I think people are going to be overly hard on this game because it's not overly grounded in what they know. TotalBiscuit has been hard on Saints Row since the Third, mostly because it's just not Saints Row II again. I like him, but sometimes his more mundane tendencies show through. He's fun, but he's hardly the most interesting person in the world. Thus his habits tend to fit that.
He prefers more usual games, whenever you give him something unusual to review, it'll throw him to some degree. I still remember that the only reason he was okay with Primal Carnage was because he was loopy on meds at the time.
Not to say that I don't like his reviews, I do. I just don't find him to be the most interesting person I've known of.
I really hope this won't be taken as an attack, because you have to realise the truth in this. Alongside people like, say, Elon Musk he's actually quite boring. Fun, in his own way, but boring. So he didn't really get into Saints Row IV as much as Tom did, or as much as I did.
I'm soulsick and world weary myself, I won't deny it. I've an old heart, and my topics of the day are often admittedly very romantic ones. I'm kind of a romantic futurist, so I'm all for anything that goes beyond our standard. I dig superhero games for that reason, I guess.
Miring oneself in reality and the doldrums is for the young.
In some ways this game represents one of my favourite periods of history -- the '80s. Everything was possible in the '80s, and it was possible with cheese. Time travel and ridiculous Sci-Fi were huge. I think that compared to the '80s, '90s, and even the early '00s, we've become so much less romantic and creatively inclined. To me, stuff like Grand Theft Auto is gaming's equivalent of Nascar, rather than Pan's Labyrinth.
Lately though we've had warm, lovely stories like Gone Home, we've had unusually cruel experiences (but not meant in a bad way) like Shelter, and entirely insane and ungrounded experiences like Saints Row IV. It seems that we're breaking out of this rut we've had ourselves in for a while. If you think back to gaming in the '90s, then Saints Row IV wouldn't seem uncommon at all. It's just that people have conditioned themselves to love desaturated, dull, and homogenised.
No, scratch that, I think it's worse than that. I think people have trained themselves to be desaturated, dull, and homogenised.
Up until the early '00s, Saints Row IV would have been so readily embraced by everyone. Just as Hulk: Ultimate Destruction was. But look at you now, look how boring you've become, how one-dimensional and soulless. You don't put any worth on novelty any more, or warmth, or the humanity of an experience. You don't put any worth on creativity, passion, or cleverness. All you want is some more desaturated, homogenised content, which is familiar, comfortable, and nurturing. Just like every other piece of content you've consumed.
Your past self would call you an intellectual coward.
I guess Saints Row IV is for the rest of us who didn't grow up to be the most painfully mundane people imaginable. So that's why I'm with Tom over TotalBiscuit with this. 10 years ago this would have been well-loved, 20 years ago Tom's opinions would have been commonplace.
The problem isn't Saints Row IV. It's you. Somewhere along the way you lost your passion for gaming. You're consuming the same transfat-laden, flavourless, unexciting junk food that everyone else seems to be. You've long forgotten the need for variety.
What happened to you? You used to be cool. (Probably.)
And that's my take on some of the opinions of Saints Row IV. I just can't understand the tidal wave of soporific sameness that seems to be consuming us, these days. You have something that stands out as genuinely unique and fun, and you want to pick it apart for the same flaws you could find in any game?