Platforms: Xbox 360/Playstation 3/PC Genre: Action/Sandbox
Developer: Volition Publisher: Deep Silver
Platform Reviewed on: Xbox 360
The last piece of downloadable content included in the Saints Row IV season pass released today. Titled, “How The Saints Save Christmas,” it centers around the Saints and their mission to rescue Santa Clause and defeat the evil Clawz who will take over the world in the future if he is not defeated by the end of Christmas Eve. The Saints are decorating the inside of their ship with various Christmas ornaments when suddenly Shaundi from the future, minus a body part of two, arrives to inform them of this mission. Given how the last DLC package fared, this most recent content is a very welcome addition to Saints Row IV.
The enemies the player is faced with have transformed from aliens and murderbots to gingerbread men and toy soldiers respectively. While their actions and behaviours remain the same as their original counterparts, the similarities are not so undeniable that you feel these new enemy skins are merely a shortcut, they seem like a fairly fresh opponent. The primary antagonist to the DLC, Clawz, also undergoes a transformation as you progress through the missions. In addition to new enemies, you will also receive new weapons, outfits, vehicles, and homies which you unlock after you complete some of the missions. These new items will range from a candy cane baseball bat, to a mechanical reindeer, to even Santa himself.
The trademark sense of humour is not lost in the holiday theme. The humourous moments do not feel as forced or awkward as some attempts in the previous DLC or the game itself, and consistently appear through the missions. Whether it be witty one-liners, references to A Christmas Story, Braveheart, The Human Centipede, or Dr. Who, or the absurdity of everything occurring, this DLC provides plenty of laughs. At one point in the second mission, the player is given a choice of how to progress past a candy cane barrier. It is highly recommended that the player lick their way through said barrier. There are also a number of collectibles for the player to locate in the form of letters to Santa and another text adventure similar to the one found in the initial game.
Unfortunately, there are only three missions to complete, the player does not receive any new abilities, and there are only a handful of new locales to explore during the content. However, upon completing the final mission, new activities are made available within the simulation. It is somewhat disappointing that the burning question of why future Shaundi has a robotic arm is never answered within this DLC, so we can only hope that a future installment of extra content or a retail game will answer this question. The lack of this answer feels like a missed opportunity unless there is a larger picture in mind, as it would have extended the length of the DLC beyond the 60-90 minute mark.
How The Saints Save Christmas is a highly amusing addition to Saints Row IV and feels like a more appropriate DLC package for the franchise than the previous entry. There are a large number of easter eggs for players to locate, referencing various pop culture items, as well as a version of Mrs. Clause you have never seen before. Despite the fairly brief amount of time required to complete the bonus content, the fact that it rewards players with so many new items and activities helps mitigate some of the pain. Both die-hard fans of the series and more casual members of the Saints will find How The Saints Save Christmas to be an enjoyable add-on, especially at this time of year. Using telekinesis on presents, shooting coal out of Santa’s sleigh, running through the streets dressed as an elf, and locating the “Turdis” are all things you can look forward to from this package.
+ Humour delivered perfectly
+ Large number of new items, skins, homies, and activities
+ Pop culture references the series is known for
– Relatively short completion time
– No truly new enemies
The Score 8.1
Eric is an Xbox editor for Analog Addiction where you can find all the latest gaming news, previews, reviews, and everything else that rhymes with those words. ‘Like’ Analog Addiction on Facebook to receive all of the updates as they’re posted.