The mighty Grand Theft Auto was at the peak of its ever-growing popularity virtually nothing could compete with it. It introduced the open-world sandbox genre and each game within this series has been a masterpiece. It was then that we got Saints Row, similar to the style of the game, but with greater emphasis on humor than the obvious inspiration. It received a positive reception from reviewers and later spawned its own franchise. The 2006 version of Saints Row is difficult to locate now since it clearly has its own age, but its sequels stand very well. Saints Row: The Third Particularly is one of my most-loved games. The humor, characters, fun gameplay, and sheer amount of possibilities all have me in the right place. Characters such as Pierce, Kinzie, Gat, and even the boss that you play bond very well, and they bounce off one the other beautifully. It was a little wild for the fourth game because Volition granted you the ability to become president, and then sucked you into the Matrix-style simulator. It’s true that Saints Row IV was enjoyable however, it went quite far it for my taste. Volition ultimately chose to return to basics, depriving its player power and restarting this franchise. Enter Saints Row (2022).
The story of Saints Row takes place in a completely different city. The skyscraper-lit skyline has been swept away that is Stilwater and Steelport instead of Santo Ileso, a Las Vegas-style metropolis divided into nine districts. There’s also no Pierce, Oleg, Kinzie, or Gat. Instead, we’ve got Kevin, Eli, and Neenah Each with their own experience and unique personalities which are a world away from one another. You’re “The Boss”, who you make up using an amazingly rich customization tool. After failing to succeed in becoming a militant for Marshall, a private security company with an avid interest in modern weapons, The Boss along with his three companions who belong to various gangs, decide to unite and create their own gang, The Saints. The story is straightforward but, because of the voice actors and the great acting, the story can be told in a funny manner. Neenah, Kevin, Boss, Kevin, Eli, and Neenah are in constant contact with each other continuously, which, on its own helps to move the story wonderfully. Saints Row is far more grounded. There aren’t any gang bosses sporting lucha-libre masks and masks, but they’re as brutal as bosses that we’ve seen in the previous episodes.
If you’ve played a Saints Row game prior to this, it isn’t that different. The city is open to you from the beginning. The boss is exactly like the characters before him. Your phone can be used to accept mission requests, change how you look, hear game music, and news reports, or make use of the app for cash transfers and many more. Once you’ve purchased an existing Church building, you are able to begin to decorate the interior of the church. The process of taking photos of certain objects around the globe will permit you to place the exact item in particular places inside the Church. Additionally, upstairs there’s a city map table that lets you expand your empire by adding Criminal Ventures. Further details on these in the future. There are many missions but most consist of destroying enemies or engaging in car chases. Unfortunately, the AI of the enemy is incompetent and will simply stand and stare at you as you take your game into them. It is not necessary to have a strategy when things get tough. A new gun purchased at a Friendly Fire shop just makes it a bit simpler. It’s true that shooting fools can be fun, but it can become quite boring. However, you can take a little break when you unlock new guns, but there’s no weapon that’s as exciting or enjoyable to play with such as the Dubstep Gun, Shark Shotgun, or the UAV drone from earlier games. The big purple dildo has been taken out.
The actual missions are grounded at moments. The first one is when you embark on a reunion trip that includes matching hats in celebration of the celebration. It’s a different experience from the robbery of one of Marshall’s trains or tracking a gang leader down who has stolen Neenah’s prized motor. These missions are great but as I’ve mentioned earlier that they are always in fights with Marshall forces or members of gangs.
The journey to Santo Ileso is easy due to the wingsuit that appears to be constantly in your lap. It is possible to use high-rises or bounce off vehicles and pedestrians to maintain your speed. If you’re not interested in that you can always choose from the various forms of transportation that are available to you. They range from standard automobiles to more unique models like that of the Frying Dutchman, which is basically a pirate ship that is on wheels, or the Bowelrod which is a vehicle with an enormous worm on top. Each car has its own unique capability that can be unlocked by performing a couple of specific maneuvers before heading to Jim Rob’s garage in order to purchase the improvements. They are a range of Crab Steering, which allows you to drive in a different direction or sideways, and Ball and Chain, which lets a ball swing to the rear of the vehicle. This is ideal for chasing or in the case of increasing the speed of your vehicle.
Then, back on track to Criminal Ventures, then. Ventures are missions that you can unlock once you’ve bought and placed an area on the map of your church. After placing the location, a brand new set of missions that are exclusive to that Venture is accessible to you. You can earn cash by searching for trucks that are storing extremely toxic waste, and then carefully transporting them back to the plant you put within the town. Another Venture will require you to try on steal Marshall prototypes, like the humorous rocket football. The returned task to Insurance Fraud unlocks with another Venture. These are not mandatory, but let you access new plotlines and missions.
As this review may be a little early It’s no fact it was Saints Row that got badly slammed by reviewers. Although I understand why I don’t believe it’s fair. It’s a fun game to play. I wanted to be able to see every cutscene and dialogue line thanks to the humor and outrageous content. There is no need to be angry about it. However, I ran into several serious issues while playing the game, some of which were breaking the game. A bug caused my camera to focus too much when driving which led me to restart the game. Another time, during a specific mission, police were supposed to be killed by being placed above an overpass, however, an issue caused them to stay still and not move toward the edge. This didn’t permit me to get them away. Then, I was unable to go out of the mission zone as it could mean that I’d be unable to complete the mission, which meant I had to restart the game. Additionally, I encountered irritating glitches, like my character locking into an upright stance when I moved around and was in vehicles. It’s easy to understand why people don’t like it. It didn’t feel finished, but I still loved it.
Then, Saints Row is the reboot we didn’t need or want but nevertheless got and is enjoyable. There’s a lot of great humor that is woven into the story and makes the characters enjoyable to be around. There are plenty of things to do with The Criminal Ventures, and exploring the sights and sounds of Santo Ileso is superb.
Publisher: Deep Silver
Platforms: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Day of Release: 22nd August 2022
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