Saints Row: Gat out of Hell

When the original Saints Row released almost a decade ago, developer Volitionfound success in emulating Grand Theft Auto, something that many other games failed to do. Somewhere along the way between Saints Row II and Saints Row IV, Volition found their own identity and became the wacky cousin to Rockstar's blockbuster sandbox. Saints Row IV brought the already crazy series to the next level with the addition of superpowers and an insanely over-the-top story involving the Boss becoming the President of the United States and defending America against an alien invasion. Just when I thought Saints Row couldn't get any more ridiculous, Gat Out of Hell is released.

Gat out of Hell is a standalone expansion that features one of Saints Row's most notorious gangsters, Johnny Gat. Fans of the series will remember Johnny Gat as a gun blazing, "shoot now ask questions later" type of guy. I've got some news for you – nothing has changed. Instead of doing a drive-by on rival gang members or hijacking planes mid air, Johnny Gat takes his talents to Satan's domain. Gat and the cunning hacker Kinzie Kensington (another playable character) have entered Hell to save the Boss from Satan's grasp. To do so, Gat and Kinzie must complete a series of objectives to get Satan's attention and provoke a showdown.

That's about it for it's story. Unlike the main game, Gat out of Hell  doesn't offer many story quests to complete. After the initial set of missions that serve as a tutorial and synopsis of why Gat is in Hell, with the occasional cutscene to push things along, you are given a large world to explore, filled with a ton of activities to complete. Instead of humans and police roaming the world, Hell is filled with lost souls and demons that keep the order.

The biggest gameplay change is the ability to fly. In Saints Row IV you had access to superpowers that allowed you to jump extremely high, scale buildings and even glide, but Gat has wings. Flying plays a major part in traveling the city. There are hidden items scattered around Hell that can only be found if you use these demon wings to reach them. I loved the freedom that flying gives you. I can only remember a handful of times I actually drove a car.

Their are a few new activities to play with along with older favorites that have tweaked to conform with the new setting. My favorite activity, "Insurance Fraud," has been changed to "Torment Fraud." In this mode, you control a lost soul desperately trying to knock some years off his sentence. You are tasked to run into cars and other objects in order to do as much damage you possible can to yourself. The ridiculous rag-doll physics makes this a pretty hilarious activity.

Salvation, a brand new game mode has Gat flying around to save lost souls that fall from Hell's sky. Other activities, like Mayhem, haven't change much as Gat must obliterate everything is his path to beat the high score. Hellblazing has Gat soaring around Hell reaching checkpoints before time runs out.

There is a new set of weapons based on the Seven Deadly Sins that will rain havoc on Hell's demons. Pride is a gun that brags about past killings each time you fire it, Sloth is a plush chair with mounted guns, allowing Gat to roll around killing enemies. Each weapon has its own unique identity and I found the weapons to be one of the funnier parts of the game.

From a visual standpoint, don't expect Gat out of Hell to impress. Even the "remastered" version on the PS4 has minor upgrades from the previous versions and you'll be hard pressed to notice them unless performing a direct comparison between the two. The game performs exceptionally well and I didn't run into any technical issues. The soundtrack is forgettable as most of the gameplay is accompanied by awkward silence.

If you loved Saints Row IV, you will love Gat out of Hell. There's plenty of content here and even though much hasn't changed, playing as Johnny Gat in Hell translates to a humorous adventure with exaggerated gameplay elements that only Saints Row can deliver.

Writer for Darkstation since 2014. I've been playing games my whole life and starting writing about them in 2010. Outside of gaming I enjoy anime and watching my Philadelphia Eagles let me down every Sunday. Follow me on Twitter @jsparis09