Despite constant accusations of being a mere Grand Theft Auto clone, the Saints Row series has managed to endure for over a decade. It is not difficult to understand why the GTA and Saints Row series receive constant comparisons; they are both open-world games that let players unleash havoc on an unsuspecting urban environment. Furthermore, they both feature crass humor and satirize many elements of American life. However, Saints Row features a far more zany atmosphere, which allows it to take things to higher levels of absurdity than the Grand Theft Auto series ever has.
In 2021, it was announced that the Saints Row series will be receiving a new entry in the form of a reboot. The game will have players birthing a new gang to deal with three rival gangs that have taken control of Santo Ileso. According to the developers, the game will be far more grounded than its predecessors and it will reverse the trend of increasing wackiness that has come to characterize the series. Although this has made some players very concerned about the Saints Row reboot, there are many reasons to be excited about it.
Santo Ileso Looks Wonderful
Santo Ileso, which has been shown off quite a bit, is located in the American Southwest. It features hot weather, dusty desert plains dotted with cacti, and a downtown area with all the graffiti and rusty buildings one would expect. Contrasting with this is a central business district with plenty of tall, neon-lit buildings. For fun open-world exploration, Santo Ileso seems like the perfect place for players.
Saints Row's setting is made to look even more amazing thanks to the technology of current-gen systems. Characters look more realistic than ever, glowing lights reflect on roads and shiny vehicles, and tiny details can be seen even when driving at high speeds. As revealed gameplay has shown, the action in the game will be just as gorgeous as the setting. Gunshots to the head will create a shocking splash of blood, cars rammed will eventually explode in a beautiful ball of fire, and there will be plenty of destructible structures.
Players will get to explore Santo Ileso with their gang, which is formed from disgruntled members of the three existing gangs that control the city. The three gangs include the Idols, which is an anarchist gang, Los Panteros which is a gang focused on fitness and cars, and Marshall Defence Industries, which is a military corporation.
The Change in Direction Should be Welcomed
With Saints Row 4, the series went so far off the wall that it was hard to digest for a lot of gamers. The game has players assuming the role of the President of the United States of America, and they must deal with a hostile alien invasion after they find themselves sucked into a virtual simulation of Steelport. Somehow, there are also superpowers thrown into the mix. There are plenty of mind-bending moments, and at certain points, it is easier to switch one's mind off and enjoy the action rather than try to make sense of it all.
The chaos of Saints Row 4 may be fun, but it represents just how insane the series has gotten. It is hard to imagine how a new entry in the series could possibly top the crazy mayhem of Saints Row 4 without being a mess of a game. Most importantly, the game lacks some of the heart that could be found in earlier titles such as Saints Row 2 and Saints Row: The Third.
Trailers for the Saints Row reboot illustrate that the game will be far more grounded than Saints Row 4, but it will still have a good dose of humor and insanity. Within their gang, players will be given the chance to interact with characters they can care about and form a bond with, something which got lost in the insanity of Saints Row 4. However, there is still tons of reckless fun to be had, as trailers have shown. Players will still have access to crazy guns, there is still plenty of high adrenaline action to engage in, and the violence and humor have been anything but toned down. For anyone worried that the Saints Row reboot will be far too sanitized, this is clearly not the case.
With the Saints Row reboot delayed from its original February release date, Volition has more time to polish the game. Although the change in tone will probably drive some longtime fans away, it could also introduce plenty of new players to the insane world of Saints Row.
The Saints Row reboot is set to release on August 23 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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A Saints Row movie is in the works, and its writer has high hopes for the amount of over-the-top insanity it will deliver.
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