First announced at Gamescom in August 2021, the Saints Row reboot received a lot of criticism 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 from its design choices, calling the reboot “a reboot like no one has ever done before.”
Since the reveal of the game’s gameplay trailer at The Game Awards in December, multiple sources have reached out to provide some insight into where the game is apparently headed. Of course, judging by the trailers we seen so far, Saints Row is going to take the ridiculousness to a whole new level with new combat mechanics, customization options, and more.
Because there’s no easy way to describe all of these new details, I’ll break down everything I’ve heard about the new features individually to provide as much detail as possible.
Flow is a point-based feature that allows you to use your abilities in battle, with your flow points earned by being actively in combat, which includes dealing damage to enemies and vehicles, dodging attacks, and more. For a simplified example, killing 10 enemies and destroying 5 vehicles can give you 15,000 damage, or 1.5 flux points which you can then use to use your abilities.
Your abilities are tied to your flow, with better abilities requiring more flow points to use them. Abilities are directly tied to character progression, meaning the higher you level up, the more abilities you will have access to. Abilities are “active”, meaning they must be activated by a corresponding button/key.
Examples of some abilities:
- Surprise – Throw a grenade into an enemy’s pants and throw it at more enemies causing a big explosion.
- Flaming Uppercut – Uppercut an enemy and launch them into the air.
- Ninja – Throw a smoke bomb to lose enemies.
You can recover up to five individual perks, with your first perk slot unlocked after completing the first mission, but other slots are purchased with the in-game money system. To unlock new and different perks, players must unlock them by completing challenges, missions and side missions. So the more challenges you explore and complete, the more perks you’ll have to choose for your character.
These benefits are divided into three different categories:
- Basic – Includes small game-changing perks that you could benefit from in specific scenarios, including moving faster while crouching, moving faster while aiming down sights, and more.
- Advanced – Includes slightly better perks, like a 50% health boost after a run or a percentage increase to your Flow earnings.
- Ultimate – Includes the most ridiculous perks, like the ability to call in missiles to blast an area.
Execution is Saints Row’s health-based system, where players can only gain more health by killing and dealing damage. The execution system will grant both your character’s health and your vehicle’s health with the most kills and damage you deal. For example, hitting a vehicle sideways and causing it to explode will give your own vehicle extra health.
All of these features will complement each other in tandem, creating a unique way to play the game in combat. For example, using your car‘s wrecking ball on enemies and enemy vehicles will increase your own vehicle’s health, increase your Flow, and might also allow you to unlock new perks by completing challenges, such as destroying 100 vehicles.
Customization has already been the subject of much discussion with Saints Row’s “Like a Boss” customization trailer. While this trailer covered a lot about customization, those who played the game said that customizing your character and vehicles is a game like no other.
As a small throwback to previous Volition games, there are also character customization options that will allow the player to wear clothes from their other games including Red Faction, Agents of Mayhem, and Summoner.
Saints Row brings a new fast travel system, where you can quickly move around the city without having to travel miles. New fast travel locations are unlocked by taking photos of nearby landmarks and once the photo is taken you can fast travel to that location whenever you want.
Collectibles and Trash Diving
Collectibles make a return with Saints Row, but not like the blow-up dolls in Saints Row 3. Instead, collectibles come in the form of stacks of drugs this time around. Dumpsters around town are where you can also dumpster dive, where you can find money, new car parts, new cosmetic items, and more.
Criminal enterprises have already been covered in a Saints Row Criminal Ventures trailer, but these enterprises range from toxic waste dumping, insurance fraud, hash shops, theft from food trucks that sell drugs to corner the market, from the re-fist of cars, boats, bank vaults, etc. other wacky things that will let you unlock new abilities, perks, money, and more. One of these “wacky” criminal enterprises involves beating up murdered bodies/destroying their vehicle to return them. [the bodies] make it look like something else happened to them, like having the car hit by a train.
Accessibility also seems to be a key focus for Volition, with Saints Row having plenty of accessibility options to ensure anyone can play the game. Everything from eye controls to button presses and options difficulty, auto-win QTEs, and unlimited time for activities, makes the game as accessible as possible.
While Volition has yet to announce Saints Row multiplayer (although the game is playable co-op), those who have played the game have expressed that it looks like multiplayer is coming to the game in some form or another. another after launch. Of course, it’s hard to base these kinds of details on the opinions of those who’ve played the game, but I got some heavy hints from a source at the studio that this might be the case.
Saints Row is scheduled to launch on August 23, 2022 on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S|X.