Here’s Johnny! Saints Row IV Reveals Gat Is Back

By John Walker on July 18th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

Every time there’s a new Saints Row IV trailer, that’s pretty much enough reason to be interested. Even if you don’t intend to buy the game, the trails are still likely to offer a good chunk of entertainment. The latest reveals the news that Saints Row regular Johnny Gat is back. And naked. And covered in gloop.

Death isn’t the sort of thing to stop Gat from appearing in an SR game.

Remember the first Saints Row? A tawdry GTA rip-off that insulted itself and its players. And now look at this franchise – in the stratosphere. Madness.

As ever, my primary thought is: how are they going to top this nonsense for SRV?

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96 Comments »

  1. 1Life0Continues says:

    Essentially making the entire plot of SR3 completely superfluous.

    And yet, I don’t care in the slightest. Gat was the best character, and having him back makes me smile wide.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Eh, not entirely. Some other stuff happened.

      I would be angry at “HEY HERE IS A HUGE SPOILER” but I guess if it’s in the goddamn promotional marketing I can only be so grouchy at RPS for putting it above a cut because being blind to marketing effort entirely is basically impossible.

      • bleeters says:

        The number of times I was aware of this as a result of marketing prior to being repeatedly told by people I know was precisely zero.

        Marketing stopped being a legitimate source of information on which I could base my purchase decision a long, long time ago. I don’t bother to keep up with it in any respect.

        • LionsPhil says:

          What I mean is that if RPS had not posted this article, or at least the spoilers above the cut, sinister marketing forces would have made you aware of the spoiler sooner or later anyway by smothering it everywhere else.

          If nothing else, when it finally goes on sale on Steam, it will probably have Gat’s face on the store page.

          • bleeters says:

            I suppose so.

            This doesn’t stop me from being mildly cranky whenever it happens, though.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Well, I would hardly say it makes 3 superfluous. Just a very small portion of it.

    • Baines says:

      SR3 made the plot of SR3 pointless.

      Shaundi was the only one that seemed to actually care about revenge, while the Boss just made friends with everyone while racking up money and fame. He even lets Angel talk him out of taking out Killbane, despite Angel himself being a blatant counterexample to Angel’s own argument.

      The “good” ending was a joke. On the other hand, Volition so clearly didn’t want people picking the “bad” ending that it effectively derides the idea of a “serious” Saints Row game. (The “bad” ending has Killbane knocking pretty much what SR3 was and has you acting like a gang member out for revenge. But it is also the ending that Volition obviously didn’t want players to pick and also clearly isn’t the one that SR4 will pick up from.)

      • bleeters says:

        It’s kind of a shame really. I found the “bad” ending far more satisfying, even from a gameplay perspective.

        Having an ending that mocks other game boss battles that require you to shoot conveniently placed scenery in order to win by… having a boss battle that requires you to shoot conveniently placed scenery in order to win whilst pointing out how conveniently placed that scenery is was a little tacky.

      • benkc says:

        Er, wait, which one’s supposed to be the “good” one and which one’s supposed to be the “bad” one?

        • bleeters says:

          Spoilers, obviously. So I’m just going to continue typing this here to push them under the cut on the comment feed. Bees are kind of weird, you know? They’re, like, little fat yellow and black annoyances that are somehow vital to all life on Earth.

          Done? Cool.

          The “bad” ending is the one where you choose to help Angel at the end, causing Shaundi, Viola Dewinter and A Few Random Saints People to be killed in an explosion.
          The “good” ending is where you go save them instead. Angel goes after Killbane alone, and is… uh. No idea, actually. Maybe he dies? But who cares about Macho Man Randy Savage anyway.

          Why are they called the bad and good ending? Who knows. I actually kind of like the bad ending. Anything that involves blowing up a floating fortress/flying aircraft carrier/battleship thing is alright in my books.

          • Baines says:

            If you don’t help Angel, I assume he just (safely) never makes it. Even with your help, the two of you get there at the last seconds.

