The Saints Row Reboot is precisely what it is, a reboot. If fans expect a carbon copy of the original Saints Row, Saints Row 2, and The Third they will be disappointed as that will not be the experience they receive. Not even Saints Row 4, but I think that gamers won’t be too upset about that one.
Saints Row takes the series to the closest plastic surgeon and not only changes the way the game looks but also how the game plays. How does this new makeover hold up even after a delay from its original launch date?
Just like in previous games players will be playing “Boss”, the leader of The Saints. Actually, the better term is soon to be the leader of The Saints. Saints Row’s story follows a group of friends wanting to make a name for themselves instead of being cogs in a machine. In Santo Ileso crime pays so The Boss along with their best friends/roommates Kevin, Eli and Neenah begin their own criminal venture. That’s right, Saints Row is about the start-up of the saints. The story heavily focuses on the bond the friends all share for one another while they build the brand name of The Saints.
The writing certainly has this modern-day energy about it. While some moments can be funny and yes, at times even considered cringe, there are moments that are serious and even upsetting. That’s what makes Saints Row’s story stand out to me. The Saints Row series has had its moments where one installment is all about gang war and turf takeovers. The next thing you know you can be fighting aliens with superpowers or even killing zombies with Burt Reynolds. The Saints Row Reboot finds a rather decent balance between the two. There are a few moments where the writing does seem rather dull at times but It’s not too over the top with its silly side. The balance makes progressing the game fun.
Every Saints Row title except for Saints Row 4 has had enemy gangs. In Santo Ileso there are 3 rival gangs who want to halt The Saint’s rags to riches story. Each gang has its own unique fighting style and attacks
Marshals are the wealthier class of the two gangs. Marshall utilizes advanced weaponry. They have laser-powered lassos, long-range precision rifles, and different kinds of high-tech technology at their disposal. A perfect description of the group is high-tech cowboys who uphold the law.
All about throwing over big corporations, The Idols are a wild organization. They sport bright neon colors and LED lights. While not as high-tech as The Marshals The Idols utilize disorienting lights and flash grenades to get an upper hand on The Saints.
Being the muscleheads of the group, LosPanteros love their cars. Being the toughest out of the three gangs Los Panteros bring machine gun turrets, melee fighters, and even monster trucks to shootouts.
Gamers will absolutely not be disappointed with the number of customization options available in Saints Row. A small glimpse was shown within the Boss Factory Demo of the title but within the full game, creators can let their creativity run wild. With character customization, almost every detail is customizable. from your face and body structure to the color and texture of your skin. If you don’t feel like putting in the time to make a character, players can easily access the community hub and download custom-created bosses. Saves time on making Shrek or Rick from Rick and Morty. Yes, those are characters players have made and so much more.
Weapons and cars also get customization rework as you can do so much more for their appearances. Although they don’t have a community hub with designs they can come with presets made available. Saints Row really outdid themselves this time around. I can see players spending time behind the customization menus.
Santo Ileso is a vast open world and Saints Row wants players to experience and explore it. Throughout the game, there will be collectibles, criminal ventures, and side missions to complete scattered around the map. Some of these activities won’t appear until they are actually discovered encouraging players to traverse around the map. Players will want to do so as Santo Ileso is a vibrant environment from its mural arts and graffiti to its sudden sandstorms. It’s a beautiful sight to see especially on a system that does it justice.
The criminal ventures are venture-based missions used to expand the empire of The Saints. From food truck businesses to running a chop shop these missions help you increase your hourly income along with earning additional rewards. Think of it as doing past activities like Insurance fraud or Heli Assault but on a bigger scale. The difference however is with those activities the difficulty gets harder. With criminal ventures, they only seem to get longer making the process of completion more tedious and drawn out.
Skills make a return but with a different spin on things. Every gun and vehicle you use has a challenge. Once the challenge is completed the gun or car can be leveled up to unlock a special skill. In terms of your character, depending on your progress a new character perk can be unlocked with the completed challenges. Each time the player levels up a new character skill becomes active. They can be passive like a health upgrade or dropping a grenade down an enemy’s pants and throwing them. These skills add variety to the playstyles players can take on in their playthrough.
Every game has its occasional glitch or bug here or there. Saints Row however has made glitches and bugs a regular occurrence. There will be moments NPCs and enemies will be T-posing. Cutscenes not properly loading all the way. Outfits and saved changes not actually saving. When in Co-op constant disconnections and hard crashes occur. Worst of all missions would actually break. To save readers from spoilers I’ll summarize. One mission required The Boss to find one special gang member amongst a crowd. After almost 15 minutes of searching, I could never find them. I reloaded the game and sure enough there they were in broad daylight. This happened on multiple occasions.
AI was also unresponsive at times, mostly the civilians. There would be explosions and gunfire blazing the streets and the AI at times wouldn’t even notice it. Melee attacks would seem off, and hit detection won’t register, it’s just a buggy mess.
Saints Row is a new take on the franchise, one that focuses heavily on the RPG aspect of the game. A fun underdog story about this new version of the Saints. The beautiful Santo Ileso houses secrets, explosions, and absolute mayhem around almost every corner. The customization options to make your boss truly your own are near godlike for the series. What truly is sinful however is the number of glitches and bugs these Saints came with. Unplayable missions and constant crashes are what hurt the game in the end.
In the moments where the game was functional, it was actually fun. This playground offers a number of activities to complete in both single-player and multiplayer. Hopefully, with a few updates, The Saints will achieve redemption.
Excellent choice of Location
Nice Balancing Of Story
Poorly Functioning AI
Frequent Bugs And Glitches
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