You likely by now know the Saints Row games as a GTA clone that spiraled heavily into absolute lunacy, culminating with fighting the Devil and saving the Earth from an alien invasion. The new Saints Row reboot, however, will be dialing back the crazy, according to narrative director Jeffrey Bernstein in Play Magazine:
“I played Saints Row 4, and I thought to myself, ‘Where are they going to go next? Do they take on God?’ And then Gat Out Of Hell came out. I’m like ‘Ah! I’m out, I’m out, I got nothing left!'”
Considering that Saints Row 4 had the characters fighting an alien invasion, getting superpowers, and ended up with the Earth being destroyed, there wasn’t really anywhere else that Volition could go. However, even though the story is dialing back the craziness, that doesn’t mean this will be a grim and gritty game, according to Bernstein.
“We’re still going to have outrageous antics, we’re still going to have lots of fun, this is not a grimdark Saints Row. This is, to me, in the writing and in the mission of the storytelling, it is very much fun first.”
The Saints Row reboot has gotten some criticism online due to it being marketed on more modern trends, putting the players in the role of younger people who are breaking free of an establishment and their student loans, fighting to feel fulfilled and not be a part of the machine. But the reboot also lets Volition think on what can be put in a game that’s all new, according to chief creative officer Jim Boone.
“But there just really isn’t a whole lot of runaway to figure out where you would go past that, which was why it was a pretty easy decision for us to go back to our roots and do something more contemporary.”
Of course, again, fun comes first. Back to the basics means more going back to Saints Row 2 and 3, where the series was still semi-grounded in arcadey, hilarious realism. This even extends to the mini-games, such as the classic “insurance fraud” side mission, which was a must-have addition to the Saints Row reboot, according to Boone.
“I don’t think we can ship a Saints Row game without insurance fraud. I think somewhere that was a rule that was written. And we love that rule.”
Exactly how this new Saints Row game will turn out remains to be seen, but hopefully it can still deliver on the sort of wacky fun the series has become known for when it releases on February 25 for both Playstation 4 and Playstation 5.