            They are the bad ending and the good ending because that is pretty much what they’d be called in any other game. In the good ending, you save everyone and the Saints become heroes. In the bad ending, your friends die and the Saints become villains.

            Volition appeared to favor the “good” ending, as well, with details like playing an upbeat song like “I Need a Hero” when you are choosing whether to help your friends. Or the conversation with Pierce after you deal with Killbane. Saints Row 4 rather clearly doesn’t follow from the bad ending, either.

            Personally, I think the Killbane ending is the better ending. It has the strongest moments. It also has the Daedelus. The other path is just… The whole mission where you are stopping the bombs feels like something that was thrown together at the last minute, as does the rescue bit at the top. The space bit was weak as well.

            To me, Killbane was right in what he tells the Boss. The Saints in Saints Row 3 went from being a gang to being a joke. The Saints lost themselves in their fame. But it is more than that, as Volition itself lost itself. Volition expected everyone to laugh with the joke rather than at it, as well. The quest for continual over-the-topness completely lost the serious grounded-in-reality. The jokes became more important than anything else, and the jokes weren’t even that good. That’s part of why I liked the bad ending, because it brought some seriousness back to the story, with the Killbane fight and the aftermath, with the Daedelus, and with the Boss’ on-air declaration at the end.

      • Scrooge McDuck says:

        The “bad” ending never made sense to me. As psychotic as he is, the Boss has too little interaction with Killbane to be that hellbent on revenge.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      Essentially making the entire plot of SR3 completely superfluous.

      When has the plot of Saint’s Row not been superfluous?

      Wait, “superfluous” means “great” right?

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      “I don’t appreciate that kinda negativity!”

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    • nzmccorm says:

      To be fair the plot of SR3 was a huge botch. THQ carved great big chunks of it out because it was deemed ‘too dark’, which is why there are parts (like the bridge bombing, for instance) that sort of come out of nowhere. In the original script, that was a dirty bomb attack, and Laura and Tobias were supposed to die onscreen.

      • Screamer says:

        Wait wait wait wait wait…. there’s a story? O_o

      • Richeh says:

        Well, thank god they ditched it. Both SR2 and SR3 take a massive dark turn for about one mission, and then have one character act angsty for the rest of the game while everyone else hoses things down with shit and murders fursuiters.

        I can respect that maybe there’s some frustrated writers wanting to inject high drama, but honestly Saint’s Row isn’t the game for it. It’s just distracting from the mayhem and about as out of place as the end of the second act in Borderlands 2.

  2. DrGonzo says:

    “Remember the first Saints Row? A tawdry GTA rip-off that insulted itself and its players.”

    Yep, and nothing has changed!

    • Iskariot says:

      I wish I cote vote you up.

    • Mctittles says:

      SR3 had some good dumb fun, but it gets old after awhile and had pretty plain looking cities compared to the detail and polish of the GTA series.

      I’ve never beat a GTA game, but I’ve spent hours driving around their beautiful cities while listening to some great toons and never tired of it. Can’t say the same for Saints Row.

      • F3ck says:

        “I’ve never beat a GTA game, but I’ve spent hours driving around their beautiful cities while listening to some great tunes and never tired of it.”

        …good lord. I am sorry, but that seems, at least to me, the very height of tedium.

        And I’m beginning to wonder if all the GTA praise (which – apart from the life-like game world – has made little sense to me) isn’t some misplaced sim-love…might account for the objections to SR-lunacy that usually follow, too.

        I’m not trying to be inflammatory, but the notion is so counter-intuitive..assuming, that at some point, you’ve owned a car with a radio in it.

      • Vandelay says:

        That sounds to me as if you have it the wrong way round. I could never just drive around a GTA game causing mayham without it becoming tedious very quickly (well, San Andreas wasn’t bad for that, particular once you got passed the first few hours and Vice City at least had some good music to listen to while you did it.)

        SR3, on the other hand, was far more fun to just dick about in. And far more fun to do the missions too.

