Saints Row Review
For the last couple of years, the Saints Row games have become more insane than ever. When I first played Saints Row back in 2006, it was one of my favourite games to play. In recent years though, it’s not been the case.
The reason I loved the first game so much was due to the gameplay and the story. In Saints Row it started off as you, working the streets with the Saints. However, as you progress through the story, it turns out one of the Saints was an undercover cop. It was this story that had me hooked all the way through.
August 23rd 2022
Xbox, PS, PC.
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Now in 2022, we get a reboot of the series in Saints Row(2022). While the game is a back to basic feel, it doesn’t hold a candle to the originals, or the first game. We are introduced to a new band of misfits who are roommates who can’t afford their rent. There is Eli, who is all about self-improvement and the level-headed of the group. Neenah who is the technical genius and a Kev, who is a DJ of sorts. Kev is like the Johnny Gat of the group who never wears a shirt and of course, you.
When you start the game you (The Boss), gets a job or Marshall, which is a private Military Corp. This is where you start and learn the games mechanics. However, it’s not long before you are sacked and looking to setup your own criminal empire. There’s not much of a gripping story and you will find it hard to feel any attachments to any characters you meet. The whole story kind of falls flat sadly.
The general wackiness of Saints Row is the same as it has ever been with crazy weapons and vehicles, like a Golden Dump truck or Frying Dutchman. The gameplay mechanics works perfectly most of the time and is satisfying to play. There is a new skill system now in place that gives you more options to play with when in combat. Every time you level up, you will unlock new skills with some crazy effects, like grabbing a grenade and shoving it into a gang members mouth. This move is called Pineapple Express and one of the first skills you unlock.
The combat in the game is a difficult system that lets you tune the entire games difficulty to suit you. You can toggle separate difficulties like enemy health, vehicle difficulty and a few more. The main mission setups have some exciting set piece movie-esque moments. These vary from a train heist that sees you jumping between vehicles to hanging from a jet with one arm while shooting. These to get a little repetitive though as they are nothing more than shootouts where wave upon wave of enemies come out at you until all are gone.
The side missions there are a wide variety on offer. These can be either bring contraband across Santo Ileso, taking photos of various items across the city or using a wingsuit to fly across strongholds and blowing up objectives within. Early in the game you will get to unlock a feature where most of your side missions lie. Criminal Ventures. These are scattered across the city and will allow you to earn income over time. They are also there to unlock newer missions too, some that must be completed in order to progress the story.
When it comes to the visuals in Saints Row, they are not ground-breaking, but suit the style of the game. Santo Ileso is an interesting setting that is a mixture of Las Vegas with beautiful landmarks to a dusty and barren town. There are quite a few interesting a beautiful locations, but these are just mere backdrops and act more as a visual aesthetic than anything else. Some of these locations could have been used for missions that would be perfect to cause some mayhem. Yet, they feel abandoned at best.
There were a few issues during play like characters freezing or having to reload from a checkpoint if enemies caught stuck in certain scenery. Some characters lips wouldn’t always sync well with their voices and menu icons would go amiss. They were few and far between, but when occurred, did ruin the experience. Saints Row is a fun game, but in small doses unfortunately.
I had such high hopes for Saints Row prior to launch and was hoping to get back to how it was at the start. A fun game that had a great story, but also some wacky over the top action. Sadly, only part of this was a reality. Here’s to hoping the next outing will be more of the Saints of old!
SSG Rating 76/10