Volition is working on the reboot of the saga, which will arrive next August, and, after seeing a hands-off with the creators of the game, it has left us with a bittersweet taste. Although he goes straight to what he does best, it will be better to conclude when we have the command.
A few years ago, sandbox games came out from under the stones “because” of the undeniable success of GTA. Everyone wanted to repeat that formula, and many competitors came out. It seemed that, with few exceptions, we were playing the duplicate clone titles. Going easy is one of the evils endemic to the entertainment industry. But, as I say, some realized that it was best to move away to offer their style without losing the essence of the genre in question. Thus Saints Row was born.
Volition’s game opted for a more thug and carefree touch, in which realism did not matter, and the most surreal was the most epic, like facing the police in a brawl with a dildo. After a few years of impasse, the saga returns by jumping on the bandwagon, this time of restarts. Despite the discordant voices that miss the classic troop, the truth is that it is a necessary change and that it will provide both the freshness and the discordant note that these types of adventures need.
We have attended a game presentation where Volition, responsible for the adventure, has shown us gameplay in the new Saints Row. The game, as you know, was scheduled to be released last February, but it temporarily coincided with giants like Horizon Forbidden West or Elden Ring and moved until summer. It is a successful movement since it comes out when there are not too many launches, which can bring this crazy proposal closer than ever. Although it does not invent the wheel, it knows exactly what it wants to offer.
I’m not going to lie to you either. For several minutes of the presentation, I twisted my nose a little because I felt that I was back in that 2005 that I was talking about before, with another generic sandbox. Not that you expect anything evocative in a sandbox, but initial feelings were a bit cold. I think it’s one of those games that you have to adapt to and assume what they are. It is simply time to have fun and do the cafe, although some mechanics smell excessively old. I guess it’s also to maintain that touch of familiarity – like those greenbacks on the ground when we kill someone – or that intense rhythm in which we can shoot dozens of enemies in just seconds with whatever we catch in hand.
It may also be that this feeling comes because we have only seen the gameplay, and we have not been able to play. Logically, the essence is different, and although there are games that come through the eyes even if we see others play, we would say that on this occasion, everything changes a lot if we are the ones who are doing the crazy things that go through our heads; If we’re in control. And, at that point, Saints Row looks like it’s going to be fun, even though it doesn’t seem like it’s going to blow our minds by inventing mechanics or situations. He does what he knows without artifice, which can become his greatest virtue.
In the gameplay that those responsible taught us, we saw a lot of situations that will sound familiar to you, from fleeing from the police at full speed through the different places of Santo to shooting a rival gang in warehouses or even piloting a combat helicopter to destroy the enemy’s resources. The novelties come when it comes to moving around the city vertically, moving from one vehicle to another, or even using a wingsuit to reach our destination faster. At the same time, we do the kaffir with the poor passers-by on the road. As you can see, their heads have not been squeezed too much.
It’s like a Michael Bay movie. You know what you are exposing yourself to when you see it and that you will enjoy its explosions, action sequences, shootings, or even surreal moments. But you also know that it will not transcend in your life. Saints Row will not be a religious experience that we will remember in years to come as an example of a transcendental video game because it does not intend to be. Still, the occasional fun moment will come to mind. And that, in its way, also has its merits.
Saints Row has also taught us exciting and new elements, which we will like to delve into when we have the game in hand. We will be able to use a mobile to access all the character’s customization parameters, which will be very extensive in terms of content options as we saw in its day. We can also enjoy the cooperative adventure, which will surely be hilarious. Or interact with the NPCs. We have seen how the character took a guitar out of nowhere, and the people around him began to dance to our rhythm. He will have the gift of the unpredictable.
Undoubtedly, one of the most exciting aspects of the game will be the management tools that we will have in our base of operations, which we will also be able to customize. We will have a table that will allow us to manage our own Mafioso Risk to establish which is the following path to follow and what rewards we will obtain if we go to that point. Depending on what we choose, we will unlock bonuses, objects, and other elements that will help us become more powerful. With the money obtained, we can create new buildings where more resources will be generated, including objects, weapons, or vehicles. This is intended to maintain the feeling of discovery throughout the game, and it will be a success.
The release date of Saints Row is next August 23 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, and PC. Although it has not been love at first sight, I am sure that feeling will change when I have it in hand. I know that it will not seem to me, by far, the best game in history. Not even of the year. But I know that it has all the ingredients so that I can evade doing the Kaffir without thinking about anything. And we all need those kinds of games.