        GTA V looks to be taking some cues from San Andreas, so it could be an improvement. IV at least had a much improved control system to it and it looks like they are borrowing a bit from Max Payne 3 to make it even better. Merging that with a little bit more variety in landscapes and things do should make it a more fun game. I am skeptical about some of the touted features though, such as the characters continuing their lives when you are not in control and planning missions before hand. Both sound like the kind of things that will be a lot more orchestrated then the trailers would like you to believe.

        Looking at SR4, I pretty much know that it is going to be a lot of fun. Probably the same fun I can get with 3 though, so I’ll probably hang on for a little while before I get it.

    • Syra says:

      Remember the first GTA, which was good dumb fun and didn’t try and take itself too seriously?

      I do. Remember how the rest of them suck?

      • Nick says:

        Nope, I only remember how GTA IV took itself seriously and sucked, all the others are great.

        • Keyrock says:

          Agreed. GTA IV tried to be too gritty and serious and fell flat on its face. Plus, the game seemed like it actively tried to keep you from having fun. The previous games were great though. San Andreas was the pinnacle of the series in my opinion.

          • Kadayi says:

            I think the reason GTA IV largely sucked was down to the dissonance between what the protagonist says and what he ends up doing. It gets a bit jarring after a while to have this character who keeps saying how he wants to reform, but spends more and more time being a fucking dick to everyone (also pointless mini-games and dismal characterization) With GTA V it seems like Rockstar have opted to go back to the protagonists being willing participants in their activities.

          • benkc says:

            While San Andreas had some improved mechanics, I’d say Vice City was the peak. Otherwise agree, though.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Let’s be fair; GTA was good for the whole 3-series. San An had the “hey cousin!” rot setting in with virtual girlfriends demanding you drive them places but was otherwise fun.

        (And I assume that’s what you mean by “first”, not the top-down 2D ones.)

        • The Random One says:

          Oh, that’s what he meant! I thought it was odd one would like GTA but but GTA II, since they’re so similar.

      • Nic Clapper says:

        I always hear this, and never understand where it comes from. Does the game have some drama mixed in? Sure. But I mean the ads, the DJs, the things the citizens say, and really just everything about the game is all so satirical. It might not be something everyone finds funny, but at no point did I ever feel the game was taking itself ‘too seriously’. To me the mix of the sometimes semi-serious mission dialog with the exaggerated goofs on real life felt right in line with how the previous games handled things.

        I can totally understand people liking the themes of one over another, but I’ll never get the ‘it was too serious’ argument’.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          Completely agree. GTA 4 didn’t take itself seriously at all. It had some layers, but… well… I mean, Brucie.

        • Laurentius says:

          Because it wasn’t serious or gloomy, that’s just some misconceptions from people who didn’t play the game. Come one, satirical and all but most of character and mission were typical GTA sense of humour.
          And Niko, now this is mystery to me, one of the most sarcastic charcter in video game and it’s generally hated here on RPS, you know, sifitng through RPS comments it’s clear that there is one human trait that this comunity almost generaly worship and it is sarcasm.

          • Mctittles says:

            My guess is the satire was too subtle and sometimes a big purple dildo or a naked man are what it takes to realize “oh, this is a joke, I’m supposed to find this funny”. A lot of people have to be beat over the head with a joke, then explained the punchline to know it’s time to laugh.

  3. Keyrock says:

    Gat is easily the most iconic character in the series, he had to come back. It doesn’t matter if it makes any sense that he’s back, it’s Saints Row, nothing makes any sense anyway, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m already looking forward to running around naked and dick punching fools.

  4. Chris D says:

    Johnny Gat? Whatever. Tell me I can have the same hispanic voice actress for my character again. Then we can talk.

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      I heartily endorse this message. I have her blue suit ready to go.

    • basilisk says:

      You silly man. Everyone knows Female Voice 1 is the only true voice for the Boss.

