Saints Row: Fans are divided on the direction of the reboot

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Developer Volition has finally revealed the long-awaited reboot to its popular Saints Row franchise, and it seems fans are divided on the new direction. After two games that served as basically Grand Theft Auto clones, Saints Row found its footing with 2011’s Saints Row: The Third.

The franchise continued to evolve into less of a GTA clone and more of its own thing, with Volition finding incredible success with  Saints Row IV, while not my favorite over The Third, finally felt like Volition had accepted Saints Row to be the franchise of over-the-top, ridiculousness. Aliens, super powers, outrageous plot twists, satirical takes on current events — Saints Row IV pushed the franchise to the extreme. And it worked.

The only way to top it, it seems, was to reboot the franchise. The problem with rebooting Saints Row, at least according to many of the fans, is that it seems to have lost its identity.

Here’s the overview of the game:

"Welcome to Santo Ileso, a vibrant fictional city in the heart of the American SouthWest. In a world rife with crime, where lawless factions fight for power, a group of young friends embark on their own criminal venture, as they rise to the top in their bid to become Self Made.Experience the biggest and best Saints Row playground ever created; the unique sprawling world of Santo Ileso is the backdrop for a wild, larger than life sandbox of thrilling side hustles, criminal ventures and blockbuster missions, as you shoot, drive, and wingsuit your way to the top."

It’s not bad, but it’s also nothing special. Its sounds like a generic open-world, action-adventure. You could’ve told me this was the overview for Grand Theft Auto and I wouldn’t have thought anything of it.

It seems that Volition is scaling back on the ridiculousness of the franchise. While I’m sure there will be over-the-top gameplay sequences, it seems they are grounded it a bit more in reality.

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To be fair, we haven’t really seen much of the Saints Row reboot. The game was announced via a cinematic trailer and followed by a seven minute developer-guided tour of Santo Ileso. We learned more about the setting and the cast of characters, but nothing shown really captured the same feeling of Saints Row IV.

Don’t get me wrong, from what I’ve seen and heard, Saints Reboot looks fine. I’m sure the gameplay will be fun and there will be some great over-the-top moments. But every third-person action game has that. What makes this Saints Row reboot different? What actually makes Saints Row a “Saints Row game”? I think we had started to see that with Saints Row IV, which is why I’m a bit surprised to see Volition hone it in a bit with this reboot.

I know the internet isn’t a good way to judge feedback because places like Twitter and YouTube are just a giant echo chamber but right now the Saints Row announcement video has nearly double the amount of dislikes as it does likes. The Welcome to Santo Ilso trailer isn’t fairing much better as it has 13,000 dislikes compared to nearly 10,000 likes.

For what it’s worth, Volition is standing its ground with the new direction of Saints Row, and have even responded to some fans.

Then there’s this gem.

It’s clear from the responses that Volition hasn’t lost its edge. But it does seem they’ve lost their direction a bit.

Saints Row is set to launch on February 25, is 2022. Hopefully, we get more gameplay to get a better feel for what this reboot will deliver. In the meantime, let us know how you feel about the new direction of the Saints Row reboot in the comments below.