‘Grand Theft Auto 5’ takes on ‘Saints Row 4’ in a head to head showdown


Emanuel Espinoza, Staff Writer

“Grand Theft Auto V,” one of the most hyped games to come out in recent memory, has some competition in “Saints Row IV,” a game similar to “Grand Theft Auto,” but the question is this: Which is better?

“Grand Theft Auto V,” released on Sept. 17, is the latest in its respective series, following “Grand Theft Auto” from 2008. There had been a lot of hype surrounding it throughout the year by various gaming websites and magazines, as well as advertisements at Gamestop and other retailers.

The game has several new features in comparison to past versions of this franchise.

One of the newest features is having three different protagonists to play as. They all have missions regarding the main storyline, as well as missions exclusive to each of the protagonists that deal with their own storyline elements. There is also the ability to change characters during the gameplay.

The entire map of the fictional city of Los Santos, which is based on Los Angeles, is much bigger than the version from “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas,” released in 2004.

The game’s story is gritty and serious, with elements for each of the main characters. For example, one of the characters, Michael, is a former criminal with a bad past and that wants to get clean, but circumstances lead him back into the life of crime. It sounds cliché, but it works for a game like this.

“Saints Row IV,” released on Aug. 20, is considered by gamers and gaming journalists to be more “over the top.” What started off as a game series about gang warfare and trying to take over the city has now delved into the sci-fi genre.

The game’s protagonist is an unnamed person who is the leader of The Saints, the gang that the series has followed. In this fourth installment, the lead character is now the president of the United States and the rest of The Saints’ lieutenants are now his/her Cabinet.

The storyline involves The president dealing with an alien race who plotted to destroy the Earth and has abducted The Saints.

Considering that this is an open-world game like GTA, instead of being in an actual city, the city that was used in this game is all a virtual simulation, unlike the previous three installments of the series.

The game play elements have now taken a turn to wackiness and the game feels too much like a sci-fi game, with aliens being the main threat to the protagonist.

With the addition of weapons that are very unrealistic, as well as an addition of a “dubstep gun” (don’t ask), the player now has superpowers that can be used in the virtual city, such as super high jumping, super sprinting, the ability to freeze or burn people, telekinesis and more.

There are main storyline missions, some of which parody various sci-fi films and other games. With many activities, like causing mayhem in the street, insurance fraud and fight clubs, the player won’t get bored.

Many fans have complained that the “Saints Row” franchise has gotten goofier with each installment, especially after 2011’s “Saints Row: The Third,” which still dealt with gangs, as well as a futuristic police force. Both games are fun, but if you want something serious, “GTA V” is the way to go. If you want something over-the-top, then “Saints Row IV” is the game for you.

Overall, “Grand Theft Auto V” is the better game. Rockstar Games did a good job at developing this title and while they took quite a few years after it was announced, the wait was worth it. The game is loaded with so many activities that a player can do, even some that are exclusive to the character you play as.

Though “Saints Row IV” is a good game, it feels like it’s an expansion of the third game with a lot more goofiness than before and it feels too similar to its predecessor.