For all the things Gat Out Of Hell could or ideally would do though, it's important to remember what it is - a standalone expansion. Go in remembering that, and knowing about the lack of missions, and it's a pleasant surprise how much it at least tries to offer within its limits. Just don't expect it to be a sequel, or even a full slice of Saints Row 4 at its best.
Gat Out of Hell offers all the open-world distractions of a Saints Row game, but precious little of what made the last two so remarkable.
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected is still an enjoyable, chaotic romp on PS4 and Xbox One, but its improvements are minimal.
Despite the outrageous plot and bizarre weapons this is a disappointingly mundane expansion beneath all the silliness, and one that addresses none of the parent game's failings.
Another ludicrous spectacle, but Volition's patchy action/comedy sandbox doesn't prove to be a gangster's paradise.
Short, funny, but lacking in gameplay complexity
In Gat Out of Hell, the joke feels like it's on us
Saints Row rides onto new platforms, and a good standalone expansion follows with it.
It's Saints Row IV with too many cut corners. Some of the series' core fun remains, but it's sandwiched between disappointing filler.
The chaos and fun of Saints Row is fully intact in the underworld, but a new setting can only go so far.
The return of super powers and introduction of flight makes it a mostly enjoyable three hours, but as a standalone experience it falls just short of typical Saints Row success.
If I wanted to worry about all that, I'd just go to a college campus and listen to people complain for a few hours. As it is though, I hope that more developers take a cue from Saints Row and realize that it's still okay to tell jokes and implement cartoony violence that's still ridiculous and fun. I know gaming as an industry is maturing and people want to present new ideas and make statements using the media, but luckily, whenever I feel like I need a break, I will have Saints Row proudly on my shelf.
The thing about Gat Out Of Hell is that it feels like Saints Row IV but with things stripped away instead of expanded on. Sure you have the challenges to complete, though they aren't different to the other games in the series, and there are a lot of collectibles to hunt down to unlock everything. Outside of that though Hell as a location feels a bit bland, and without the other Saints to bounce off Kinzie and Gat aren't that interesting or funny. Combine that with the lack of in-game music and customisation options and this entry is a step backwards for the series. Don't get me wrong, this game can be fun when you're engaged in big battles against the demons, but outside of that it is lacking character.
Yet nearly everything good about Gat Out of Hell has been done better in the main games. We remember laughing out loud during the last two Saints Row outings, but couldn't even muster a chuckle throughout the duration of the expansion. If you're absolutely desperate for more of the third-street Saints, this jaunt into the underworld will just barely suffice, but most will be better off waiting for the next, and inevitably more fully-featured, sequel.
Volition knows exactly what the Saints Row series is. It's dumb, enjoyable fun that's not to be taken too seriously. Gat out of Hell certainly fits that criteria and though it's a smaller package this time around, it's still nice to take a short weekend trip to hell. Just don't expect to stay very long.
Soaring through Hell thanks to the wings on your back adds another element to your A-to-B arsenal, however the repetition on offer stifles flight. A lot.
Saints Row: Gat out of Hell is the Saints Row you know and love, minus the good stuff. A lack of humor, repetitive missions and structure for this short expansion leave a lot to be desired.
Newcomers will find a lot to enjoy, but there's little reason to return if a dive into Hell is what you were looking forward to.
Gat Out of Hell can stand on its own. Yes, it is undercooked, and it has problems, but the core mechanics and gameplay still work.
It's a comfortable game, lots to do, very silly, definitely fun to play. But it's also sitting still, putting its feet up, rather than surprising us with something delightfully new.