So, a reboot, ok, a good idea to get back on track and anyway there are everywhere at the moment. But how to reboot Saints Row ? How to say… The studio realized that some jokes from 2011 could go wrong in 2022. And, above all, we are in a different society with different problems. While we can welcome this awareness and this desire to move forward in a positive way, one question remained unanswered: how Saints Row and his humor would evolve? A very simple answer: hell is paved with good intentions. In fact, the humor of Saints Row is still there, but a more generic humor, a humor that you see in action movies because that’s the direction the show wants to take, to be a nervous Hollywood action movie like John Wick or exuberant like Hobbs and Shaw.
And it starts pretty well, with a long action scene that ends with a jump on a helicopter to catch a fugitive. But something is wrong when playing. We don’t really know why, but in the midst of all these explosions, we’re not having fun… The story puts you in the shoes of the boss, a character that you can create from scratch. You realize very quickly that you share an apartment with 3 other people and that the money is short, so the rent will be difficult to pay. You therefore commit small thefts at the beginning before creating the Saints. Yup, the game focuses on how the Saints were created and came to the top. The main quartet is quite nice, funny and endearing. Eli is the contractor, Neenah the mechanic/high-flying pilot, Kevin the shirtless guy who cooks, and you’re the henchman. All this little world will have to evolve to make the Saints climb to the rank of gang n°1 of the city.
Saints it is there
And we start to put our finger on something. Something that bothered us since the introduction. Haven’t we seen this story before? Haven’t we seen this gameplay already? Haven’t we heard this city name somewhere before? Hey yes, you will have understood it, Saints Row is a repetition of repetition of repetition. An old-fashioned open world like we had dozens of during the PS3/Xbox 360 – PS4/Xbox one period. The problem is that by taking a different direction, Saints Row made the mistake of completely erasing what made up his personality instead of applying the desired corrections. The result: while thanks to its third episode the series stood out from GTA, this reboot is just another clone. And that up to the name of the city, namely Santo Ileso, which recalls Los Santos, while the Saints Row original was in Stillwater.
And so, this reboot is an old-school open world, the style of play that we suffered from indigestion 5 years ago. We have a big map, a big city with lots of icons that represent activities. We go from point A to point B, we do what we have to do at point B and we come back to point A. During the main missions, we are entitled to more or less inspired dialogues and to cutscenes… not up to scratch technically. Unfortunately, there is no other possible description, the game as a whole is technically rather weak and not very beautiful despite a nice and recognizable artistic touch.
Most of your missions will just require you to drive and shoot people. The gameplay in the car is the same as in all games of the same genre and it is the same for the shooting. Left trigger to aim, right trigger to shoot. The game is intended to be dynamic, so we roll and we can also do stylish executions that allow us to regenerate when we have accumulated enough kills. The problem is that Saints Row is full of bugs and that these executions are often not stylish at all due to collision bugs or the camera crashing into a wall during the action.
To continue in the register of bugs, it is not uncommon to fail a mission because a script does not launch. A teammate that’s supposed to follow you stays put and frustrates everything, which is frustrating. The difficulty is also not there at all and it is mainly because of the artificial intelligence of the enemies which, let’s be honest, is low when it does not simply crash. So we are treated to long, unamusing shooting phases, views and reviews. And recycling is absolutely outrageous. At one point in the adventure, you will have to save one of your roommates held prisoner by a rival gang. This mission is a total copy of the final mission of Saints Row: The Third. Everything is the same, stairs to climb, to the helicopter, through the bombs to defuse. Did you really think no one would notice? Or are you so short of imagination that you recycle your ideas? We want answers Volition !
So, there are perks, like improving your character, learning new skills or personalizing yourself a little bit. But all that is still something that we have seen thousands of times and that we will surely see again thousands of times. And finally, we get something repetitive and that we don’t really appreciate, because it’s very hard to appreciate and we have the impression that, despite the desire for renewal, no effort was made to really breathe new life into the series.
About changing the series. Change is normal, we evolve, everyone evolves and video games too. resident Evil does not look like Resident Evil 7, for example. But there is one thing that is very important, and that is personality. wishing to change, Saints Row lost his personality and ended up looking like a clone of GTA without taste. We are not saying that they should never have changed, only that the possibilities of evolution were multiple and that here it was the worst option that was chosen. Quite simply because the series no longer has anything that allows it to stand out. The one who had decided to move away from his model ended up getting too close to it and this is how we have the impression of a regression more than an evolution.