By Ryan Smith
3:27 PM CDT, August 20, 2013
Saints Row IV
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
3.5 stars out of 4
Video games often work as virtual power fantasies that give players jobs and abilities they don’t have in real life, but nearly every other game now pales to “Saints Row IV” in the role-playing department. Run the country as U.S. president, fly around in a hijacked UFO, gain superpowers, create a cross-dressing muscled macho man—there's almost nothing you can’t do or be. There are times when “Saints Row” threatens to exceed the bounds of over-the-topness, but it’s exhilarating to play a game so devoid of rules, whether it’s the law of gravity or standards of social decorum. Plus, there’s a gun that shoots dubstep music. Case closed.
A $1 million video game?
Wait, $1 million—for a copy of a video game? It sound outrageous, but Deep Silver is offering a special edition of “Saints Row 4” for $1 million. Named “The Super Dangerous Wad Wad Edition” or “The Million Dollar Pack,” it includes a Virgin Galactic space flight, a “spy training day,” plastic surgery, a seven-night stay at the top royal suite at the Burj-Al-Arab in Dubai, a “hostage rescue experience,” a Toyota Prius and a Lamborghini Gallardo. Oh, and a copy of the game. The company has had about 300 serious inquiries so far.
3 more with "Saints Row IV" creative director Steve Jaros:
1. On the toughest U.S. president in history:
Hmm, well, [President Franklin] Pierce was like the most attractive president. He was like the Johnny Depp of American presidents. He was one sexy guy. [President Abraham] Lincoln though was a bad man. He was a pro wrestler. He had to get shot from behind, because they were afraid to go in front of his face. [President George] Washington was a general. I don’t know, our Founding Fathers were more some badasses because you have to figure they didn’t have creature comforts back then. They didn’t have a Secret Service, they were just dudes.
2. On Aerosmith's "I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” appearing in the soundtrack of the nuclear weapon scene:
I remember in the mission review for that part, and we were sitting around thinking we needed something else to go in and make that scene pop. We said we need “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing.” So we talk to the producer and he starts laughing and we’re like “No, we’re not joking. We need [bleeping] Aerosmith in the game.”
3. On being from the Chicago suburbs:
I’m from Naperville. I’ve always hated it when people say they’re from Chicago but they’re actually from Downers Grove or some [bleep] like that. C’mon.
Ryan Smith is a RedEye special contributor.
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC