A few weeks ago, I was playing around with the Saints Row IV: Inauguration Station to prepare for the latest installment of the Saints game. This time the Saints are moving all the way up to the White House where your character is now the President of the United States. If you have ever played any of the Saints games, the level of absurdity knows no bounds which is part of its charm for this series. The game hardly takes itself seriously. It’s meant to be enjoyed and laugh at the craziness this game throws at you.
I downloaded Inauguration Station for the Xbox 360 and began changing up the look of my Asian Saints character from Saints Row: The Third. The amount of options you have to choose from is staggering. Aside from changing the usual: hair, face, body, skin color, race, etc. you have a ton of clothes and accessories to choose from.
Going down the list of options for outfits I can mix and match for my Madame President Saints character is a dream come true. I sat in my chair with controller in hand as I very seriously considered all the possible looks and styles my character could wear. It ranged from the very normal to the super crazy. Want your Saints character to run the White House in a spandex superhero outfit? Go right ahead. Let the American public try to laugh at you as you deliver your inauguration speech for the first time.
You may think it’s silly that I would take something as trivial as customizing the look of my character so seriously, but it brings out that time in my childhood when I loved dressing up my Barbie dolls. Any chance I had where my Barbie had optional clothes, shoes, and jewelry to wear for her job, a lunch out with friends, or a date night with Ken I scrutinized each piece of clothing very carefully.
Clothes not only expresses who you are as a person, but it’s an extension of your personality. It’s also about having fun dressing up in whatever you choose to wear. It may take me time to really be happy with the way my character looks and is dressed before I can officially start a game, but I want to look on proudly as my character steps out for the first time and struts her stuff among the rest of the characters she’ll be interacting with.
Hell, I even take time changing the outfit on my own Xbox Live avatar. I should be thankful it doesn’t take me this long to get dressed for the day in real life. I promise, though my obsession with character customization might make you think otherwise.
With so many options to choose from, customizing your character gives you access to a limitless amount of clothing options you normally won’t have in real life. I kind of think of it like that scene from the movie Clueless where Alicia Silverstone as Cher Horowitz opens up her walk-in closet and starts perusing her organized and color coordinated closet for an outfit to wear for the day. So many clothes and all sorts of styles you can put together to suit your mood and occasion. Must be nice to be so rich.
The beauty about video game customization is you can be as normal or as crazy as you want with your character’s style without even having to wear something like it in real life. If you spend hours deciding what your character should wear before stepping out into the game world, don’t worry. It’ll be worth it when your character kicks major butt in a clown suit. At least if you ever wondered what it’d be like to fight in a clown outfit.