It’s unlikely that any other fictional gang has gone as far as Volition’s Third Street Saints. After all, what started as a ragtag organization looking to take over the streets of the city it called home has since turned into a phenomenon. How so? Well, after achieving its goals of taking out the competition, the group picked up and moved and did the same elsewhere, before making its way into the Oval Office and installing its head honcho as the revered President of the United States. During that time, a popular energy drink was released, commercials were filmed and the popularity meter soared to new heights.
The last time we heard from Stilwater’s own, we were playing through Saints Row IV, a game that saw the crude, hilarious and downright violent gang expand its operations to space. Not intentionally, mind you, but out of necessity after earth was both attacked and destroyed at the hands of an alien leader named Zinyak. The group fought hard, though, and was able to make its way out of captivity before fucking the invasive being’s shit up.
Fast forward about a year and a half and we’ve received the next instalment in the saga: Saints Row: Gat out of Hell.
This time around, we’re looking at a true expansion and not a sequel. It’s the first true expansion to come out of Volition (who have received help from High Voltage Studios), after Enter the Dominatrix went from exactly that to becoming the basis for Saints Row IV. Sure, we received that particular escapade as DLC, but it differed greatly from what the company’s original plans entailed.
Gat out of Hell exists as yet another creative adventure, wherein the President of the United States is kidnapped by Satan and locked inside of a coloured crystal as he awaits marriage to the King of Hell’s only daughter, Jezebel. Of course, the Saints take nothing sitting down and it’s not long before two of their best and brightest find their way into the lava-filled underworld with the intention of saving their own.
How did this all start? At a birthday party, no less. You see, out of pure boredom, the group decided to go old school with Kinzie Kensington’s first birthday party. That meant pulling out all the stops, including hats and classic board games; even a Ouija board from Zinyak’s personal collection. It’s that cursed spirit board that ends up setting things into motion, by unexpectedly opening a portal to Satan’s sinful lair.
After surfacing in Hell, though, both Johnny Gat and Kinzie, herself, find that they’re not alone in wanting to punch the devil in the face. In fact, not only does a familiar face from their past await them at Ultor’s established HQ, but several noteworthy characters can also be swayed into joining the fun. It’s a list that includes the historical, such as Vlad the Impaler, William Shakespeare (who’s become a nightclub owner, no less) and Blackbeard the pirate, but also Steelport’s ruthless Twins.
Over the course of Gat out of Hell‘s short campaign, you’ll find yourself flying from one end of the underworld to another, in an attempt to win the favour of the aforementioned group, all of whom have their own unique powers to share. It’s a pretty simple task, and the truth of the matter is that it’s also far from creative or robust. Therein lies the main issue with this expansion: Its uninspired structure, which doesn’t show the kind of effort that we’ve become used to from this particular series.
Instead of being based around a campaign filled with story missions, Gat and Kinzie’s newest adventure is more focused on chaos. The more you do and blow up, the angrier Satan will become, to the point where he’ll want to challenge you to a fight. At least, that’s the idea. So, to do this, your task is to first set things in motion and then make allies with the chosen ones, which is accomplished through the completion of short aid quests. For example, Blackbeard requires your help to rid his ship of explosive minions, while Vlad the Impaler must be rescued from prison. Shakespeare’s is by far the worst of the middling bunch, because all he really does is send waves of minions at you. It’s simple and lacks any sort of real fun factor, especially since the environment in which you fight is cramped and uninspired.