    • Keyrock says:

      I am a big fan of the Russian accent female voice from SR3, sadly Tara Platt isn’t coming back as a voice actress so that’s out. The part where you’re driving through Steelport with Pierce and singing Sublime ~ What I Got is so fantastic with the Russian accent. Plus, the idea of a female US President with a thick Russian accent made me feel all tingly inside. Oh well. They better make up for it by giving me a voice option with a super thick southern drawl.

      • jonahcutter says:

        What’s this you say? No female Russian voice????!?!?!?!

        NOOOOOOOoooooooooo….

        I need that voice back. My female, Russian, tatted-up, weightlifter crime boss MUST return to lead the free world.

        Her singing “What I Got…” in a Russian accent is one of my favorite moments in gaming.

        FUCK! This is terrible news.

      • Sami H says:

        What the hell? That voice over made SR3 for me :/

      • LionsPhil says:

        Despite my comment above, this is a huge shame for the reasons you note.

      • Kadayi says:

        I like the Russian and Hispanic voices. I was surprised they decided to drop them in truth. Very odd given they have kept all the male ones. No surprise they dropped the Zombie for Nolan North, as that was suitably throwaway, but still disappointed that I’m not going to be able to have my voice of choice. Guess I’ll be going for the French voice.

        Not that I’d saying I advocate it, but if your reading Volition you done fucked up so DLC optional voices might not be a bad idea.

      • RedViv says:

        At least they hand out some nice replacements with French or Southern. Now ah don’t know what ah’ll pick, ma cherie.

        Also male Bosses get Cockney. All is right in the world.

    • nzmccorm says:

      Apparently the new southern and french voices are pretty good, but yeah it is kinda bullshit that whenever we get an awesome female voice she isn’t asked back.

  5. Teovald says:

    From what I heard, SR4 is the last Saints Row with the 3rd Street Saints at the center of the story.
    I kinda makes sense to bring back an iconic character like Gat for a last round, especially in a sci fi background where it is realistic to see him cloned (especially since it was one of the themes of SR3).

    It will be weird to play to a SR game without purple or the Saints.

  6. DrScuttles says:

    They censored the winkie! Outrageous.

  7. JR says:

    Actually I just figured that SRV would just involve the player and Gat going bowling for 30 hours.

  8. The Random One says:

    Ok cool but how about this: the Boss is killed by a kamikaze attack carried out by renegade UN peacekeepers. After dying, he ends up at Purgatory, AK, which as it turns out is also the actual purgatory where dead people go to. Of course, s/he has no intention of moving on and decides to rebuild the gang there, but in doing so ends up accidentally uncovering a massive conspiracy to bring about doomsday and now demons and angels are also patrolling the streets. The characters that died on the first two games come back and do nothing but complain that everything is precisely too silly.

    Also it’s a MOBA.

  9. pupsikaso says:

    Holey fuck, do you really think this is an appropriate header picture to post on the front page?

  10. Njordsk says:

    I’m gonna buy this. Oh yeah.

  11. DickSocrates says:

    I was a fanatical supporter of SR2 over GTAIV until I actually played SR2. While it offered more things to do, the sloppy controls and under detailed map turned me off it. I played a few minutes of SR3 and it felt even worse. There are no consequences to any actions, it’s barely a game at all and the OTTness of it all seems more like shark jumping desperation than anything else. And then SR4 appears and looks a thousand times worse than SR3.

    For me an open world has to have a ton of effort and detail to justify itself. SR doesn’t attempt this, possibly because they can’t afford to, but it means I’ll take Rockstar’s hyper-detailed world any day. Even if that means taking their numerous quirks and terrible pacing.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      I love how polarizing GTA vs SR can be. For example when I read your post I’m sure you’ve confused Saints Row and Grand Theft Auto.

    • Nick says:

      “I was a fanatical supporter of SR2 over GTAIV until I actually played SR2.”

      And this is why nothing else you say afterwards is worth reading.

      • Vegard Pompey says:

        Though it’s a bit odd to be a “fanatical” supporter of something you have not played, the differences in design philosophy between the two games are well-known to many gamers. There is a lot of cause for making a judgment without having played either.

