Telekinetic President: Saints Row IV Footage

By Craig Pearson on June 29th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

He's got my vote.
If a trailer starts off with a West Wing inspired walk and talk, and ends with the American President telekinetically throwing a cosplayer through a neon sign, then by any standards it is a good trailer. This ten minute look at Saint’s Row IV has that going for it, though there’s a chunk of it set during an alien invasion at the White House that could probably have been cut. I know, it sets the scene of the giant alien lizard things arrival on Earth, but who cares about story and setting in an open-world game of presidential punk pummeling? I came for the superpowers.

Those are the real reasons that SRIV might be worth taking a look at. The expansion pack turned full sequel takes a lot of liberties with the laws of nature, and borrowed heavily from Prototype and Crackdown. The president has super speed, super strength, and a pile of other powers that turn the alien invasion into a violent farce. This is, of course, a Good Thing, and makes the most of the Steelport’s size, allowing you to run up buildings while glowing with the power of American patriotism, and leaping off fist first to deliver first amendment rights TO THE FACE.

It’s out on August 23rd.

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82 Comments »

  1. BreadBitten says:

    Fact: Saints Row V will be a God Game as that is the only logical progression for the series to stay on.

  2. Montavious says:

    Im up in the air about this game. Seems like this whole superpower thing will render a lot of the old school game features obsolete. Like using crew mates and driving. Looks like it will make the game easy mode, I hope Im wrong.

    • iniudan says:

      There is also to be super vilain, so hopefully there will be enemy that can fight on equal ground, but most of them are most likely just be your usual rank and file minion, in other word completely useless.

    • MarcP says:

      Many features were already “obsolete” in Saints Row 3. Why bother doing catch moves on someone, or throwing them in the air, or running them over, when simply shooting them in the head was easier and faster? Why bother bumping someone’s head on their klaxon horn when jumping through the windshield is faster? Why bother pimping up a golf cart when you could drive a sports car?

      Hopefully, your answer to those questions would be “because it’s fun”. Otherwise, you’re missing out.

      • Viroso says:

        Wait, you didn’t pimp out a golf cart?

      • The Random One says:

        Using crew mates was already obselete by 2 anyway. You hardly ever needed them, you were so powerful.

    • JackMultiple says:

      Oh, I dunno, it looks pretty g…

      Press “A” to continue

  3. noodlecake says:

    I don’t expect this to be any less terrible than the previous three. Good on them for making it less of a poor man’s GTA but the whole thing just makes me cringe when I try and play it. The way it plays hasn’t really improved since the first one other than adding lots of gimmicks that get boring after five minutes. The story and world don’t come across with enough self awareness and understanding of what they’re doing for any of it to be fun. The idea that you can go “lets just be dumb for dumb’s sake” as a get out of jail free card for any kind of quality control is flawed in my opinion.

    • noodlecake says:

      I liken it to a video game equivalent of the film, The Expendables… Only worse.

    • RedViv says:

      You are literally the cancer that is killing vidya gehms!

    • sonson says:

      There are few games which have a better understanding of what they’re about than SR3. And with the exception of a poor draw distance I don’t recall any quality control issues at all. Sounds like you just want it to be something other than what it very obviously and successfully is.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Bah… GTA is a poor man’s Saint’s Row

      • The Random One says:

        GTAIV is the rich but tasteless man’s Saints’ Row.

    • donmilliken says:

      Sorry you didn’t enjoy Saints Row the Third. Some of us did. A lot.

      Have a nice day.

    • noodlecake says:

      By quality control I mean allowing such abysmal scripts and characters get through and not really updating the gameplay. It’s more like “Let’s just keep adding lots of silly and very shallow stuff and hope that nobody notices how bland the core game mechanics are and how terrible the physics are.”

      It’s still behind GTA IV in terms of y’know… Everything. Good physics/procedural animation, good plot, good acting, solid characters, good soundtrack, good audio, solid gameplay. You would have thought with three games coming out since GTA IV was released they’d make a few improvements.

      It does go to show that people would rather have developers make mediocre games with lots of shallow gimmicks than very solid, well crafted games with fewer but better developed features.

