The gang are back but Hell literally breaks loose in this even wackier Saints adventure
If there was any doubt developer Volition Inc. could top the crazy happenings of Saints Row IV, which involved an alien invasion of Earth and a Matrix-like virtual world with super powers, then Gat out of Hell is happy to shoot you and your doubts in the face.
This is the first time we’ve really had our main character throughout the series taken away from us as we don’t lead the charge against the demonic minions of Satan but instead play the roles of series-veteran Gat or Kinzie Kensington, who joined the Saints in the third game. It’s quickly explained why this is right at the start as our President / Emperor is kidnapped to marry Satan’s daughter at a shotgun wedding.
Flight and super speed return with Hellish origins
It might be a little jarring to have all this happen so quickly before suddenly finding yourself in the new city of Hell itself. However Gat out of Hell isn’t a full experience quite like Saints Row IV was, meaning it’s more of a totally insane and quirky ‘Halloween special’ type spin-off. It’s not meant to be very deep and certainly doesn’t build up characters over a long stretch of time, instead everything is quick and in your face.
It’s not to its detriment though, as this whole Saints in Hell adventure itself isn’t to be taken all that seriously. The entire game is happy to parody itself and the usual tropes you’d get in the series, like seeing a brief comic sketch of Gat sitting in the Volition offices being told why he’s got to go through some ‘normal’ missions now and then before they move the story on. It’s a fully self-aware romp that’s pulling few punches, and the writing team have really gone out of their way to include a song and dance number Disney-style.
As for the gameplay in Gat out of Hell it’s pretty much the same you get in Saints Row IV, meaning you’re able to run at super-fast speeds, leap to great heights and fly. Everything is given a Hellish twist though, so your able to fly because you’ve got yourself some wings that have a limited number of ‘flaps’ to speed you along. Trying to climb too high while flying will stall you, and there’s the odd occasion you’ll be doing some aerial acrobatics to dodge incoming fire.
Vehicles once again take ‘the back seat’ against our powers
There are other new types of powers you get, like being able to summon three different types of minions to help fight. You can also use a powerful stomp with great force smashing things away from you, a vortex to suck everything in or a powerful divine blast to really hurt those demons. Auras also can imbue you with different area of effects, like cold fire to ignite anyone close enough. You unlock more through special alters which have waves of enemies coming at you.
Causing chaos in Hell is basically the idea as there’s a big meter at the top of the screen showing you how far you’ve gotten in getting Satan’s attention, who is otherwise unreachable in his palace. We can fill the bar by completing activities and challenges, of which there are plenty around the various districts in Hell. There’s also a lot of collectibles in the form of souls mostly, which we use to upgrade our powers and passive abilities, like health regen or resistances. Gat even jokes that there ‘better not be a hundred of these’, only for us to soon discover there’s almost a thousand.
Attract too much heat and the demons get bigger and meaner
Barnstorming, fending of waves of enemies, and the always popular insurance fraud activities are among those that return, which help us get XP and money to help pay for upgrades to our weapons. Our arsenal is at its craziest levels yet, with a set of special weapons especially put together to represent the seven deadly sins, like Sloth which is an armchair with heavy guns attached. You can go for boomsticks a little more traditional with Ultor’s range of guns. Oh yes, Ultor is also in Hell. The always exploitative corporation has plans for Hell, and a certain returning executive has been planning for the Saints eventual arrival.
Gat out of Hell is a smaller more condensed bag of crazy, and it makes little excuse for getting straight to the action and thrusting powers and weapons on you for the sole purpose of mayhem. For those who enjoyed Saints Row IV’s departure from the usual gang-related story and activities, Gat out of Hell is a cherry on top. For those who pine for the simpler times of wiping out rival hoods though, this is going to be Hell indeed for you; there’s no cribs to pimp out, no roaming Saints on patrol, no gang vehicles or custom clothing.
SAINTS ROW: GAT OUT OF HELL VERDICT
While some things might just appear a reskin of the super power stuff Volition has done already in Saints Row IV, the presentation of it all and how it wraps up together in Hell gives it a pass. Make no mistake this isn’t a full blown adventure but a ‘just go with it’ adrenaline rollercoaster ride; it has its ups and downs, with plenty of big drops for the rush, but it’ll be over soon enough. Gat out of Hell is a great round off to the Saints Row adventure as it gets wackier and wackier, with it standing as a defiant parody of how the Saints ended up in this mess.
TOP GAME MOMENT
The Disney-style singing just creeps up on you and before you know it there’s Satan, Jezebel, Gat and Kinzie all hitting the notes.
Super powers are still a blast to get around or fight with
Hell is a nightmarish wasteland, yet oddly alluring
Same easy controls and quick access to weapons and powers
No gang warfare, pimped cribs, customisation or a need for vehicles