The Saints Row reboot, first announced at Gamescom in August 2021, has been heavily criticized for the game’s direction and art style choices. Despite fan complaints, Volition has been very transparent on its social media pages that the developers won’t back down on their design choices, referring to the reboot as “a reboot like no one ever did.”
Since the game’s gameplay trailer was unveiled at the Game Awards in December, several sources have reached out to provide insight into where the game is seemingly headed. Of course, judging by the trailers we’ve seen so far, Saints Row will take the ridiculousness to a whole new level with new combat mechanics, customization options, and more.
Since there’s no easy way to describe all of these new details, I’ll break down everything I’ve heard about the new features separately to be as detailed as possible.
Flow is a points-based feature that allows you to use your skills in combat, where you can earn Flow Points by being active in combat, such as dealing damage to enemies and vehicles, dodging attacks, etc. For a simplified example , killing 10 enemies and destroying 5 vehicles can give you 15,000 damage points, equivalent to 1.5 power points that you can then use to use your skills.
Your Abilities are linked to your Flow, and better Abilities need more Flow Points to use them. Abilities are directly linked to the character’s progress, meaning the higher you get, the more skills you have. Skills are “active”, meaning they must be activated by a corresponding button/key.
Examples of some skills:
- Surprise – Throw a grenade into an enemy’s pants and throw them into more enemies causing a big explosion.
- Flaming uppercut – Uppercut an enemy and launch them into the air.
- Ninja – Throw down a smoke bomb to lose enemies.
Pick up is possible until five individual Perks, with your first Perk Slot unlocking after completing the first mission, but other slots are purchased using the in-game money system. To unlock new and different perks, players have to unlock them by completing challenges, missions, and side missions. So the more challenges you discover and complete, the more perks you have to choose for your character.
These benefits are divided into three different categories:
- Base – Includes minor game-changing perks that you can take advantage of in specific scenarios, including moving faster while crouching, moving faster while aiming in sight, etc.
- Advanced – Includes slightly more beneficial benefits, such as a 50% health boost after a run or a percentage increase in your Flow earnings.
- ultimate – Includes the more ridiculous perks like being able to summon missiles to blow up an area.
Execution is Saints Row’s health-based system, where players can only gain more health by taking kills and dealing damage. The Execution system gives both your character and vehicle health with the more kills and damage you inflict. For example, knocking a vehicle aside and detonating it will give your own vehicle extra health.
All these features complement each other and create a unique way to play the game in combat. For example, if you use your car wrecking ball on enemies and enemy vehicles, your own vehicle’s health will increase, your Flow will increase, and you can also unlock new perks by completing challenges such as destroying 100 vehicles.
Customization has been talked about a lot with Saints Row’s very own “Like a Boss” customization trailer. While that trailer learned a lot about customization, those who played the game said the customization for both your character and vehicles is a game like no other.
As a little throwback to Volition’s previous games, there are also character customization options that allow the player to wear clothes from their other games, including Red Faction, Agents of Mayhem, and Summoner.
Saints Row introduces a new fast travel system, which allows you to quickly travel around the city without having to drive for miles. New quick travel locations are unlocked by taking photos of nearby landmarks and once the photo is taken you can quickly travel to that location whenever you want.
Collectibles and Dive into Dumpsters
Collectibles return with Saints Row, but not like the blow-up dolls from Saints Row 3. Instead, this time collectibles come in the form of drug stacks. City dumpsters also let you dive into dumpsters where you can find cash, new auto parts, new cosmetic items, and more.
Criminal ventures have already been covered in a Saints Row Criminal Ventures trailer, but these ventures range from toxic waste dumping, insurance fraud, chop shops, stealing food trucks that sell drugs to conquer the market, seizing cars, boats , bank vaults and some other crazy stuff that will unlock new skills, perks, money and more. One such “crazy” criminal enterprise is beating up murdered bodies/destroying their vehicle to make them [the bodies] it seems like something else happened to them, like getting the car hit by a train.
Accessibility also seems to be a major focus for Volition as Saints Row has many accessibility options to ensure everyone can play the game. Everything from eye commands to button presses, to the difficulty options, to auto-winning QTEs and unlimited time for activities make the game as accessible as possible.
While Volition has yet to announce Saints Row multiplayer (although the game is playable in co-op), those who have played the game have indicated that it feels like multiplayer will come to the game in some form after launch. It’s hard to base details like this on opinions of those who’ve played the game, of course, but I did get some solid hints from a source in the studio that this might be the case.
Saints Row will launch on August 23, 2022 for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series S|X.