The new Saints Row has looked better and better every time that it's been shown — and recently we got to see a whole chunk of the sandbox title in action. Volition's latest is still unapologetically Saints Row (and by that we mean Saints Row: The Third), right down to the ridiculous character customisation and mental side activities. We've got high hopes for this reboot, but we do feel as though expectations need to be managed. Compared to a lot of other open world games, Saints Row comes off as a bit...dated.
Now look, we didn't expect Saints Row to raise the bar on a technical or graphical or even gameplay level, but based on what we've seen, it's not that far removed from its immediate predecessors — and they were originally PS3 releases. In its character animations and the ways in which you interact with its quirky sandbox, it's very familiar, and the noticeable lack of evolution might be enough to put some players off.
But don't get us wrong, this latest preview hasn't necessarily dampened our enthusiasm for the new Saints Row, because if you can look past its last-gen shell, there's clear potential for a lot of dumb fun. From messing around with NPCs on the street — they'll often react to your character's lunacy in comedic fashion — to completely winging it during main missions, it's set to be an enjoyably dynamic game.
Dynamic is a word we'd used to describe combat, too. On a fundamental level, Saints Row is still a third-person shooter, but there seems to be an impressive range of guns on offer, and there are multiple ways to approach a fight. We saw a bunch of different melee takedowns, for example, and the hand-to-hand combat has been given a seemingly significant overhaul, complete with crunchy combos and comically ragdoll enemies.
The bottom line here is that this could be more of the Saints Row that you know...but better. Much like the combat, the driving's also been expanded. We saw the boss — your custom antihero — ramming cop cars off roads, and drifting around tight corners. Traversal in general appears to be more freeform, as you can make use of a wingsuit to glide across the city or its dusty outer limits. It's obviously taking cues from Saints Row IV, but without the crazy superpowers.
There's only one aspect of the new Saints Row that we're not sold on — and that's mostly because we haven't seen enough of it. We are, of course, talking about the story. We did get a brief look at an unedited cutscene during our preview, but it didn't reveal a whole lot about the main characters or the game's cutscene direction. As was the case in past games, the boss seems suitably chatty — cracking jokes and daft one-liners on a frequent basis — but that's about all we we got from this particular preview.
All in all, if you're already familiar with Saints Row, then you can be safe in the knowledge that this reboot is sticking closely to the blueprint. Too closely, some may come to argue, but like we say, it's worth keeping your expectations in check. The new Saints Row isn't trying to reinvent itself on any foundational level, but there is reason to believe that it's trying to expand upon what it already has. Hopefully it all holds together when the game launches for PS5 and PS4 on the 23rd August.
Are you looking forward to Saints Row? Are you a fan of the series? Get the gang together in the comments section below.
Looks like a Sims expansion pack in the screenshots!
Last gen looking shouldn’t be a problem considering everything is being held back by cross-gen anyway. It will fit right in with everything else.
Genuinely tempted to get this just because of the sort of people who are vocally annoyed about it. The games have never been particularly good, just silly fun.
I can deal with with dated graphics if the gameplay is smooth. However its the characters Im worried about. I know the original Saints aren't exactly classic characters to most but they were entertaining and had defined characters. These ones seem like cringe so far
@Danloaded I didn't play BF 2042 but if this one is even a little close to the game's voicelines then I will stay wide and clear from it. (murders 10 people) "I'm not a narcissist, I'm just the best)
It’s Saints row so my expectations are appropriate…that it will be another stinker. If the supposed woke agenda people keep mentioning was it’s only issue then it wouldn’t even be an issue, to me anyway. Some may be able to enjoy Saints games but the reality is they just aren’t great games. They try and make up for their lack of might as a AAA powerhouse by being “wacky” but for me that wackiness is akin to clowns shoes. I’ll be hard passing
The problem is many games are still aiming to be running on both the PS4 and Xbox One due to them still being used more than the newer generation hardware. Not really a fault with the developers and publishers doing this as this newer generation is off to a much slower start for many to risk making games exclusively targeting that hardware.
This whole game reeks of "how do you do fellow kids?"
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If it's fun and not formulaic, I'll play it.
That’s all perfectly fine, as long as they don’t want to charge more than £45. £70 for last gen engine, texture quality, lighting etc, might be a bit much.
@BReal Wow, how very witty it is to call things gay as an insult. Jonathan Swift eat your heart out, we’ve got a world class satirist right here.
@BReal I keep seeing people refer to this game as "woke".
What exactly is woke about it?
So long as it's fun to play, it's fine with me.
To contrast, Red Dead Redemption 2 was a technical marvel but a monumental bore.
@themuckman It depends what you were looking for in the game, some are snail paced (compared to the average game) deliberately. I personally had loads of fun with it.
I’ll be getting it. Need my Grand Theft Autolike fix.
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Wrong they were originally Xbox 360 releases. SR1 never came out on ps3 only ps2
@jFug absolutely everything
This game, I'd get on as sale. The more I see, the less cringe it looks.
Yeah still sticking to Saints Row 2, just cause of the characters alone being a joke.
Aside from the "woke" not "woke" argument that I don't want to touch with a ten foot pole, the game looks a bit dated and everything about it looks just ok.
