Saints Row IV: Enter the Dominatrix PC Review

Author: Lydia Sung
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Friday, October 25th, 2013
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Games/Reviews/saints_row_4_dominatrix/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

Enter the Dominatrix marks the first major DLC to hit Saints Row IV. You know, an add-on that brings more than just weapons and outfits. Sure, Enter the Dominatrix has those things too, but more importantly, this is actual story content we’ve been waiting for since Saints Row: The Third.

Originally an expansion for the third game, Enter the Dominatrix is now getting its second chance with Saints Row IV. We may never know what the original version was like, but in its final form, Dominatrix tests the limits of sanity and good taste. If you thought Saints Row had reached the limits of madness, then clearly, you have much to learn.

Enter the Dominatrix takes place separately from the main Saints Row IV story, though the DLC might make a little more sense to players who’ve beaten the campaign. In it, Volition tells an alternate story through the characters themselves, completely tearing down the fourth wall by presenting the Saints as self-aware actors who know they’re in a video game. The main cast, including Zinyak, and newcomer Donnie are interviewed by reporter Jane Valderamma, presumably after the final mission. Apparently, an alternate script had been written, but it was just too crazy even for Saints Row. Fortunately, everyone still remembers it pretty clearly, and we’re able to relive the canceled Enter the Dominatrix storyline. Yes, the DLC was canceled in real life and in-game. Mind blown.

Face the Dominatrix

Without going too much into the actual details of the DLC’s story, Enter the Dominatrix shows us a series of events based on a “what if” premise. Instead of being the game’s final encounter, Zinyak is dealt with early on, at the start of his invasion, which leaves the Dominatrix, a rogue AI, in charge of the simulation. Not exactly content to stay there, she seems rather intent on making her way into the real world, and as unwitting heroes, the Saints must be the ones who stop her.

Throughout the course of your oddly kinky adventure, you’ll run into some additional characters, who are made available as Homies even after you finish the DLC. Some are returning favorites, while others are somewhat new. Donnie, for instance, is a rather cool Matrix-inspired fighter (far cry from his Saints Row 2 incarnation) who was apparently cut out of the main story. As he introduces himself, the other Saints inform him that Saints Row IV was already released, and he was dropped from the cast. Poor guy. As for returning characters, I’m sure everyone misses a certain auto-tuned pimp…

Pierce, Shaundi, Matt Miller, and Kinzie return as supporting characters alongside Donnie and Zimos. Everyone else is, unfortunately, quite absent. No Johnny, no Oleg, no Nyte Blayde – you get the idea. This did feel like a bit of lost opportunity to me, especially with how many fan favorites got shafted in the main story. And I would have loved to see them interviewed too, even if they weren’t included in Enter the Dominatrix’s playable segments.

Progression is much as you would expect, broken down into a series of missions in the simulation world. You’ll have all your unlocked weapons available and eventually earn your superpowers again (thanks to Donnie) in the fight against the oppressive Dominatrix AI. The DLC doesn’t introduce any new powers, but several new heavy weapons are added to the arsenal, in order to give you an edge over the superpowered Dominatrix and her gimp minions. She and her allies can certainly be a challenge for anyone who hasn’t invested any money into improving their weapons or relies on more conventional firepower. Like the rest of the game, however, the fights in Dominatrix can be easily overcome with a maxed out Black Hole Gun. If you want a more challenging experience, keep that thing stashed away.

Aside from the ridiculous fights, Enter the Dominatrix also has a few other activities that might be considered highly entertaining. One is taken straight out of Saints Row: The Third, and once again involves Zimos pulling a cart. Does that jog any memories? That’s right, Pony Cart racing has returned, though I’m a little bummed that it didn’t wind up in the main game as a challenge mode. Seriously, how great would that have been? My complaint applies to a couple other DLC exclusives, but specifying might actually ruin the surprises. And believe me, Enter the Dominatrix has quite a few. The best is definitely the ending, which reached new heights of craziness that I seriously sat here staring at the screen in disbelief, before laughing at the absolute absurdity of it all. You’ll chuckle, at the very least.

Final Thoughts

Enter the Dominatrix capitalizes on the same crass humor and randomness we’ve come to love about Saints Row. Sure, some people don’t quite appreciate that sort of thing, but Enter the Dominatrix doesn’t care a whole lot about the naysayers – it’s for the fans. Then again, who doesn't appreciate an Iron Throne made of dicks?

I’m a bit disappointed that more content from Enter the Dominatrix didn’t wind up as permanent fixtures in the main simulation, so that players can relive some of the DLC’s highlights. I also experienced an unfortunate issue with the ending not loading properly in co-op mode, and I’m hoping that’s an isolated incident or at least on Volition’s list of problems to address.

Really though, if you loved the wild and crazy atmosphere of Saints Row IV, then the Dominatrix is just the DLC for you. Heck, I only wish it were longer, because with a fully powered-up character and weapons, everything just flies by a little too quickly.

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