The recently revealed Saints Row reboot has garnered a great deal of attention, though not all responses to the new take on the legendarily crazy and over-the-top series have been positive. Nonetheless, the developers are going forward with their new vision for the game and in a recent video offered a first glimpse at actual gameplay.
Snippets of in-engine footage have been sprinkled throughout the 'Welcome to Santo Ileso' trailer which introduces the game's setting, and features a lot of developers speaking at the camera. Most AAA games take their sweet time with showing off any gameplay after the initial, pre-rendered reveal, so it is a welcome change to see what the actual game looks like this early on.
Members of the press were privy to a gameplay preview behind closed doors, so we got some written descriptions of what to expect from the reboot, but actually seeing it in motion is a nice bonus. The gameplay carries the key traits of what we've come to expect from Saints Row, but is notably more reserved than the absolutely bonkers last entry.
Saints Row began as a fairly formulaic GTA clone, while the second game dared to swim to weirder shores with a bit more whimsicality and over the top humor. It wasn't until the third entry that the series found its now-iconic purple-clad aesthetic with the nonsense cranked way beyond any previously seen metric. If a game makes GTA look serious and grounded, you know you are in for some trippy stuff.
While Saints Row 2 still had you do fairly normal gang stuff with the occasional mission asking you to spray neighborhoods with the contents of a septic truck, by the time of Saints Row 4 and Gat Out of Hell you were superhero presidents fighting against literally Satan with dildo swords.
The more reserved and grounded tone of Saints Row, which dropped any sort of numbering and subtitling to make it clear that this is a reboot, has rubbed some fans wrong. Many decry the decision to take the series known for being the craziest around and toning it down.
Incidentally, the series known as the sillier GTA clone has now gained an altogether different comparison - many have drawn parallels between the rebooted Saints Row's tone and that of Watch_Dogs 2, due to the similar demographic of the lead characters.
Despite criticisms, Deep Silver Volition is sticking to this new vision for the game, and while there are fewer superpowers, sci-fi tanks and dildo swords, the broad gameplay style of the open-world Saints Row reboot is still evocative of the previous titles - though erring more on the side of the first and second games rather than the 'purple era'.
Saints Row will launch on February 25, 2022.