    • KhanIHelpYou says:

      I had pretty much the opposite reaction to saints row 2. I’d never heard of the saints row series when i saw it second hand in gamestation and thought it looked like a crappy GTA ripoff with tasteless thug graphics on the cover. Bought it anyway because it was cheap and i was a bored student.

      I all but 100%ed that game.

      I mean it had so many problems, but at the same time it was absolutely the GTA game i wanted and never got after playing vice city. It blended a serious plot with farcical situations excellently. The gunplay was adequate, the driving was pretty tight. The occasional moment like the death of aisha, or making maero crush his girlfriend were dark and it just worked so well. For the most part the struggle of the game kept me invested through cinematics and missions, dialog etc.

      Then they started announcing SR3….
      I don’t know what i was at first but it didn’t really sit right in my mind, started to feel like a cheap imitation of its self. Like what would happen if you gave a bunch of brogrammers saints row 2 for a week and told them to make a sequel.

      And when it finally came out and I get to play it…. yeah that was exactly what it was. The tone of the game felt like it had any ounce of legitimacy forcibly squeezed out of it. There was the inexplicable over hall of shaundi’s character, the sudden and utterly weightless death of gat. Gameplay wise there was the replacement of real missions with “mission” versions of the minigame activities like mayhem and escorting hookers. Also the way your first mission has you raiding an army barracks, murdering soldiers and blowing up tanks with aerial drones. The power progression in the game just felt weird and practically non existent.

      Obviously with the issues THQ was going through its likely they didn’t have the resources to finish a lot of it and it just feels SO unfinished. It felt like i was playing half a game, things kept happening with little to no setup. Like the bit where they’re supposedly going to (or from?) gat’s funeral and get ambushed on the bridge. There is zero setup for that scene, no one mentions gat’s funeral is going to happen or anything. Its just bam, cut scene that makes little sense, bam back to game. And afterwards while characters do remark on the event and there are some larger events that are effected by it… It just felt so inconsequential.

      The best explanation i have found is from an article on 1up.
      “By the time Saints Row: The Third shipped, only 20% of the team had shipped a Saints Row title,”

      Saints Row 3 is not the same game as Saints Row 2 in a similar way that GTA4 is not the same as Vice City. Maybe they’ll smooth out some of the technical issues and down right shitty design work from 3 in 4 but they wont fix the attitude. I doubt I’ll be playing Saints Row 4.

      • nzmccorm says:

        See I dunno about that. IdolNInja, who actually played the game and is working with the devs (which admittedly might colour his opinion) says that in terms of tone and character arcs it feels much more in line with SR2, albeit as a Science Fiction story.

        It’s interesting that you mention the bridge scene. That was actually a quick kludge thrown together because the original plot was deemed “Too Dark”. In the scene as written, Killbane sets a dirty bomb off in Stilwater in order to cut off the Saints’ support network and frame them for the bombing. The reason it seems inconsequential and disconnected is that it was basically created after the fact out of bits and bobs and some hastily recorded dialogue in order for their not to be a gaping hole in the narrative. That’s why so few characters recur, why the government decides to use military force against the saints, etc.

  12. Belsameth says:

    Didn’t we wonder how they’d top the stuff in 3 either? They managed… easily.

  13. Jesse L says:

    NB – the mention of Hawaii is a nod to Gat’s voice actor, Daniel Dae Kim, who got a job on the television show Hawaii 5-O inbetween voicing Gat in SR2 & SR3.

  14. Vegard Pompey says:

    I’m glad they undid the stupidest decision of the series. And this doesn’t exactly come as a shock, seeing as his picture was on the cover.

  15. Deviija says:

    I’m super excited to have Gat back. He is one of the best parts of the SR franchise. Also, even more excited that *spoiler*

    is romanceable. */end spoiler*

  16. nzmccorm says:

    There was actually some suggestion that they might be considering, terror of terrors, a reboot.

  17. DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

    I didn’t know anyone actually knew the names of the characters or gave a shit about them

  18. quarpec says:

    thanks for the spoiler

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