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Saints Row Reboot May 2022 Preview: Still As Chaotic & As Fun As Ever

The first reveal of the Saints Row reboot could have gone better, to put it mildly. A lot of crime game/action adventure/ open world game fans cried out for blood over how “woke” Saints Row has become. To be fair, there wasn’t much gameplay to gleam from previous trailers, but that didn’t stop people from talking smack about it.

That will probably change as the game is closer to its release month of August and developer Volition is willing to show off a lot more than usual to placate fans and calm them down. The gameplay we saw & previewed in a recent Deep Silver and Koch Media press event proved that the longtime Saints Row makers are doing their best to bring back the magic of over-the-top street crimes with the reboot.

Let’s break down why this could be the sandbox action title you need for 2022 that’s set in contemporary times.

Classic Story Missions

This being a reboot, this Saints Row’s story will be focused on how this new Third Street Saints are formed from scratch; basically you are bonding with your new pals Eli, Neenah, and Kevin as The Boss. The first mission we’re shown is a simple bank robbery for the sake of “making rent” and involves a car chase and a showdown with a group of heavily armed Los Panteros gang members.

A few other missions we were privy too included one where we escorted Neenah to a Foundry to blow it up, and rescuing Kevin from the strength-in-numbers group the Icons while decimating their Burning Man-style encampment with a Port-A-Potty attached onto a car like a makeshift wrecking ball. They seem fun to play in, with each of them seemingly more explosive and action-packed than the last. It’s these missions where players learn how to sideswipe with cars while driving, use big weapons which we’ll talk about later, and also learn the art of climbing atop the roof of the car and having free aim while “car surfing”. Yes, you are vulnerable to enemy fire since you’re out in the open, but your aim isn’t restricted and you get more style points killing enemies this way.

You Can Change How The Boss Looks Anytime & Anywhere

No more wardrobes for you to change your clothes in. All you need to do to change up your outfit and look is to pull out a phone and go to town. Depending on what collectibles you’ve found and what you’ve unlocked, you’ll be able to dress up as a normal purple Saints gangster, or a heavily-armed office lady. Go nuts!

As an aside, you’re not required to switch to different characters and genders every time. If you rather just roleplay as your set character for the entire game, you can just do that. Volition just left this option in for anyone to meddle around with.

Heavy Vehicle Customization

Not only do you have a plethora of vehicles to collect from Raycasters to Kenshin bikes, but each of them have their own signature abilities. These include infinite boosts (provided you don’t collide into things) and ejector seats if you need a fast car that ejects you to the air.

Why would you want to be in the air? Because of….

Wingsuits

Oh yeah, there’s a wingsuit you can play around with. It ain’t the same as flying and super-jumping like in part 4, but at least you can land and bump onto bystanders to gain more air to fly further and higher. Clearly Volition has been inspired by Super Mario Bros. 3’s Tanuki suit when it comes to this neat traversal feature.

You Have To Earn Your Powerups

The Saints Row reboot features perks you can equip for passive boosts. However, you’ll need to complete challenges to unlock two Minor slots, two Major slots, and two Elite slots. These include spending ludicrous amount of money to completing a couple of tougher challenges on Santo Ileso.

The Weapons Are Still At Insane, But Not Too Much

The Forge story mission where you have to blow up a factory with your pal Neenah showcases some of the heavy artillery that’s present. The El Lanzador is a giant shotgun that knocks anything and anyone down up-close and personal. There’s even a boxing glove gun, and even a football grenade called the Thrustbuster which explodes after you toss it like it’s hot. There’s a Pinata gun that shoots projectiles that has a huge blast radius filled with explosives, paper mache, and gun ammo for your other weapons.

There are 12 melee weapons, 7 pistols, 4 SMGs, 6 Rifles, and 6 Shotguns we’re shown, with an unknown amount of big guns you can use. Also, each different gun has its own plethora of skins you can use, which range from space blaster skins to even a KISS Foam finger gun skin. Volition is really going all out with customization here.

A Bright Future?

Long story short, think of this reboot as the missing game that blends in Saints Row 2 and Saints Row The Third, but focused on a new storyline involving a new Third Street Saints group. Like we stressed in a previous feature we did, there’s really no way to go beyond what Saints Row 4 achieved, so it’s back to basics but with the wacky levels still on a reasonable high level. The latest gameplay preview we saw is proof that the old Volition gang’s still got it.

The Saints Row reboot will be out in 23 August 2022 for PC, Xbox Series, and PS5.

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