      • donmilliken says:

        GTA IV had a much higher budget than I would imagine Saints Row the Third had. Furthermore, it’s clear that Volition were aware they couldn’t compete on things like story and just said to themselves screw it, let’s go hog wild. Maybe the physics and the animations aren’t as good and blah, blah, blah. Didn’t diminish my enjoyment of it any.

        You’re basically comparing a goofy low budget comedy to a big budget action blockbuster. Both have their merits. Of course the former is going to suffer in direct comparison to the latter, but it’s possible to enjoy a game on its own merits rather than pedantically comparing it in every respect to a higher budget game that was going for something different. As much as I enjoyed GTA IV, I had more fun playing Saints Row the Third.

        So, again, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy Saints Row the Third. Some of us did. A lot.

        Have a nice day.

      • donmilliken says:

        “It does go to show that people would rather have developers make mediocre games with lots of shallow gimmicks than very solid, well crafted games with fewer but better developed features.”

        Uh huh. So tell me again which game sold more copies, GTA IV or Saints Row the Third? It’s just possible Saints Row sold more copies on PC, but then Saints Row is actually playable on PC.

        I tell you what though, some people do prefer fun games to games that wish they were movies. Boy do they ever. Imagine that.

      • Iceman346 says:

        Shallow gimmicks like having “friends” constantly phone you to go bowling or something? ;)

        GTA4 obviously has much better production values than Saints Row 2/3 but I liked the more agressive, faster gunplay of the Saints Row games more and from a fun factor perspective Saints Row blows GTA4 out of the water.

        • donmilliken says:

          Definitely. I like both games a lot. GTA IV wins on production values, story, characters, social satire and having better DLC. Saints Row the Third wins on pure fun.

          Sure it’s shallow, sure it’s goofy, sure it’s a bit janky in places compared to the AAA game with the megabudget, but the day I consider production values more important in a game than having fun is the day I stop gaming.

          Mind you, I recognize that fun is a fairly ephemeral concept. Just like not everyone will find the same joke funny, not everyone find the same game fun. Comparing Saints Row and GTA on production values is completely missing the point though.

          • Kentauroi says:

            I wouldn’t be able to agree on a better story for GTA IV. It had some interesting characters, but the story itself fell flat since it was completely at odds with the gameplay.

            I would routinely get out of a cutscene where Niko is bellyaching about how horrible men can be, or the traumatic stuff he’s seen, and then the second it’s done he’s back to jacking cars and yelling at pedestrians as he runs them over.

            GTA IV tried to tell a semi-serious story, and then encouraged you to cause mayhem and do ridiculous stuff with it’s mechanics. Saints Row 3 had a stupid and ridiculous story to suit the stupid and ridiculous gameplay.

          • Iceman346 says:

            I actually wasn’t able to get into GTA4. I bought it for the 360 when it came out but it had basically no interesting characters (except for that steroid dude, he was fun), the story was bland and uninteresting, desperately trying to be gritty and the sandbox itself was vast but to realistic to be fun.

            The best parts of GTA4 for me were the standup comedians you could visit in the game. Props for effort and all but even with Saints Row 2, shaky as it was from a technical standpoint, I was well more entertained than with GTA4.

            And while I found SR3 striking a weird tone between over the top ridiculous and still slightly grounded in something resembling reality which didn’t do it for me quite as well as 2 did the fourth part looks like its going completely off its rocker and thats always a good thing.

          • Viroso says:

            @Kentauroi

            Pretty much. It’s impossible NOT to kill civilians in that game. The gameplay makes you murder people left and right, meanwhile Niko is playing the tragic hero with a shameful past. It doesn’t work. Plus the story has a lot of fat that needs trimming. If you remove a lot of missions, a lot of characters, you end up with a coherent, believable and interesting story. But that’s not happening, they need a 40 hour game. RDR suffered the exact same problem.

          • David Bliff says:

            I don’t agree that Saints Row is actually more fun, necessarily. The issue I have with Saints Row is exactly the same as what other people point to as its strength.

            Yeah, the world is crazy and over-the-top and players can run around doing lots of crazy stuff. But it never feels like the game pushes back against the player. The fun in GTA lay in its grounding in reality. I don’t mean the rather boring story and the total seriousness of it all, but the predictability and intuitiveness of it being grounded in a relatively recognizable world. It’s more fun to test the limits of what you can get away with when the world reflects reality. Saints Row’s world is so insane and over-the-top that doing all kinds of crazy stuff actually becomes boring. When the world you’re put in doesn’t have any threats or limits on what the protagonist can do, doing all that crazy stuff loses its edge.

