Saints Row IV

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Saints Row IV Game Poster Image
Over-the-top alien bloodfest for mature audiences.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 23 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 37 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational value
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 & representations

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.)

What 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.

User Reviews

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

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 cauti... Continue reading
Parent Written byDescartes1971 February 9, 2014

Hysterical - and WILDLY INAPPROPRIATE

My wife purchased Saints Row IV for my 14 year old after reading the reviews here. And having finished the game myself, all I can say is: what are you other pa... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byirontap October 16, 2013

swell

Without the bad language it would be T
Kid, 11 years old March 1, 2014

Great game

Great game its very cool but it is a little violent but you shoot aliens and protect the city from them

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Themes & Topics

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