It ought to come as no shock that the subsequent Saints Row, launching in February, is a full reboot of Volition’s open-world crime spree franchise. As enjoyable because it was to make, the studio realized they might have painted themselves into a narrative nook, eight years after the totally surreal Saints Row 4 widened the gangland canon to embrace an alien invasion, Vice President Keith David, the Dubstep Gun, and the writer Jane Austen.

“When we would talk about Saints Row 4, we would talk about how you were coming from the crack house, to the penthouse, to the White House,” Jim Boone, Volition’s chief artistic officer, mused in a preview livestream two weeks in the past. “By the time you’re done with Saints Row 4, you are the ruler of the galaxy. If you were to think, ‘Where would we take it from there?’ — we went to Hell and conquered that, even, right? So there truly isn’t anywhere to go past that.”

Thus, it was “a pretty easy decision for us to go back to our roots,” Boone stated, and that’s how we bought Saints Row — no numbering or subtitling — launching Feb. 25, 2022 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Windows PC by way of the Epic Games Store. In the sport, gamers lead a cohort of Gen Z crime impresarios within the takeover of an all-new city, the corrupt, Vegas-like playground named Santo Ileso.

“So this, with it being rebooted, is a completely new story; it doesn’t fit chronologically with any of the ones that we have done,” Boone stated. “We have little nods here and there to some of our previous mascots and things like that, but it is a brand new story.”

“Ileso” means “unhurt,” or “unscathed,” and it’s an applicable theme for the over-the-top motion, punctuated by explosions and smirks, as Volition confirmed Wednesday in a reveal trailer at Gamescom. Players will nonetheless create, type, and management the new Boss of the third Street Saints, however they get all-new lieutenants whose backstories and traits are a lot extra up-to-date. Everyone has been kicked out of considered one of Santo Ileso’s three established gangs. Taking down the three factions — the aim of the primary three Saints Row video games — serves everybody’s vengeful wishes and legal ambitions.

“While this is a more grounded game than Saints Row 4, it’s hard not to be a more grounded game than Saints Row 4, honestly,” stated Jeremy Bernstein, the sport’s lead mission narrative designer. But, “We’re still going to have outrageous antics; we’re still going to have lots of fun. This is not a grimdark Saints Row.”

The up to date premise for the Saints’ origin: They’re a startup enterprise, they only occur to be criminals. The thought comes from Eli, a bowtie-wearing MBA and one of many 4 founding pals that begin the Saints. “He just didn’t realize the business he was going to build was a criminal empire,” Bernstein stated. “So that means the next step is to make connections with people that can shoot guns.”

Neenah is the gang’s wheelman, and was jettisoned from Los Panteros, considered one of Santo Ileso’s enemy factions. The Idols are one other faction, and they tossed out Kevin, a DJ celebration animal character. The third enemy faction is Marshall Defense Industries, mainly a mercenary firm that makes their very own weaponry.

Players will construct up turf in Santo Ileso’s 9 districts (Volition makes the requisite promise that is the collection’ largest-ever map) and launch legal enterprises inside them. The reveal video talked about operating medication out of a quick meals restaurant, in addition to automobile theft and chop retailers, gun operating, and a collection favourite, insurance coverage fraud.

“I’m continually amazed by how much gameplay there is (in this game),” stated James Hague, Saints Row’s design director. “You’re building criminal ventures, and each criminal venture is unlocking its own custom gameplay with it. And that’s in addition to all the other stuff that you can do out in the world.”

After the Saints get highly effective sufficient, they’ll tackle a gang in a huge set piece at their headquarters. Boone stated the motion and fight gamers will discover in Saints Row takes inspiration from movies like John Wick, Baby Driver, and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. Obviously, meaning a lot of driving motion — with out cruise management, Boone stated.

“We did spend a lot of time with a driving model to try to make it as drivable as possible,” he stated. “You will still be able to fire out the window like you could in previous games, but we’ve gone a different route in terms of the way the car combat works. You’re using the car more as a weapon in Saints Row than you are using your firearms. As a result of that, we didn’t feel like we needed to try to come up with that cruise control mechanic from the past.” Cars aren’t the one mode of transportation — plane, hoverboards, wingsuits, and bikes are additionally within the fleet. Wingsuits are even the premise for considered one of Saints Row’s aspect hustles.

Co-operative multiplayer stays a staple of the rebooted Saints Row as a lot because the previous video games. “Every mission in the game is a co-op mission,” promised Rob Loftus, Volition’s government producer. That contains co-operative play throughout console generations, too, Loftus stated.

“I think that’s when you’re going to feel something that has a very different formula, not just from Saints Row [the franchise] but, candidly, from any game that I could think of,” Boone added. “You get to decide what buildings you want to put down, you get to decide how you want to interact with them; you don’t have to interact with them if you don’t want to. But there’s a lot of depth there, and there’s a lot of aggression with this whole criminal empire area, and I think that is a huge separation from anything that we have done before.”