Preview: 17 Things We Learned About the Saints Row Reboot


Chris Harding

Writer and Storywriter


The Saints are back in town

I recently sat in on a press preview event hosted by Deep Silver and Volition and it was for the new Saints Row reboot. I’ve had to keep my mouth shut for a couple of weeks but now I can spill free every bean I’ve got. Or at least the beans I could actually make out from my notes.

Preview: 17 Things We Learned About the Saints Row Reboot

The Saints Row reboot releases on February 25th, 2022.

Yes, it’s a little while away, but it gives publisher Deep Silver and developer Volition enough time to really get that hype train up to speed. A solid six months of loading coal into the furnace should just about do it.

It’s releasing on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC

Yep, it’s a cross-gen release which means it’s going to be on just about all consoles as well as PC. Nintendo Switch is being left out for now.

While we do know that there’s a next-gen native version, the developers haven’t spoken about what enhancements can be expected on the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions of Saints Row. That will come at a later date.

It’s a full on reboot and your favourite characters are as good as dead

That’s right. Keith David is dead. Or doesn’t exist, or something. The point is, this Saints Row game is a complete reboot of the franchise. The old stories, characters, and settings are all thrown out in favour of a clean slate.

There will be a few nods and references for fans, but there will be no returning characters from previous games. They’re all gone. Get over it.

Here are your new Saints Row characters

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The old gang is out but you have a new posse to run now. You’re the boss and your handy helpers are Neenah, Kevin, and Eli. They’ll be your closest confidants while you take over this new version of the world.

You can still make your own character and customisation is even deeper

You’ll be able to create your own character with the game’s most extensive customisation suite to date. So maybe you could actually recreate Keith David and make him the boss of The Saints? Somebody will figure that out, I’m sure…

The customisation isn’t just limited to your character – weapons and vehicles can be tweaked, too.

The new Saints Row story is more mature

The story is that you’re the Boss and you’ve got the backing of your mates to start a criminal empire in a new city. That’s about as much story as we’ve been told so far.

The developer, Volition, has said that the story will be more mature this time around as the team looks to move away from the over-the-top crude humour and find a more grounded approach and tell a more contemporary story with the reboot.

You can play through the entire game in two-player co-op

Does the new Saints Row have co-op? Yes! And what’s more is that the entire game can be played from start to finish in co-op.

Multiplayer is two-player only and it’s fully drop-in and drop-out. It’s not split-screen, though, so no couch co-op. You can only play Saints Row multiplayer online.

It takes place in the Weird, Wild, West

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The new setting is a city called Santo Ileso and it’s inspired by the American Southwest and its colourful locales.

The city is, according to the developer, the largest one yet and the team has worked hard to make it the most fun to explore with several different areas with distinct vibes and characters.

You’ll build your empire and run a business

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Saints Row is going commercial. Or more commercial… In the Saints Row reboot, you’ll be able to start different businesses to earn money for your criminal empire. You’ll choose a racket, decide where to run it, and then reap the rewards. You’ll even have employees mooching around and they can be called into combat as reinforcements.

You can also run some side hustles to bag some quick cash and yes, that means Insurance Fraud is still a thing so you will be able to throw yourself in front of trucks for some silly fun. Yay!

There are three rival factions

Your faction is The Saints. This is your company and your business is, well, crime and other misdeeds… But you’re not alone in wanting control of Santo Ileso as there are three other factions that will give you a run for your money.

They are Los Panteros, The Idols, and Mashall, and they’ll all be working against you as you grow your empire. Thankfully, there are a few ways of dealing with them…

There are lots of guns but zero dildos

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You read that right. There are zero dildos in the new Saints Row. It’s a shame, sure, but you won’t have any short supply of weapons to take out your business rivals.

Saints Row will have a wide variety of customisable weapons from your everyday six-shooter to rocket launchers. But no dildos.

Getting around is going to be good fun

Cars, VTOLs, motorbikes and wingsuits – there’s a transportation method for everybody.

Volition has said that this iteration of Saints Row will be the best yet in terms of transportation with the driving model being improved over previous games. Good. Because let’s be honest – the driving was never really great in the other games, was it?

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Everything will be much “deeper,” said Volition during the preview presentation. So whether you’re on foot, in a car, flying over the city or the desert, or leaping from a building – it’s all going to feel premium and proper.

Combat has been reworked but it’s still accessible

Saints Row feels better to play and headshots are gratifying, at least according to Volition. The gunplay is an evolution but not a complete throwaway of what we’re used to. Running and gunning is still going to be how you blast fools – which is good. We don’t need another cover-based shooter.

Volition has also said that while it has been tweaked to feel better, it’s still really easy to pick up and play, even if you’re a newcomer to the franchise.

You can upgrade your character

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What game dares to release without some kind of RPG system these days? Hang on, I’m sure I’ve written that in another article… Ah, yes. This one.

It’s still true though, isn’t it? Every game has to have some kind of progression system and Saints Row is no different. You’ll have skills to unlock and upgrade as you play through the story, though it will work differently to how it does in the previous games.

Cruise control is not in the game

You won’t be able to use cruise control on any cars. I don’t personally care for such a feature, but somebody asked about it during the preview presentation and looking at my notes, I was paying just about enough attention to write it down.

The soundtrack will have licensed music

While we don’t know what songs will be included in Saints Row, Volition did reveal that there will be a mix of original and licensed tunes in the Saints Row reboot. Tenner says The Killers doesn’t make it into the game. Disgrace.

Saints Row reboot uses a new engine

The new Saints Row reboot will look and feel different, not just because the developers are going in a new direction, but because the bones under the meaty world will be completely different.

The game will use a new engine but Volition did not go into detail during the preview presentation.

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