Preview of ‘Saints Row: Back to the Series’ Roots, But Thoroughly Modern
As I glide along the sky in my wingsuit, casting a shadow in the sun, I notice a flashy motor moving below me. I turn at the intersection to steer it off and land smoothly on the moving rooftop. I am now driving this fancy car through Santo Ileso’s colorful streets.
2022’s Saints Row is set in a new California-esque locale, but it’s still in line with previous developments by Volition and Deep Silver. It’s fun to explore the open world. The humor is funny and well-executed. It’s still chaotic but in a good way. It feels modern, not to be misunderstood, but the feel is true to the series.
In an interview, the game’s UX designer Kenzie Lindsaygren described it as “closer SR2 and 3”, which is immediately apparent when you dive into Saints Row. Similar to 2020’s Saints Row 3: The Third Remastered, there is no superpower to help you achieve your goal of becoming the most powerful criminal organization. Instead, you can rely on various weapons, including melee and firearms. Most of the combat will be a third-person shooter.
The gunplay is smooth and fluid, especially compared to previous series games. I would even venture to say that it’s even easier than Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V . Understandably, I had a blast driving various bikes and cars on my Xbox controller while playing on PC. It wasn’t easy.
Although it is not unusual for pre-release builds of a game to have some minor bugs, I would say that about 20% of my shots which hit enemies did not cause damage. Red reticule signified impact. However, foes were indifferent to these shots. This was just the tip of an iceberg.
I had to restart the game several times during my three-to-four hours of playing. Despite this, I still had a lot of fun playing Saints Row. I hope Volition can eliminate these minor niggles before the game’s August 23 release. They will become annoying if they continue.