Two blockbuster open-world games are hitting the streets between now and September: Voliton’s Saints Row IV and Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto V. If you have pockets like a college student, or have a birthday between August 20th (the Saints Row IV release date) and September 17th (the GTA V release date), you may be looking at only one purchase. Which one? That largely depends on your preference. However, there are components that are present in each title. The purpose of this article is to give you an objective look at the similarities to help you make the appropriate choice. Part 1 will be about three of the many components so do not forget to check out later parts in the series. Let’s jump in!
Disclaimer: Neither game has been released so the source material for this article is any pre-release coverage provided by journalists and released by developers, as well as each franchise’s pedigree to some extent.
Who doesn’t play an open-world game to feel powerful? Sure there’s story, characters, and gameplay. Those things in an open-world game are supposed to induce a feeling of control over the world your avatar inhabits. You can demonstrate this power in either game in similar ways. For example, you can steal any car you want, assert your authority over the law by killing people and evading the coppers, or by having copious amounts of money to spend on stuff. The list goes on and on. Though most of these games contain these things, Saints Row IV does more to make you feel omnipotent. In GTA V, you’re a mere mortal. In Saints Row IV, not only are you the president of the United States, but also you’ve got superpowers. Telekinesis, super-speed, extremely high leaping, gliding, freeze blasts, Volition went through a lot of trouble to make sure the player felt in complete control. GTA V doesn’t allow you the ability to run up the tallest building, survey the landscape, jump down, land on an civilian, create a shockwave that causes atrocious damage, then fly away to do something worse. Actually, looking at each franchise’s previous installments, Saints Row: The Third and GTA IV, Saints Row won the battle here too. Buying real estate and businesses to ensure a paycheck every (in-game) hour was amazing. In GTA IV, you could spend money on bowling with cousin Roman.
Weapons and Vehicles
WEAPONS AND VEHICLES
This is a tough one to call, as there haven’t been too many details about weapons in GTA V from Rockstar Games. We have already seen the basic guns on either side (sniper rifles, submachine guns, etc) but details on the methods of weapon customization have been scarce, though we’re Saints Row IV should have a more reality shattering arsenal (dubstep guns???!!!). It is a similar story with vehicles. However, expect both games to have fast cars, armored vehicles, and plenty of planes to fly. Because of the alien presence in Saints Row IV, it is a safe bet that the vehicles will laugh in the face of physics. Plus, Saints Row IV has a mech. A MECH.
Story and Characters
STORY AND CHARACTERS
Rockstar Games’ series is known for creating memorable narratives and characters, and that looks to continue with Grand theft Auto V. Having three playable protagonists (who are radically different from one another) this time around should add to the depth of the story as well. In Saints Row IV, you play as a nameless protagonist trapped in a virtual reality, facilitating all kinds of whacky adventures. GTA V is about three men who unite in search of the almighty dollar via heists, investments, etc. Each character has a back-story. Michael is a former criminal with considerable wealth, yet hates his life and family. Trevor is a former military pilot, friend of Michael, and volatile psychotic sociopath. Lastly, Franklin is a gangbanger who is beginning to see the lack of meaning that his lifestyle provides. Seeing these three interact over the course of the game should spin an interesting yarn. Meanwhile, in Saints Row, the characters are just as lovable, but do not tend to have the depth that GTA’s cast usually does. The stories in Saints Row don’t always carry the emotional weight that GTA’s do. To be fair, both games provide plenty of one-dimensional caricatures and some predictable storylines, but I think GTA takes the edge here. If you’re playing a game to be emotionally invested at every turn, GTA V is for you. If you want to put your brain in your back pocket and go along for a ride, look at Saints Row IV.