Volition has always done well with its Saints Row games, expanding out of the usual gangster theme and instead creating something in the more comical, "anything goes" category with Saints Row the Third and Saints Row IV. This January, it'll return to this territory with the arrival of Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, which it just announced yesterday during PAX Prime 2014. The publishers at Deep Silver gave us the opportunity to go hands-on with the new game, and it's definitely a hell of a thing.
In the game, you'll play as Johnny Gat, a Saint who somehow winds up in Hell after the Saints accidentally open a portal to the dominion during a birthday party. (They should've played Chutes and Ladders instead of with a Ouija board.) The other Saints follow in tow, but this is Johnny's show as he battles undead minions and, eventually, Satan, in a battle to take back Hell as we know it.
Most of the gameplay staples we've come to recognize from the Saints series are intact, as you can pretty much run wild across the city of Hell and blast away at a number of secondary characters. As you might guess, the more trouble you cause in hell, the more security forces that arrive on your tail, including cops in monster trucks and demons that appear to shoot at you from the skies. Of course, Gat has plenty of weapons he can use throughout the game, including a pair of knives that he can use to stab opponents (or slam them into the ground, as the attacks vary) and other outlandish tools of the trade.
The new weapons featured in Gat Out of Hell are really something special. The Locust Gun, for example, shoots a fleet of bugs at your foes, letting you gnaw away at their energy until they eventually explode in a puff of smoke. The Warhammer is a terrific melee weapon that you can use on groups, and it's got a whole lot of power to it.
However, our favorite has to be the La-Z-Boy. That's right, you sit in an easy chair and unleash chaos with the push of the right trigger, shooting your machine guns like crazy while simply coasting around. You can also tap the left trigger, lean back the chair and fire missiles at your enemy, which is a remarkable thing.
Getting around the city is a cinch. As with Saints Row IV, you have the ability to run at light speeds, or take over vehicles to get around, like super-powered dump trucks. Gat can also fly throughout the city, jumping in the air and sprouting demon-like wings to get around. It's real convenient, especially when you want to look around the city for new missions.
Gat Out of Hell marks the next-gen debut of the franchise, and thus far it looks terrific. The game moves at a (mostly) fluid 60 frames per second, and has an awesome swirling vortex effect at the very top of the stage, reminding you that, yes, you're in Hell, even if the city resembles an interesting spin-off of the Steeport locale. The sound effects are fun too, and we even got to hear a glimpse of the musical number that Deep Silver is including in the game. We can tell you this, Gat should probably stick to NOT singing.
Gat Out of Hell will release on January 27th for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, alongside the debut of Saints Row IV for those consoles. So, yes, it won't be long before the Saints are running wild again.