Saints Row Review

In 2006, developer Volition and publisher THQ released Saints Row for the Xbox 360, a game clearly inspired by Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series. The original Saints Row was a critical and commercial success, spawning its own franchise. It didn’t take long for the Saints Row sequel to forget what was special about the original game and be more ridiculous, ditching the gang war framework in favor of absurd storylines involving superpowers, the President of the United States, and hell. The new Saints Row tried to bring the series back to its roots, and while it once again featured a gang war storyline, it still fell short of the original.

The new Row of Saints begins by letting players customize their player character, The Boss. The character customization options in the Saints Row series have always been impressive, and it’s no exception in the new game. Saints Row character customization allows players to tweak nearly every aspect of their character, giving them complete freedom when making their own version of The Boss. After deciding on the look of the player character, they can choose from a variety of hilarious emotes, including one that references FromSoftware’s Dark Souls series, and another that makes them walk like a penguin. Once players complete their boss, they’re pushed into the game’s first mission, and that’s where the game’s larger problems immediately come to light.

It’s immediately apparent that Saints Row is a rough, ugly game, and the first mission makes that fact obvious. Pop-up issues are frequent and distracting, with objects and vehicles seemingly appearing out of nowhere. To make matters worse, Saints Row uses a predominantly brown color scheme, and overall the game often looks a generation behind other modern titles.

The saints-row-reboot-kevin-car Saints Row shot also felt completely off. Players can stand next to enemies, obviously shooting at them, but the game seems to arbitrarily decide that certain bullets won’t hit. It’s not clear why this is or what causes it. It could be that Saints Row’s cursor is inaccurate, scrolling gives enemies a brief window of invulnerability, the enemy’s health bar is not giving the correct information, or there is something else that makes it look like bullets don’t always hit the target. Whatever the case may be , filming in Saints Row didn’t feel right.

The good news is that this doesn’t matter as much as it does in other games, and that’s because the enemy AI is so stupid that even if the player misses shots that should obviously connect, it doesn’t mean much. As long as the player keeps shooting, the enemies will eventually die and the player is unlikely to be in any real danger. Enemies in Saints Row tend to stand still and shoot, occasionally trying in vain to roll out of the line of fire. They will sometimes charge at the player, but this only makes them easier to kill.

Erratic shooting and ugly graphics are Saints Row’s biggest problems, but they’re not the only drawbacks. Humor is subjective, but it’s safe to say that many will find Saints Row’s teenage humor to be as dated as the visuals. The dialogue is awkward, and the obnoxious protagonist gives Ryan Reynolds a bad impression throughout the game. There are some interesting moments in Saints Row’s story, but they are few and far between.

saints  row  pantero Stories from Saints Row will give players a whiplash tone. For the most part, the game is seen as a pure comedy. Most of the quests portray characters as cartoonish, carrying out random carnage with ridiculous motives, none of which are worth taking seriously. Then, out of nowhere, someone brings up something serious, like their loved one has cancer, and it’s meant to elicit some kind of emotional response, but it comes across as a cheap way of trying to make the player care about them Gang membership without the need to actually be acquired through meaningful character development.

As Boss, Saints Row players must build the Saints gang from scratch, and they do so alongside their friends Eli, Kevin, and Neenah. Saints Row has loyalty quests that players can complete to learn more about the characters and unlock new weapons for them to use in battle, but these quests don’t make players really care about their friends. But while loyalty missions can’t really develop anyone’s character, they’re at least fun to play.

Saints Row’s quests are fun, even with the poor shooting and lackluster story. Each mission has players going to new places or doing things they haven’t done before, with a lot of variation from start to finish. The developers didn’t waste any of Saints Row’s open world when designing missions, and it’s exciting to see where each mission will take players next. One mission might have players take part in a city-wide LARP event, while another might see them battling rival gangs in a slapstick bar fight.

saints-row-jump-1 Saints Row keeps players busy with its main story, loyalty missions and criminal adventures. Criminal Enterprises in Saints Row offers an additional batch of quests to complete outside of the main story, and players can use their in-game cash to construct buildings and unlock new quests. This includes the illegal dumping of trucks full of toxic waste and the fan-favorite insurance fraud, in which players block themselves in front of traffic to get the highest possible insurance claim.

The criminal adventures lack the variety of the main story missions, but they’re interesting enough, and expanding the Saints’ criminal empire is rewarding. Players are free to choose where they want to build their criminal adventure on Saints Row’s open world map, and while this doesn’t seem to have an effect on the outcome of anything, it still makes players feel like they’re doing something important as criminal masterminds decision.

Saints Row players will soon amass a sprawling criminal empire – filled with cash, weapons and a variety of unique vehicles. They’re free to use this hard-earned gear to wreak havoc in the open world, hunt down every collectible in the game, eliminate targets via the “Wanted” app, and hang out in co-op. The Saints Row co-op mode lets players play almost the entire game with friends, and it worked flawlessly in our tests.

saints  row  helifight Hanging out in the open world of Saints Row can be a lot of fun, especially in co-op, where players can do ludicrous wingsuit aerobatics, shooting cars into the air with insanely strong water pressure from a ruptured fire hydrant , and otherwise cause confusion. The missions aren’t balanced when considering co-op, so they’re made easier when playing with friends, but co-op in Saints Row works really well and elevates the experience.

Saints Row is sure to be fun in co-op and solo, but the whole experience has been held back by some unfortunate technical issues. Players may experience various glitches, ranging from minor inconveniences to glitches that force them to reload their saves. One glitch caused the camera to get stuck flush with The Boss, and another caused the player character to be completely immobile after starting a cutscene. The game also had a weird audio issue where NPCs would speak very quietly while on quests, making it difficult for the player to hear anything they had to say. Messing around with the game’s audio options didn’t do the trick, though everyone could be heard loud and clear during cutscenes.

Even without these technical issues, Saints Row is still a disappointment. The mission variety, co-op, and criminal adventures are all great, but the game feels at least a generation behind every other console in every category. It’s not the worst Saints Row game, but it’s far from the best in the series, and it’s likely to leave most fans of the series unimpressed.

Saints Row launches August 23 on PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Game Rant obtained the Xbox Series X code for this review.

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