The following feature contains spoilers for the existing Saints Row franchise.
On Tuesday, gamers will be able to go to Hell – literally – and fight off both Satan himself and hordes of undead in the Saints Row 4 standalone expansion, Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell. Previous Saints Row games have allowed players to customize an avatar which, over the course of the series, rises from lowly street thug to President of the United States and even intergalactic badass supreme. Gat Out of Hell though, does not.
In Gat Out of Hell, players will be stepping into the shoes of either Kinzie Kensington or Johnny Gat. If you've never played the previous games and don't have either the time or inclination to power through them before the standalone expansion's January 20 release date, you might be asking yourself: who the hell is Johnny Gat?
Friends, we are here to help.
Hardly A Saint
By the time players meet him in the original Saints Row, Johnny Gat is already an established member of the Third Street Saints, a lavender-loving gang located in the city of Stilwater. Gat rocks a look all his own, thanks to square-shaped shades and a high-combed hairdo with black roots and white tips.
More than his style, Gat established himself as a "shoot first, shoot more, what's the point of asking questions" sort of problem solver. In dealing with a rival gang knowns as the Vice Kings, Gat and his girlfriend Aisha come up with a plan to load a car full of C4 and use it to blow up the Kings' recording studio.
It might not surprise you that a violent gang member would also be one of the cockiest men you'll ever meet, and Gat wears bravado on his stylish purple sleeves. Upon meeting him, Gat wastes no time bragging about the size of his penis before sending you off on your first mission. In Saints Row: The Third, Gat and other Third Street Saints rob a bank, each of them wearing gigantic mascot heads designed to look like him.
"You're robbing a bank dressed as yourselves?" asks a fellow robber.
"Hell yeah. Who doesn't want to be Johnny Gat?"
Not the words of a humble man.
Heart of Gold, Soul of Vengeance
Despite his more outwardly violent nature, Gat has also shown himself to be an extremely loyal and devoted individual, both in respects to the gang in which he serves and the relationship he has with Aisha.
Despite some tense fights with his lady love (who knew plotting and carrying out gang warfare could be so strenuous?) Gat reconciles with Aisha and the two continue their relationship even after he spends more than two years in the slammer for (literally) hundreds of murder charges. When Gat moves in with Aisha, he proclaims himself her devoted lover and protector.
Gat has also put himself in harm's way to protect the Saints gang. Gat Out of Hell is so named for Gat's descent into the bowels of Hell, where he aims to rescue the Saints' Boss, but it's hardly the first time he's played the hero. In the original Saints Row, Gat helps the player escape from an ambush, staying behind to be tortured.
Similarly, in Saints Row: The Third, Gat fights off a mob boss mano a mano so that his fellow Saints can fly the coop. His arguably biggest stand-off, however, was when Gat held off the entire city's militarized police force so that the player could take out a corrupt businessman named Dane Vogel (who also appears in Gat Out of Hell).
Don't think that Gat's fondness translates to softness, though. In retaliation for a rival gang killing Aisha, Gat savagely beats and buries their leader alive. It was one of the kinder punishments Gat has handed out to his enemies.
Gat Out of Hell will gift Gat with supernatural powers, but the gangster was already borderline unkillable. Between having his leg blasted with a shotgun in the original Saints Row and being run through with a katana in Saints Row 2, it seemed like Gat and the Grim Reaper were simply not fated to meet.
However, during a brush with Belgian mob boss Phillipe Loren in Saints Row: The Third, it appeared as though Gat had finally bit the bullet. Not only did Gat have a speech given over intercom cut dramatically short by the sound of gunfire, but characters specifically reference Gat's death, and the Saints even hold a funeral for their fallen friend.
In Saints Row 4 however, it is revealed that Gat not only survived his encounter with Loren, but was abducted by aliens shortly thereafter. If that sounds a bit improbable, remember that this is a universe where gangs, civilians, police and more can be swatted to death by a four-foot-long dildo bat, and luchadores drive monster trucks.
After being abducted, Gat is forced to relive Aisha's death over and over via a simulation that his brain is plugged into; a simulation which just so happens to resemble a side-scrolling beat-em-up game, because who said Sisyphean torture needed to be boring? Despite being subjected to this misery for several years, Gat's mind remains stable (well, as stable as it ever was), and he once again fights the good fight.
Which brings us to Hell.
Though Gat may be one of the biggest badasses in the Saints Row series, it's ultimately the player who gets the job done, and comes to be known throughout the universe as a force to be reckoned with. Such a reputation carries with it a certain amount of baggage however, and eventually even Satan himself cannot help but be a bit enamored.
Satan kidnaps the previously player-controlled Boss and drags him or her to Hell, planning to force them to marry his daughter, Jezebel. Gat's not too keen on a bachelor party full of soulless husks, so he sets out with fellow Saint Kinzie Kensington to rescue their friend and leader. Thus begins Gat Out of Hell.
Will the two succeed in their bid to reclaim the Saints' Boss? We don't know that just yet, but at least now you know just who the hell is Johnny Gat. He's a trigger-happy murder, a foul-mouthed narcissist, a loyal friend, and a terrible dancer.