sold in that country.)

Privacy & safety

Serious privacy and safety concerns. The game can be played online with someone else -- in online co-op (cooperative) mode -- with whom you can talk. Because conversations aren't filtered or monitored, you might hear profanity or other inappropriate words or phrases. Plus, conversation with a stranger might, of course, contain inappropriate questions.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Saints Row IV is an over-the-top game that lets you exercise superpowers, be the Commander in Chief, and kick some alien butt. It's a silly -- but violent and sexual -- game meant for adults only. You can kill aliens and humans (even innocent ones) with both traditional and fictional weapons and see ample amounts of blood. As you're a leader of the Saints gang, the game might be seen as glorifying gang life. The game has scenes of sexual courting, frontal nudity (but blurred-out in areas), and women with very revealing clothing. If that weren't enough, there are also scenes involving taking drugs and profanity-laden dialogue.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • citizenship
  • government
  • power structures

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • investigation
  • strategy

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • time management
  • work to achieve goals

Communication

  • friendship building

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Responsibility & Ethics

  • learning from consequences

What Kids Can Learn

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • citizenship
  • government
  • power structures

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • investigation
  • strategy

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • time management
  • work to achieve goals

Communication

  • friendship building

Collaboration

  • cooperation

Responsibility & Ethics

  • learning from consequences
This Learning Rating review was written by Marc Saltzman

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

In SAINTS ROW IV, you play the leader of the Third Street Saints gang, who gets elected president of the United States. If that doesn't sound strange enough, Earth is under attack from an alien invasion, and the Saints are transported into a simulation that grants superpowers, giving these "petty humans" a chance to free themselves from the alien overlord Zinyak’s mental grasp and to save the world from annihilation. By jumping over buildings, using mind control, and firing all kinds of realistic and alien weaponry, you're tasked to fight back with all your might. Played from a third-person perspective, this open-world urban adventure also includes car racing, high-tech hacking, and even romance.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Despite some technical bugs -- which can be fixed with a downloadable update -- and some drab environments (not unlike in Saints Row: The Third), this adult game is a fun, silly, and action-heavy adventure in a sort of "guilty pleasure" kind of way. Between the zany story missions, humorous writing, and innovative combat abilities, Saints Row IV gets it mostly right -- if you take the game for what it is. Just when you think the action can't get more bizarre and intense, the talented developers at Volition throw in some extra twists, including robots, space stations, costumes, and unlockable superpowers. If you're of age, love shooters, and have a sense of humor, consider picking up this ridiculously fun but mature game.

Families can talk about...

  • What is the impact of media violence when you're playing a cheeky, over-the-top game such as this one?

  • What makes alien-infested games so much fun to explore?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Price:$59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Deep Silver
Release date:August 20, 2013
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Misfits and underdogs, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires, Space and aliens
ESRB rating:M for Blood, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Saints Row IV was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 11, 11, and 14 year old Written bycautiousmom777 August 27, 2013
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Amazing first, second or third M game.

This is an absolutely UNDERRATED game, My 11 year old asked me to get this game around when it came out, This was his first M game so obviously I was very cautious about what he saw and played, we struck a deal and he was allowed to play with my moderation. I am going to cover my opinions on each subject and if it's okay for 10 and up children.

Violence:

First of all, the only thing's you'll really be fighting is aliens. They're blood is completely unrealistic and they use childish-like weapons such as "ray guns" and lasers. The player mainly uses unrealistic weaponry also such as "the dubstep gun" and several other weapons. It can get scary due to the aliens creepy faces, but that's about it, he is also a very powerful superhero and can use superpowers to defeat enemies.

Sex

The game is hardly sexual. If anything it's around the same sex in the "iron-man" movies, Not really much to put here, but if you have been through the birds and the bees with your kid's, this is nothing.

Language

The language is the only part that is "iffy" about the game, my son has played the entire thing, and I have only heard 1 f-word and an occasional b-word

Drinking and drugs

No alcohol in the game at ALL there is one side mission is where you deliver an alien drug to testers for it, but that's about it.

What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Parent Written byMrpertt August 26, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Nice job

Nice game that is great fun for hours and hours with little wrong technically and great graphics.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written bysupergamerdady August 22, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

7 hours of hilarious and fun gameplay!

this is a hilarious game. to start it off you are the president who is also a super hero and you are fighting aliens. there are also great weapons such as the shark gun, the dub-step gun, and the various customizable weapons i would recommend this game to any teenager with a mature attitude. there are some sexual things but they are actually quite funny such as the dialog with your team mates which is a play on mass effect 3 where you can romance any one on your crew. i played through this game pretty quick and have to say its a terrible game if your looking for a challenge but, if you're looking to just have fun this game will entertain you for hours on end.

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