At E3 2011, Saints Row: The Third stole the show (for me at least) with a speculator hands-off demo. Featuring some of the most insane sequences, weapons, and gameplay possibilities ever put to disc, the demo was simply unlike anything gamers had seen before.

And so, with Saints Row 4 making the demo rounds at PAX East, anticipation was high. And luckily, for better or for worse, Volition‘s latest has upped the ante over its predecessor.

While we were not on hand at PAX East to see the demo for ourselves, some of our colleagues were, and we’ve compiled some of the more interesting findings from the demo.

First up, Kotaku has a pretty extensive breakdown on the weapons and abilities of Saints Row 4. Yes, this sequel will feature super powers including super speed, telekinesis, flight, and the ability to freeze items. And apparently, players will be able to mix and match the powers at will, like freezing a car and then mind-throwing it for example.

The demo also featured a few new weapons including an Inflato Ray (seen briefly in the Saints Row 4 trailer) that increases the size of an enemy’s head until it explodes, and a mech suit, which needs no explanation. Just imagine how a Saints Row game would do a mech suit, and that’s pretty much it.

Saints Row 4 - New Weapons

But the weapon that has caught our eye is the Dubstep Gun. Yes, Volition (and publisher Deep Silver) are fully committing to the dubstep joke with this iteration. When fired upon an enemy or civilian, the dubstep gun gets people dancing, before eventually pixelating and killing them. The gun also has the power to send vehicles into frenzy.

Destructoid was able to talk to Saints Row 4 Senior Producer Jim Boone who revealed the game’s DLC selection will be as robust as its predecessor’s. While we doubt that means 40 weeks of DLC, the comment likely means players should expect several story expansions and plenty of zany weapon and character skin packs.

“We plan on having a very robust DLC plan for Saints Row IV, just like we did with 3. We haven’t put an exact number on it, in fact it’s frankly it’s something we’re still working on with Deep Silver. We had it all planned out with THQ, and we want to make sure [whether] the same drops make sense, the same timing and all that kind of stuff so we’re still kind of in a finalizing sort of mode. But it’s very comparable, at least our planning right now, is very comparable.”

It’s ironic that Volition is talking about releasing DLC for Saints Row 4 considering the game is actually revamped Saints Row: the Third DLC. Originally this superpower-fueled alternate reality was part of the Enter the Dominatrix expansion, before original publisher THQ decided to repurpose it as a full retail release. That decision left some wary about the quality of Saints Row 4, but these new details appear to assuage a lot of those fears.

Speaking of alternate realities, Volition Creative Director Steve Jaros tells IGN that Stephen Colbert was originally envisioned as the game’s President before Volition said, “F#$% it,” and made the player character the President. Jaros also explains that there were plenty of ideas that were developed for Enter the Dominatrix specifically, that unfortunately didn’t work in the context of a retail release. And so a lot of those concepts were tossed by the wayside.

“Merging them was not a drag and drop proposition. There were things we were doing on Dominatrix that just wouldn’t make sense in Saints Row IV. Then even the stuff we wanted to take from Dominatrix to move in to Saints Row IV had to be totally redone because the story wouldn’t make any sense.”

An idea we’re really said to hear ended up on the cutting room floor was a dragon. How or why that would have worked, we have no idea, but it sounds cool.

Saints Row 4 - President

For a time there, we were unsure about Saints Row 4, what with the DLC repurposing and all, but now we’re back in. The game sounds equally, if not more, insane than its predecessor, and now the franchise has a fan base to support those crazy ideas. Also, we’re not ready to let go of dubstep just yet.

What do you think of these new Saints Row 4 details? What has you most excited: playing as the President, super powers, or crazy weapons?

Saints Row 4 releases August 20, 2013 for the PS3, PC, and Xbox 360.

Source: Kotaku, Destructoid, IGN