I could be wrong, but it's looking like another average open world game with not much new to offer.
@MetalGear_Yoshi you definitely did not read their comment if that's what you got from it
I'm confused by this because I thought that the whole idea of this SaintsRow was to reinvent its self or I missed something. I actually enjoyed SaintsRow 2 I think it was, I wasn't a fan of the whole superhero one at all so as long as they don't go near that then I'll be relatively happy. As for the Woke BS, I always feel that it comes from people that have a very narrow mind set and can't stand change.
Thumbnail taken from Sims character on Rust?
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@Resi32 Saints Row 1 was exclusive to 360. The series didn't come to PS until SR2 on the PS3.
Edit: I'm wondering if you were thinking of Just Cause?. The first JC game was a PS2 and 360 title.
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Like others have said the whackiness (intentional) of this whole series is a turn off. It’s a shame as it could be a great series and the first couple showed some promise.
Also people that use woke (as in being awake) as insult make me laugh.
I’ll probably get this along the road.
@OmegaStriver You can say that but a lot of games still look brilliant and are crossgen.
This game never was a looker to begin with.
Like every Saints Row game, get it on a sale. Going to do the same here.
@Resi32 I don't see it...
This looks pretty good to me, especially the customization options. Idk what's "woke" about this game though, but then again I'm not even American so don't know much about the word or things that are considered as "woke"
It still looks like Ubisoft's take on a GTA game, skinned as a Fortnite lookalike to pull in the tweens. IDK if the gameplay is fun or the story is epic and the characters are awesome. I don't think I can ever get past the first impression that it's a generic Ubisoft take on another game, skinned as yet another game because that game is popular with the target demographic.
In other words, just go back and play Saints Row 3 again...
I just don’t like the look of the characters at all. Nothing to do with their race or gender (before anyone starts) but the way they talk/behave/dress is so cringe. The game world looks quite good but there’s no getting past those awful characters.
It's not a problem, PS. More Saints Row is all I'm asking for. It's such a fun, ridiculous series. 😂 SR4 really went too far with the OP god-like powers, so toning it down is actually welcomed. We'll have a reason to drive cars again. They were useless in SR4.
@jFug You don't see it because it's not there. It's a purely aesthetic dislike from some of these individuals, nothing more. An aesthetic critique is perfectly reasonable. Same reason Metroid Prime Federation Force got obliterated online was its chibi style, yet the game was actually awesome.
The internet caused that word to lose all meaning. It's like calling something "gay" as a universal insult if one doesn't like/doesn't understand X topic or issue at hand. So nauseating...
@Resi32 the immediate predecessors the article talks about are Saints Rows 4 and Gat out of Hell.
This games problem isn't that it's on PS4 / Xbox one look at elden ring that was crossgen & got critical acclaim
@BritneyfR_ee yeah they've changed the saints from being a gang in a gang war to being students that want to pay off their student loans 🙈
@kyleforrester87 RIP saints row
@Would_you_kindly it’s too late for the devs to change anything , but they know they ruined saints row
I remember lots of people disliking Arthur Morgan from the RDR2 trailers before the game was released. I'm not saying the characters from Saints Row will be masterly written but give them a chance.
Of all the games that are coming up, this is the one i'm looking forward to most.
I still have high hopes the gameplay and combat will be good...unsure about the story though.
@gigiard most simplistically, woke basically just means you're against discrimination, especially with regards to things like race or sexuality. The people that use it derogatorily use it more to refer to things like diversity, like if "there's a transgender character therefore it's woke and bad."
PS5 what a disappointing generation, lack of good new games, lots of remakes we've all played already, lack of consoles, last gen graphics....
Sounds bad to be honest.
My biggest gripe of the Saints Series is the loose, floaty animation, driving and gunplay that hasnt had meaningful change since Saints 2. It sounds like they've done nothing to address that and have just doubled down on adding more weapons, which is like sticking a band-aid on the issue.
Presumably the marketing is going to be a re-run of the "check it out, we have a dubstep gun and a cat firing gun!" but with some new ideas.
It could be saved by a good story, but I don't really have a lot of faith in their writing team either.
@BritneyfR_ee i can't agree more.
@Kairu I would say SR1 & 2 were basically 'wannabe GTA' but your own customized character is the main character. SR3 onward is when things got wacky with gangs fighting alongside the supernatural and sci-fi-inducing world intertwining with the cities.
I'm eyeing this title cautiously since I enjoyed 2 & 3 the most, 4 was alright, but Gat Out of Hell sapped the fun out of the series. But hey, it looks like it'll play as well as SR4 but with a Fortnite-like feel.
There's a difference between looking like muddy ***** and looking last gen. Sounds more like lazy devs / bad art decisions than the game being held back.
But that's my opinion.
Funny seeing this game get called "woke" - a word that means literally nothing at this point.
This Saints Row doesn't look like it has much personality but then I never liked the games anyway because I found all the characters annoying so I might actually like this one more.
So gamers are better off just getting the REAL Saint's Row games.
It´s one of those games that looks like it was made using Activision's diverse-o-meter xD.
Graphics may be last gen but they are also so polished for next gen that looks like cgi cartoon imho. Also i love the western sandbox they build so it's a big yes for me.
Let's wait for the final review though..
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