Saints Row’s Gen Z reboot won’t skimp on chaos, studio promises

Saints Row's Gen Z reboot won't skimp on chaos, studio promises
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If you are heading towards Saints Row when the restarted, an open-world criminal escapade launched in August, pack a proverbial lunch; he looks like a ground. The developers of Deep Silver Volition are aware of this.

“In terms of the amount, you said, you can fall victim to so a lot,” acknowledged creative director Brian Traficante — where “so much” means pretty much every feature of Saints Rowincluding character customizations, side shoves and rackets, car battles, melee finishers and, of course, multi-part set missions that liven up the main narrative.

“So we put a lot of energy into making sure you can feel successful and be accomplished in the main goals,” Traficante said. “You don’t have to do everything. We give you easier outings. In an example of [business] risk, you can build it, but you can only make 25% of [the] venture and you will gain success [to] pass.”

In other words, Traficante and Volition are trying to thread a needle. On the one hand, there is the open and limitless world of content that hardcore finalists expect from Saints Row and its genre for two decades. But, within the structure, dabblers and samplers won’t feel crippled by FOMO. Instead, designers are launching Saints Rowhas many facets as an expression of playstyle, assuming that most people won’t want to do it all.

“You’ll see a cool thing, and that’s the beauty of it – are you drawn to vehicles? Are you drawn to combat?” Traficante said. “Are you drawn to weapons? the character style? Like, what’s your thing? ‘Cause I guarantee we’ve got something out there for you to go get.

big picture, Saints Row will be the same epic from-scratch/return gamers have come to expect from the open-world crime genre, no matter how weird 2011 got Saints Row the Third ahead. The game still focuses on eliminating rival factions to establish control of the city – in this case, Santo Ileso, introduced in the game’s first big reveal at Gamescom 2021.

Three months later, Volition and Deep Silver kicked Saints Rowlaunch date is near to August (from February), claiming the game needed more development while vowing not to stray from the younger, more diverse, and more inclusive Gen Z sensibilities showcased in its cast and story. Last week’s preview event seemed to confirm this; the missions, the dialogue, and (it must be said) weapons stayed true to what was shown nine months ago, and hasn’t returned to when Saints Row has been marketed by pornstars and dildos.

That doesn’t mean it’s any less goofy. Players will be embarked on a tutorial heist mission of a payday loan joint – because they and their group roommates have to pay the rent. Of course, this leads to more trouble with a rival gang, in a lengthy story mission that features your lieutenants’ stories and game loops you’ll return to throughout. Saints Row.

“There is a lot of heavy work” done in the early parts of the game, Traficante said. “These are brand new characters. […] We want to give you all the time, all you know and all you feel, but there are other costs to that, aren’t there? We need to get things done to keep the player engaged.

Image: Will/Deep Silver

Volition presented a mission in which the gang, still in its infancy but starting to pack a punch, acquires an attack helicopter (they are used as thrill rides in the Santo Ileso in Vegas, allowing tourists to shoot in the desert) to invade a rival faction’s weapons factory. Before entering, The Boss (the player character, as they always have been) respecified their skill loadout, which spans four perks. These minor, passive abilities are gained by completing challenges in the larger open world, and when properly arranged can give players an edge. In the mission we saw, a fire resistance perk helped the player chew up the weapons foundry against the Panteras gang who are known to deploy firebombs.

Likewise, all the weapons of Saints Row will have signature abilities that are unlocked by completing challenges. In the weapon factory mission, we saw a submachine gun that could deal extra damage to cars. This comes in handy when a crazy, lightning monster truck rolls across the board. Presumably, there are other perks and weapon signatures to effectively appease these boss and sub-boss enemies, depending on the style of the player.

A character drives past a monster truck in a screenshot from Saints Row

Image: Will/Deep Silver

“At the end of the day, it’s a Saints Row game, it should be recognizable and felt like Saints Row,” Traficante said. When Will announced the delay of the game in November, creative director Jim Boone said the studio wasn’t using the extra time to rewrite Saints Row’the story or the characters. Ultimately, Volition tries to make Saints Row familiar through gameplay, assuming that’s what its biggest fans value the most.

Side scrambles and adventures, a franchise staple, are another welcome mat Volition is laying down to make Saints fans feel at home. The Santo Ileso map has 14 vacant lots for redevelopment, one of which is a retirement home that unlocks the fan-favorite insurance fraud racket. A chop shop garage offers additional vehicle customizations, for players who find drive-bys more effective than on-foot shootouts. Trading Enterprises will have four tiers, with progressive perks and mission lists to unlock them. These missions also lead to territory takeovers, which of course helps bring the game to its end state.

“The parallel hustle culture is something I think I’ve learned a lot from,” said Jennifer Campbell of Volition, one of the Saints Row‘s writers. “Because of the dream of, like, ‘One day maybe I can retire.’ It seems to be really big in the early to mid 20’s Just seeing all of these entrepreneurs creating opportunities for themselves when they have so many obstacles in their way is a really great story to inspect : When you face the world, how do you find ways to thrive?

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