Saints Row IV: Elements of Destruction DLC [Review]

The price of the Saints Row IV Elements of Destruction pack seems a bit steep for its small returns.


In a game of excess, how do you add even more excess? After having played Saints Row IV for review, I wasn’t really sure what else could be added to the game to make it even more ridiculous. Then again, I thought this way back when I played Saints Row the Third, so I have learned to trust that the people at Volition will find new ways to impress me. I never expected that one of their moves would be to try adding even more explosions into a game that is pretty much just a series of explosions, but somehow they managed to cram a few more of them into the game with the Elements of Destruction pack, and for $2.99, you can too. I’m not super sure these new explosions will add much to your gameplay experience, but if you somehow felt there weren’t enough in your first run at the game, then…well…you can add more?

You gain a handful of adjustments to your powers for the price of a coffee and doughnut, and they vary in entertainment value. The Explosive Blast was probably one of my favorites, as it turns the person you hit into a time bomb. Most of the powers from this DLC pack have an effect like that, but this one chains together if there are any more people in the area. So, you set one guy to explode, and if he blows up and hits someone else, that person will explode too. Do this on a populated street and you should probably start running in the other direction pretty fast. It’s pretty fun to do if someone flips you off for bumping into them, or if a street walker decides to start a fistfight.

Then again, that move has nothing on the Airstrike Stomp. You do a regular foot slam, but anyone caught in the blast radius shoots up into the air. Seems a little boring since my stomp already wrecks the faces of anyone within range, but those people you launched then fire missiles back down at the ground for some reason. This easily creates some of the more absurd explosions I’ve ever seen in the game, and that’s saying something after some of the stuff I’ve put NPCs and enemies through while playing it. It’s a spectacular display if you can catch a lot of aliens or humans with it, and almost makes the pack seem worthwhile on its own.


The other two powers are a bit underwhelming. TK Time Bomb is pretty useless unless you wished you could make more things explode when you throw them. Telekinesis was something I rarely used in the game unless I wanted to throw some large object at an enemy or if I just felt like being a jerk and hurling someone across a river. Mostly, I was already throwing an object that was going to explode, so making people blow up seems kind of pointless. It’s made even less useful due to having a timer, and so I quickly passed it up for other moves in the DLC.

Most pointless was the Explosive Buff. With this move, you essentially turn everyone within range into  a time bomb. They’ll then flee and hopefully catch more people and objects in their blast radius, spreading the carnage out across a large distance, but I found it much more worthwhile to do the Airstrike or Explosive Blast. Both of those already have a large radius that I know and can predict, while the Buff seemed to be a little more random based on where NPCs run off to. It was still mostly predictable since they can only get so far, but the two attacks I liked best just seemed more useful. I guess it was a nice addition if you were screwing around on the streets and wanted some chaos before you set off an explosion, but when I want something blown up, I usually want it blown up right now.

Now, the powers are all fun in their own way, but I’m still having a bit of a hard time justifying spending the money on them. It’s not much, especially considering you can just sell a couple of Steam Trading cards to get enough to buy them, but they still just felt like tiny additions to a game that was already pretty ridiculous. Also, four moves, two of which really weren’t that impressive, is a bit much for the asking price. Adding a few more weapons into the pack and a lot more moves would have been more easily justifiable as a five dollar purchase, giving me something a bit more substantial for my investment. These moves are fun and interesting, but at best they just felt like a silly diversion that wasn’t adding all that much to a game that’s already bloated with goofy moves. If you just have to have everything in the game you will get something good with the Elements of Destruction pack, but for me, the price is a bit too steep for what little you get. I’ve purchased whole games for less than this price, so I expect a little more.

The Elements of Destruction Pack is available for $2.99 on Steam.

Joel Couture
Joel Couture
Joel Couture

MASH Veteran

A horror-obsessed gamer, Joel is still spending his days looking for something to scare himself as much as Fatal Frame. Even so, he has ridiculous action games and obscure gems to keep him happy in the meantime. A self-proclaimed aficionado of terrible retro games, he's always looking for a rotten game he hasn't played yet, and may be willing to exchange information for candy.

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