Game news Saints Row: Much more than just GTA?
The Saints is back in force on August 23, 2022 on PC and home consoles. Can the reboot of Saints Row dethrone the boss of open world games… GTA? Here are our first impressions after 4 hours of playing on PC.
Saints Row tells the story of The Boss and the Saints gang. Nothing new on the horizon you would say to me and you would be right in a way because Saints Row version 2022 is actually a pure and simple reboot of the Volition studios franchise. Say goodbye to The Boss, who has become, among other things, the President of the United States and a superhero in Saints Row IV, and make way for a new main character in your image … or not, for that matter. Always desperate to pay the rent, our hero and his roommates go all out to skim Santo Ileso, even if it means making a lot of enemies along the way. It has to be said that the city is surrounded by three gangs – Los Panteros, The Marshall and The Idols – who make it rain or shine. After a combination of circumstances, a lot of bad luck and even more bad faith, The boss, Eli, Neenah and Kevin decide to strike out on their own and form the Saints gang with the main objective of taking revenge and conquering the city by any means.
The Saints Row saga unleashes heavy artillery with this reboot, landing on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, but also on older generation consoles in style. Volition studios has developed for the occasion a brand new engine designed for this open world action adventure game. From a purely technical point of view, the title published by Deep Silver provides the essentials. The frame rate is stable and guarantees optimal gaming comfort, as does the resolution, which follows current standards. That should be clarified Saints Row sometimes suffers from relative drawing spacing, clipping, and stiff animations. For the rest, the title offers players a sound and light show worthy of the name with its partially destructible environments, its vehicles that are quick to explode and its flashy visual effects. The artistic direction halfway between realism and cartoon influences breathes a pulp side into the epic and underscores the escapades of a The Boss more fired up and determined than ever. Saints Row has no ambition to become a new technical standard, but tries to get it right. The small dishes are placed in the large ones, sometimes in an awkward way.
Saints Row is an open world third-person shooter. Players therefore progress freely in Santo Ileso and complete various missions to advance the plot and improve The Boss. Volition’s game here recites the formula for the perfect open world without really daring to drive off-road, and which GTA V and Red Dead Redemption II are proud representatives of. The adventure unsurprisingly takes on the air of urban guerilla warfare its edgy action sequences advance everything that is 100% assumed. it farts in all directions and especially for nothing under regularly renewed situations. Fortunately, the Saints have the answer and can count on a very devastating arsenal to master, skills to unlock and cars to buy.
Faced with three other gangs, law enforcement and an increasingly evil bestiary, The Boss and his allies prove their supremacy time and time again on the streets of Santo Ileso. However, their epic is not easy. To rush into the heap without thinking, Death often points with the tip of his nose. The confrontations are meant to be dynamic, somewhat tactical and above all fun from the first exchanges, even if they are rough at times. Volition relies on full arcade gameplay both during gunfights and chases, and this state of mind is present throughout the game. Special mention to the weightless moments in a Wingsuit, to the Mad Max style convoy attacks and mechanized rides. This reboot begins a new era for the Saints and logically wants to be accessible to as many people as possible. To do this, it has 5 difficulty levels, just to live an adventure always on the thread regardless of your player profile.
Saints Row shines neither with its scenario nor its staging, which deserves nothing but turns out to be elementary. No sequence image installs the story. No cinematic-gameplay transition smooths out the experience. The narrative is innovative in nothing, which does not prevent Volition’s game from thinking big. The Boss’s life is definitely worth the detour, controller in hand. The very structure of the game connects the story with a series of main missions or not, sometimes spread over several hours, resulting in a totally disjointed story. The strength of a Grand Theft Auto lies in this delicate balance between a sense of total freedom and a scripted campaign with great potential, a true nod to the 7th art.
With Saints Row, the story slips away to let the video game experience fully express itself and not the other way around, slowing down the work’s cinematic impulses. Nevertheless, fans of The Boss and his gang expect the franchise on a completely different register, namely humor. On this domain, the screenwriters spread schoolboy jokes, swing salty turbo punchlines and risk shocking the puritans. And daring Saints Row dares everything and its opposite. This reboot is admittedly more down-to-earth than its predecessors, but doesn’t deny its origins. On the contrary, the saints go through the faults of our contemporary society with a flamethrower with this caustic tone that characterizes the saga. Even better, the gang The Boss does not neglect any community of players in 2022.
Saints Row has nothing to be ashamed of when compared to other games in the genre. The size of the map, the number of weapons and vehicles, the lifetime etc. is important data that testifies to the ambitions of the studios responsible for development. Santo Ileso is clearly not the largest open world ever created, but it is above all meant to be dense. In terms of activities, there is plenty to do between the main quests, the secondary quests, the random encounters, the mysteries scattered throughout the 9 districts that make up the city, the companies to acquire, etc. However, be careful not to fall into the trap of similar Goal. The crowd can quickly get in the air of copy-paste and make the experience (too) repetitive.
Speaking of customization, Saints Row sees things big, and that’s saying something with dozens of weapons of every kind to modify and more than 80 fully customized cars to collect. The adventure begins with the creation of an avatar, and level options titled Volition clearly does not make fun of the world. The style also goes through the undermining, and once again the possibilities for creating a unique The Boss are legion to the point of spending long minutes in the character editor. The fact that one does not impose a gender is to be welcomed. A hero, a heroine, both or none of these, in Saints Row it is possible. The gameplay is also influenced by different skills that need to be unlocked as the adventure progresses, just to survive on the streets. To finish, Saints Row is cross-play and fully playable in two-player co-op.
Saints Row might just be a credible alternative to GTA. At least that’s what the first 4 hours spent on the game make us think. See you on August 23, 2022 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series to get to the bottom of it.