            GTAIV’s world and story was a bit too gritty, but Saints Row’s is even further in the opposite direction. Earlier GTA game had a good balance between the two, and it worked well. Hopefully GTAV is more playful, but even if it isn’t the world they create will inevitably be more fun to sit down and explore than the insanity of Saints Row’s.

          • donmilliken says:

            Couldn’t disagree more with idea that GTA IV in any way reflects reality. What’s realistic about the cops forgetting you exist because you outran them, even though you killed a dozen people in front of them. Saints Row the Third has no pretensions about its world and I respect that. It’s okay though, we don’t need to agree on everything. I respect that you prefer GTA and consider it more realistic which, to certain minor degree of realism, it absolutely is. We all have our preferences.

          • David Bliff says:

            Yes, of course GTA is not terribly realistic, but it’s more realistic than Saints Row. It feels like you’re just being pedantic with that last post.

      • MarcP says:

        “It’s still behind GTA IV in terms of y’know… [...] good plot, good acting, solid characters”

        Hey cousin! Come to America, cousin! I got big mansion, cousin! I am a deep and meaningful character, and not at all a shallow impression of a foreigner according to the perception the average American teenager would have, cousin!

      • Viroso says:

        “Let’s just keep adding lots of silly and very shallow stuff and hope that nobody notices how bland the core game mechanics are and how terrible the physics are.”

        I’ll say that’s about right and it worked. For me at least. There’s another important thing too. Saints Row 3 still let you do whatever, GTA IV was way too scripted. A open world will be bad at everything it does, and it’s only good when it all can come together. GTA IV insisted on restricting everything. You couldn’t bring a car to a gunfight, gunfights took place in special firefighting areas. Chases were all scripted, you could blow the tires off of the car you were chasing, it’d drive like normal.

        In previous GTAs missions were a lot more chaotic. Saints Row 3 keeps that quality. But it also has a lot of very scripted scenes, but then it’s like you said. Add enough silly things and hope nobody notices it. Mechanically, skydiving with a tank while shooting enemies is very bland, but it’s a friggin tank skydiving so it’s fun. Same for the rickshaw chase.

        Another thing it did was never stay on any single gimmick for too long.

      • The Random One says:

        “It does go to show that people would rather have developers make mediocre games with lots of shallow gimmicks than very solid, well crafted games with fewer but better developed features.”

        No, it goes to show that people would rather have developers make medicore game with lots of shallow gimmicks than mediocre games with few gimmicks that are at odds with each other but at least have pretty vehicular damage.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Hello?? Have you evwen played these games? There have been massive improvements in gameplay, especially since SR1.
      Some changes between 1 and 2:
      - More activites (and they award more reputation I believe so less grinding)
      - Checkpoints during missions (the most important change of them all)
      - Weapons and ammo are bought separately, you don’t need to pay the full 16k for a mag of rifle ammo
      - Bought weapons can be switched to in the crib
      - Female player characters and the player finally has a voice
      - Activities award unlocks

      Between 2 and 3:
      - Jumping entry into cars (massively improves the game flow!)
      - Grenades are thrown with the off hand instead of selected as a weapon (IIRC)
      - Weapon upgrades
      - Reputation no longer gates story access, instead it acts as experience for leveling up
      - Buyable player character upgrades
      - More actions performed directly from the phone instead of having to drive to the crib (e.g. grabbing money from your properties, starting story missions)

      Also some changes I don’t like from 2 to 3 like the lack of food as healing items and no longer being able to play three gang stories individually. Considering the fourth game was banned in Australia partially for giving powerups for drug consumption I’d guess food is back (those slots took food, drinks and drugs).

  4. noodlecake says:

    Although GTA V which will undoubtedly be amazing isn’t coming to PC any time soon if at all. :(

    • Iskariot says:

      Well, we do get Watchdogs…
      I think Watchdogs is much closer to GTA than Saintsrow as far as meticulous attention to details and conjuring up a believable immersive simulated city are concerned.
      Lets hope that Watchdogs will be the first true competitor for GTA.
      It sure does look promising.

