Title: Saints Row
Developer: Deep Silver Volition
Publisher: Deep Silver Volition
Release Date: August 23
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, Stadia, Windows
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
After saving the world in Saints Row 4, we thought we would see the end of the comedic yet gangster crew, ending their series on a high note. With Deep Silver Volition under the Embracer Group, a reboot of the popular series has graced us after nine years since its last release. With a new crew to play with, more customization options, a new city, and a more focused story, Saints Row seems to be in full effect with this reboot. Does it offer a new gangsta’ walk for the franchise or does this reboot just rag doll its presentation?
Saints Row introduces a new version of the Saints in the fictional city of Santo Ileso. You see the Saints celebrating together until a tragic event happens. The game starts six weeks earlier and you, the main character known as The Boss, are working for the militant group Marshall. After certain events happen, you’re fired and you begin your journey starting up the crew.
With you are three new friends: Eli, who handles the group business and organization operations; Neenah, who handles the crew’s cars and get away routes; and Kevin, who plans out the crew’s heists along with you. You learn their stories and what makes them your trusted friends. Also, you have your pet cat, simply named Snicker-doodle, who plays a major part in the game.
I enjoyed the new characters and their interaction with you. There are certain missions that focus on each character, which helps build the trust you have with them and rewards you with them being stronger in future battles. None of them felt forgettable, annoying, or like wasted space. Volition did a top notch job making them feel like best friends who do crimes in a destructive and over the top way.
Speaking of over the top, Saints Row is pure chaotic fun. As a third-person shooter, it doesn’t contain any cover-based mechanics. You’ll shoot, melee, drive, and blow up your enemies, automobiles, aircraft, pedestrians, and even your own saints in humorous and outlandish ways. The gameplay is simple as most of the repetitive nature of the game is mainly defeating enemies with your guns. The arsenal you carry isn’t that big, but once you upgrade your weapons, you’ll be able to find the right gun setup that’ll help you survive and make some of the fights easier to get through.
Along with the gunplay, there’s also a new system called Perks. These perks will strengthen your character with additional powers and abilities. To obtain these perks, you’ll complete in-game challenges. If the challenge is met, you’ll see what perk can be added to your character. You can equip five perks in total. You’ll have two minors, two majors, and one elite. You’ll be able to expand equipping these perks by paying a set amount of money. You’ll want to equip the ones that you feel are most helpful and then you’ll become an unstoppable force.
Along with perks are the skills you gain. Skills unlock as you level up in the game. These skills can be used when holding the top right button and pressing one of the four face buttons. These skills use Flow which are diamond shape boxes that allow these skills to be used. You’ll gain more as you progress through the game when leveling up. You’ll also gain additional health this way in the skills system.
Saints Row also offers side quests that will help you gain levels and add extra cash you can use to upgrade weapons, buy and install criminal ventures for additional side quests, and offer bounty hunter missions. Some of the main missions are locked by certain requirements that must be met in order to continue, like placing one or two criminal ventures in an area and completing them. Volition felt that with the variety they offer in the game, they want the player to experience it. With the criminal ventures, not only do you need to add it and complete all the missions that are in it, you have to raise money to buy the higher tiers. Unfortunately, it feels unreasonable and forces the game to be longer.
What About THOSE Problems?
I didn’t encounter many bugs, but I did have one crash that forced me restart the mission. Which, I must say, the checkpoints are helpful when you lose because you don’t have to go back and redo a lot of the mission. As for the missions? They’re very generic because of the shooting, dodging, and melee you’ll constantly do. At a point, you’ll start to feel numb to the fights because you’re going through the same motions over and over. Also, there’s barely any music playing through most of the missions. You’ll encounter a lot of battles in silence and with a lot of the licensed music the game has, they could’ve used those tracks to score these missions. It’s very out of place and a odd choice.
Beside my small amount of complaints, Saints Row does offer a fun, popcorn experience. Yes, it does contain the basic elements of a sandbox title that doesn’t evolve the genre forward, but it’s enough to fill the itch of needing something that’ll take 15 to 18 hours to finish. If Assassin’s Creed‘s latest games are too overwhelming, Saints Row has the right amount for you to get down with the Saints and wreak havoc in sarcastic and inventive ways.
Rating: 3 out 5 Stars
Have you played Saints Row? Are you interested to give it a try? Let us know in the comments or in our Discord.
Eddie V. is a co-founder of Boss Rush Network who writes, podcasts, and loves video game trivia. You can find him on Twitter with @thatretrocode.
Featured Image: Deep Silver Volition
One thought on “GAME REVIEW: Saints Row”
In my view, Saints Row (2022) is not a convincing “must-buy on launch day” game similar to the super-hyped Cyberpunk 2077. Instead, I’ll wait for Volition to refine Saints Row (2022) and also wait for the price to go down.