Steam presented me with this Offer Of A Lifetime today:
In case you can’t see it, that’s Steam offering me 66% off Saints Row IV – a Grand Theft Auto wannabe that has in its favour the ability to create your own character, male or female; and has standing against it its lack of GTA’s personality or sense of narrative meaning.
If you’ve not played any of the GTA series, you may be aware that they’re the computer games where you drive round in stolen cars shooting police officers and running over innocent pedestrians, and probably murdering a few prostitutes for good measure.
They’re some of the most successful games in history, thanks in no small part to the media’s slavish obedience to the publisher’s will: every time a new GTA game comes out, without fail, the media rush to condemn its depravity, thus ensuring it a massive boost of publicity and far better sales than it might have enjoyed on its own merits.
But if you have played GTA – and actually followed the storyline rather than just arsing about nicking tanks and driving them through beach parties – you may be aware that the storylines actually tell you stories. Saints Row, in my limited experience at least, compares to those stories rather like Meet The Spartans compared to 300: the original was bloody silly, but made for a popcorn-watchable classic all the same; while its imitator was merely bloody silly. But you could make your own character, and that counts for a lot with me: I’m generally no fan of being told I must play this or that identical lantern-jawed hero in every game.
Not that any of this is particularly relevant, except to make my point that I don’t rate Saints Row very highly in comparison to GTA San Andreas. Not even when Steam’s offering it at 66% off would I spend money on it. But we’re not the same, you and I: you might like it – and it’s always possible I’m being completely unfair, having only played the first Saints Row a bit and the second one for about twenty minutes.
The question is, if you miss this special offer and don’t manage to buy it at the advertised £29.99 – while it’s 66% off, do you like it enough to spend £89.97 on it?