      • noodlecake says:

        It looks too dry for me really. Gameplay wise it looks fun and I’ll have to see how it goes but it does seem to lack the personality of GTA. It gives me a bit of an assassin’s creed vibe, and in assassin’s creed the delivery of the story always felt a little bit weak. Not so weak that I would skip all the cutscenes but weak enough so that I was generally waiting for them to finish so I could just play. Although the actual gameplay kept me happy for three whole games so that could be enough. :)

    • Werthead says:

      Rockstar released GTA4 on PC when the PC gaming market was probably at its lowest ebb (or what was perceived to be its lowest ebb) in terms of profile. The port was botched and the game barely worked on PC at release. They still sold a metric ton of copies, and the PC version continues to sell very well whenever there’s a sale. Hell, it appears to still spike in PC sales whenever a site reports a new mod for the game, long after the console sales of the game have flatlined.

      So the idea that Rockstar will not release GTA5 on PC in 2013/14 when the format is back at the top of its game and when almost every gaming PC will be able to handle it is only convincing if we accept that Rockstar don’t like money. And we know that Rockstar like money a lot.

      The game will be coming out on PC. Rockstar are just trying to buoy up sales of the console versions by not having a superior PC version coming out at the same time. In the best case scenario, Rockstar will announce it in the next couple of months that it’s coming out on PC about a month after the console versions, like they did with MAX PAYNE 3. Worst case scenario, it’ll be a few months later, like GTA4.

      • David Bliff says:

        It’s also worth noting that, while the game was a technical trainwreck on PC when it first came out, it runs and looks great now (aside from requiring GFWL). With any luck that was an issue of the engine being poorly optimized and GTA V will run well from the beginning since hardware can obviously run the engine just fine now.

  5. AnotherGamingEnglishman says:

    Looks like one day in the office one of their devs had the bright idea; “Hey, let’s make the next Saint’s Row game like Crackdown”… Sounds like a good idea to me!

    • donmilliken says:

      Crackdown was amazingly fun. Saints Row the Third was amazingly fun. I don’t know, maybe you have a point and the marriage of ideas from two amazingly fun games will suck. Maybe.

      • AnotherGamingEnglishman says:

        Please point out where exactly I even suggested the idea that Saints Row: Crackdown would suck?

        You know you’re a little too desperate to defend a game when you start reading negativity from positive comments.

        • donmilliken says:

          Oops, sorry. I somehow missed the “sounds like a great idea to me” bit.

          In my defense, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the phrase “bright idea” used non-sarcastically.

        • donmilliken says:

          “You know you’re a little too desperate to defend a game when you start reading negativity from positive comments.”

          Yeah, I’ve mostly been responding to one guy who wishes that every game was like that one game he likes. You can interpret that as desperation if you like, but my reply to you really was an honest mistake.

  6. analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

    No press Esc to quit on screen prompt, probably not necessary………….it’s sort of instinctive

  7. Tuckey says:

    Still only 2 players, so not interested

    • Rovac says:

      The devs said the game is going to be moddable (to a larger extent) so…
      If Just Cause 2 can do it then SR4 better be able to

    • donmilliken says:

      Man, I’m glad I don’t need a game to have multiplayer to be happy with it, but then I mostly hate multiplayer so how would that even work?

  8. particlese says:

    Maybe it’s just the “jump in a giant turret to shoot down lizard-men’s spaceships” section, but I am suddenly reminded of the first hour or so of Duke Nukem Forever. Fortunately, this looks just as ridiculous while being more tasteful. Unfortunately, it looks like it has less interaction and more quicktime events.

    The superpowers do look like good old mindless fun, though. Excellent for a reset between bouts of RPG-playing!

    • LionsPhil says:

      I haven’t watched the trailer since it sounded too spoil-y, but SR3 begins with a painfully cutscene-o-rama introductory mission before actually opening up, so maybe it’s just that again.

    • donmilliken says:

      It’s just the introductory mission. This is still an open world sandbox game last I checked.

    • particlese says:

      Yes indeed, good call. I didn’t think about SR3′s intro mission for some reason.

