Saints Row – Review

When the Saints Row reboot was announced, it had me excited, I like the franchise a lot, although I did think that Saints Row 4 went overboard and I didn’t find it as enjoyable. But from what was shown of the reboot, it looked like the game was trying to go back to its roots, and I was thoroughly looking forward to it.

Now, after a delay, I was finally able to get my hands on it and play through the game. In this Saints Row game, the caption for it is ‘Self Made’ – Basically, this means that after certain things go down at the start of the game, you begin your own criminal empire, taking over the other gang’s turf by taking their business from them and through other not-so-legal means.

Developer: Volition
Publisher: Deep Silver
Release: 23 August 2022
Reviewed On: Xbox Series S|X

I enjoyed this part of setting up my criminal empire, it gave me a lot of freedom to choose what I wanted to do in terms of the type of ‘business’ venture that I wanted to invest in next and where I wanted it situated.

Another part I quite enjoyed looking into and there are still ones I haven’t been able to find yet are the collectibles which you can display at the Saints HQ. There are a lot of them dotted around the world and you only get clues as to where they are as well as a silhouette to show what it could be.

The opening hour or so of the game has you building the story as to how the Saints came to be and what led to the birth of the Saints. The opening to the game is good, there’s action, explosions, and more. There’s still the slightly over-the-top action that we have come to love with the Saints Row games, there is also the comedic value within the game that compliments the over-the-top action, such as doing a chase through the desert laid on top of a car with no restraints and shooting everything that comes at you while not being thrown from the said car, or again, this time being chased while laid on top of a car with an RPG and blasting those chasing you. Absolute madness, and in the real world wouldn’t work… well, maybe in films, but this just goes with what Saints Row is trying to accomplish and also has from previous games.

The next thing I want to go on to is how the game looks. There are some stunning vistas to be found within the game and you can take advantage of these by using the camera app on the in-game phone (you can press up on the D-Pad to quickly get there).

I’ve seen a lot of people commenting on the game and especially in other reviews (Yes, I do like to see what other peoples think of games) saying that the game’s open world is outdated? Erm, one question I have is how can a game open world be outdated? How are you meant to update an open world? If anything I find the world well designed, and full of life and I love exploring all the different areas, from the desert to the city and more.

It is also a world where there is a whole lot of stuff to do, even after the main story is finished there are so many different side missions and quests to complete that even the map can’t really fit them all on and they go onto their own tab. It can look a bit overwhelming but there’s no denying that there is plenty of content to keep you playing. Yes, some of it can be a bit repetitive and that’s the same in most of these types of games, but there is enough to go around and mix things up to keep everything fresh.

One of the things that the Saint’s Row games are known for is the over-the-topness, the wackiness, and this game is no different, there’s riding on top of a car while shooting off an RPG to deal with pursuers to having a perk that allows you to shove a grenade down an enemies pants and throw them, there is so much in the world which gives it it’s character.

Speaking of character, when you start the game there is a nice deep character customisation where you can customise the looks, what they wear, and how large or small they are, it’s absolutely amazing the lengths you can go to, you can even customise your character throughout the game in the phone app.

While I have had fun with the game, it is far from perfect, in the hours that I’ve played there have been so many bugs where my vehicle would be launched into the air as though it has hit something, or I would get thrown off of a jet ski several times before it would allow me to actually stay on and drive the vehicle. Both of these incidents can be seen below:

I’ve also noticed that the AI isn’t the best at driving, it would randomly just swerve between lanes with no purpose to it, no one in front that they’re overtaking, just complete randomness. I’ve noticed a lot of things like this happening throughout the game which is disappointing considering the game was delayed. These aren’t things that can’t be fixed, but when a game is delayed to give it some more polish, finding so many of these bugs and glitches is disappointing.

Despite its letdowns I’ve had so much fun with this game, would I recommend it? Absolutely, if you like the series, then you’re going to enjoy this reboot, there’s nothing here for me that can’t be fixed with updates, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the game progresses.

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