SRIV is like SRTT when it finally starts to get good, only with SRIV that's at the very beginning. I mean SRTT's opening bank robbery mission was alright, but SRIV's was a whole other beast. Plus with SRIV the laughs have been pretty consistent thus far, instead of being bogged down by a bunch of a boring tutorials. The way the opening mission ends in particular and how you ''unlock'' the Presidency had me bawling, and the incredible Armageddon reference only seconds before certainly helped. Then it goes and leads into a 1950s sitcom parody, with you jovially swinging with every step, equipped with a 'thumbs up'... Where there's also a reference to fucking Dex of all things, because why the Hell not!
So far it's been like the Airplane! of video game stories, where there's an almost overwhelming amount of funny to take in. Sticking with Robin Atkin Downes has been the right choice at that, as his performance is just as riotous as it was in SRTT.
Gameplay wise there's such a swath of improvements across the board, too, both big and small. Stuff like all of the weapon cosmetic options (Robocop's pistol!), the ability to listen to the radio across the entire game (listening to the classical music station is a must), and even the core shooting and driving feels a little better than it did in SRTT. Of course, none of that shooting and/or driving matters much because of the super powers, but it's appreciative all the same. And speaking of the super powers... my God, the super powers.
Frankly the reason I was mostly disappointed with SRTT was because to me it was like a lesser SR2; less guns, activities, customisations options, and the city itself was really boring to play around in. The stuff that I really liked about that game were missions from the latter half. SRIV on the other hand... it's completely shackled away any pretense of being a regular GTA-esque open world and has become something completely new -- new within the scope of the series anyway, as it's still primarily a Prototype clone. A Prototype clone with a helluva lot more personality and humour, though. The core gameplay itself is still just so much fun besides, and it's addicting as ever to go around collecting clusters or whatever.
Much like my time playing inFAMOUS games, as soon as I unlocked the first set of powers I've instead been mostly gallivanting around just wreckin' shit and collecting stuff rather than pushing the story forward, which I'm still looking forward to getting deeper into. In fact I've only just unlocked the HUB world I'm still that early.
The gameplay has managed to be so fun that I often forget that I'm also still stuck in Steelport. Because of the increased verticality and the fact that you're pretty much always whizzing about everywhere, I barely even notice that this is still the same city. The Zin makeover helps to give it a bit of leeway in establishing its own identity at that.
It's even managed to make Insurance Fraud even more fun, as I'm often taking advantage of the crazy amount of momentum you can get to awkwardly cartwheel across the entire city in ragdoll. God, and Zin is so perfectly portrayed as well. He's like if Frasier Crane was an evil alien overlord. Great music as well, both original and for its selection of licensed stuff.
I should note that I'm playing on PS3, and while the framerate certainly isn't as smooth as I'd like, it's been perfectly playable thus far. It's a little jarring when the framerate does get to be super smooth, though, like during the early super power training portions or when you're running up a building. Unfortunately the PS3 version also tends to hitch up during certain autosaves, specifically the ones involving the side-quest sets, but otherwise it's still technically alright. If anything it's the amount of jaggies during the cutscenes that irks me more so than the inconsistent framerate.
Anywhoo, SRIV's pretty good. I'm now quite happy I didn't decide to cancel my preorder, and I'm looking forward to more super powers, fanservice (...was that the SR2 default male character I just killed?!) and referential humour.