    • The Random One says:

      If only they could get Jon St. John to do one of the voices… this would be the Duke Nukem Forever we should have gotten. In spirit if not in well-crafted first-person levels anyway.

  9. Grey Ganado says:

    Ben King is back, that’s all I care about.

  10. jonahcutter says:

    Through each rendition, the true nature of Saints Row has been pushing closer and closer to the surface. It has finally cast aside the mask completely and stands before the world, its true nature exposed.

    It’s not an open-world game gang game. It’s an open-world ridiculousness simulator.

    The only thing left now for a sequel is for the Saints to battle God him/herself. And I truly hope Volition takes it there.

    • tyren says:

      Your comment just made the phrase “Gurren Lagann: Gangsta Edition” pop into my head.

      • Dominic White says:

        I know I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

      • JoshuaMadoc says:

        I’ll have you know I will purchase 10 copies of that elegant motherfucker.

    • The Random One says:

      Well, after aliens, where else can they go? That’s right: theology. Angels and demons do battle on the streets of Hopefully Stillwater Again and the fate of the souls of all humans lies in the hands of a man/woman/genderless person who enjoys beating up people with a giant purple dildo while wearing nothing but a bright green top hat.

      It’d be like the early bits of Darksiders if War wasn’t such a whiny wanker.

  11. Stevostin says:

    And what is driving car like a crazy man is more enjoyable to me than jumping skyscraper ? :P

    • JoshuaMadoc says:

      I’d gladly use cars again if there’s good racing minigames.

  12. Jupiah says:

    I hope they give you a superpower for making cars stronger or there isn’t going to be much point to driving anymore, since you can apparently run faster than cars can drive now. Maybe something like the first Crackdown’s transforming cars that got stronger and faster and grew more guns the higher your driving skill was? That was a really cool feature that I was really disappointed they dropped from the sequel and it would even make sense in this game with the virtual reality simulation setting and all. Climbing into a mini-van and watching it transform into an armored personnel carrier with a mounted turret would be fit right in with the rest of Saints Row’s wackiness.

    Also I hope you can get superpowered homies or there won’t be much point to calling them for help either.

  13. Jason Moyer says:

    Can’t wait for SR4. SR3 did a nice job filling the void left by how boring the last several GTA games were, looks like they’re continuing to build on the fun/fantasy side of the sandbox spectrum.

  14. Michael Fogg says:

    SR seems to me the epitome of fratboy-consoletard gaming. Depressing to see it have so many defenders here on RPS.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Oh come now. If you can’t appreciate a good joke about big purple penises, then where’s the fun in life?

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Having fun: monocle-wearing PC gamers need not apply.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      My grandmother made very good consoletarts.

    • donmilliken says:

      It must be lonely up there on PC Master Race Mountain. The rest of us will be down here having fun.

      You know, fun? The thing games are supposed to be?

      • Stellar Duck says:

        Fun is a lousy metric for determining the quality of a game though.

        It’s basically useless. If someone asks me how the game was and I reply ‘It was fun.’ he might as well not have asked.

        Having only played the second and third of these games I can say that if someone were to ask me about the games, fun would not be a word that sprang to mind. SR3 in particular is, to me, anti fun. Everything is so desperately trying to be fun that I can’t but see that desperation. If something happens that would be mindblowingly awesome in any other game it’s just meh, to me, in SR3. The game is trying so hard to be fun that the genuinely funny stuff I sometimes make happen drown out in the immature blather that is the rest of the game. SR3 most of all reminds me of one of those terrible *Insert popular movie trend here* Movies in that it tries so hard to by wacky and kinda looks at me with begging in its eyes, pleading with me to just crack a smile at its inane antics. That’s not fun to me.

        Also, the driving physics are so bad I want to pull out my hair. GTA4 really spoiled me on how a game like this should control.

        Everyone else are welcome to enjoy the games but I’ll stay over here, shaking my head and wishing Volition would stop making this nonsense and go back to making fun games like FreeSpace.

        • plugmonkey says:

          Wait, did you just criticise the car handling of SR, and then hold up GTA’s bizarro wobble-buckets as an example of how it should be done?

          Wow. Each to their own, I guess.

          I’m playing SR3 for the first time right now, coincidentally, and I’m really enjoying it. Although I do wonder how well the tone would work if my character wasn’t a jet skinned russian lady with a neon blue moustache. Fortunately, she is though, so everything trips along quite playfully. It’s not a game to even attempt to take seriously.

        • donmilliken says:

          “Fun is a lousy metric for determining the quality of a game though.”

          I won’t disagree with you there. The problem, as I mentioned elsewhere, is that fun isn’t a universal concept. Everyone’s going to have a differing definition of what makes a game fun. Some people find FreeSpace fun, for example. ;)

          In the end though, I’m more interested in playing games I find fun than I am in worrying about what platform that game was made for. I don’t feel superior to anyone because I bought a computer. Anyone that does needs to grow up.

        • jonahcutter says:

          Sid Meier might disagree with you about fun being a poor metric:

          http://kotaku.com/the-father-of-civilization-584568276

          Now, SR’s brand of fun might not be fun for everyone. But that’s not a judgement of its quality. Civilization’s brand of fun might not be fun for everyone either, but few would call it a bad game.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            Well, then I disagree with Sid Meier. :P

            Though the Civ games do tend to be fun.

            I wasn’t really talking about SR3 in terms of quality though. Just that fun is rather meaningless to use as a metric and saying that games are supposed to be fun is… missing point of games by quite a lot in my mind. Games can be fun, sure, but it’s not their raison d’etre. DEFCON is an excellent game but I’d be hard pressed to call it fun. In fact, it seems like Introversion did everything they could to make it super duper depressing.

            I do also think SR3 is a bad game from a game play standpoint though. It’s ultimately a hollow game that tries to make up for a lack of interesting mechanics by zany antics. The driving is as bad as SR2 and totally lack any feeling of weight. Even driving a tank feels like driving a car. Stuff that ought to be fun is, as I said, drowned out by the constant barrage of nonsense.

            And yes, that’s subjective.

          • donmilliken says:

            Well, clearly we disagree on a number of points Stellar Duck, but I can respect that. I know there are games out there that aren’t meant to be fun and I can respect the craft that goes into making them, I’m damned if I have much interest in playing them though.

            I play games to have fun. More than anything else, they are my escape. If I want a not fun entertainment experience I’m content getting that from books, or movies, or television.

  15. Loque says:

    Animations and 3D models are quite disappointing, to be honest. Facial expressions too, the amount of “gazing puppets” is depressing. Good boobs though.

  16. running fungus says:

    “Clusters”, yeah. This is Saints Row: Crackdown.

    I love SR 2 and 3. I liked City of Heroes/Villains a whole lot. But honestly, I don’t particularly like this combination.

  17. Tei says:

    I don’t have a opinion about this, but I hope they made the city itself more interesting. The activities more fun (not just harder).

    • The Random One says:

      But also harder. Trying to finish the highest levels of Drug Trafficking on the first one was genuinely hard. The game’s been getting easier since them, and while I’m a proponent of “Just Let Me Finish The God Damn Game Ye Basterds” difficulty, I’d enjoy having a little challenge and being forced to use the open world to my advantadge. I really enjoyed the beginning of SR3, before you get all those crazy weapons and eventually become bulletproof.

  18. Siwel says:

    Looking forward to having to convince someone in America or the UK to purchase this and gift it to me, as I live in a country that is most definitely controlled by Nannys. Thanks a lot Australia.

    That R18+ Classification did wonders for us.

    • donmilliken says:

      It must be wonderful, living in a country whose government apparently believes that adults can’t be trusted with adult video games. Of course, the root of the problem I think is that even with an R18+ classification now in place, the government of Australia doesn’t seem to believe that adults actually play games. That, or they are convinced in defiance of reality that children possibly getting access to the game represents a grave threat.

      And this is why we prefer to keep the government out of the ratings business in the United States. Stores can choose to enforce the ratings or not to. Parents can choose to care what their children are playing or not to. The government has no place in the ratings business and would inevitably try pulling all kinds of heinous shit if they could get away with it.

      • socrate says:

        you mean the america that as a gazillion shooting and “tragedy” each year…sure then

  19. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    I’m getting strong flashbacks of Idiocracy and its machinegun-toting President Hamachi.

    My fellow americans!
    Shit!

  20. Foxygamer says:

    America….Fuck yeah!