The new Saints Row is probably not what some fans are expecting. For one, it’s got women with undercuts, which might be enough for some to cry out ‘this isn’t MY Saints Row‘ and go replay the second game until they’re blue in the face.
For the rest of us though, this Saints Row offers a new experience and look to the Saints gang. That includes the Boss, who in previous games was a ‘puckish rogue’ that committed so many crimes that if we were to list them all we’d probably be here all day. But even after all this, they were still, weirdly enough, a decent person that took no shit from authority.
We’re not quite sure what sort of Boss this new protagonist will be, but we do know they’ll be kicking ass and taking names in the fictional setting of Santo Ileso. Unlike Steelport and Stilwater, Santo Ileso is a hell of a lot bigger and, according to the Washington Post, will have “distinct cities, not unlike the famously large map of “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.” There will be nine different territories altogether, such as the Monte Vista – a place that’s all fancy houses and huge pools is all pools, and El Dorado, a place that’s been described as “a mini Las Vegas.”
Instead of hanging around with Shaundi, Johnny Gat, Pierce Washington and so many others, this new Boss will be dedicating their time to three other characters. The first is Eli, a black entrepeneur who wants to start his own business but didn’t quite realize that him being roped into The Saints meant that his business would be with criminals. Poor lad. Next is Neenah, a latina who is just as good with a gun as she is behind the wheel. Last but not least is Kevin, an asian DJ (and most likely a wind-up merchant if that trailer gives you a clue about his personality) that used to be with a rival gang, but now finds himself with The Saints.
You’re able to find out more about the Boss, Kevin, Neenah and Eli via the official Saints Row website, where all four of them have individual, criminal profiles.
- Boss – Described as “particularly proficient with automatic pistol and heavy weapons. Displays evidence of military training.” The criminal profile also (correctly) states that Boss is the suspected ringleader of The Saints. Guilty as charged!
- Eli – Described as a “calculated individual. When apprehended, fugitive feigned innocence convincingly until rescued by associates.”
- Neenah – Described as a “known long time family affiliate of the Los Panteros gang. Initiated into gang operations at a young age.”
- Kevin – Described as “loud, brash, with left-arm sleeve of identifying tattoos – easily spotted repeatedly without upper body clothing.”
From these descriptions alone we can decipher a little about each character. Surprisingly, it seems as though Neenah and Kevin are the ones with the most experience when it comes to running a gang, so colour us intrigued on how the Boss fits into this.
If you’re wondering if there’s going to be any more noticeable people in your gang, then we’ve got some bad news. According to Jeremy Bernstein, the lead narrative designer of the new Saints Row missions, it’s just Neenah, Kevin and Eli that your Boss will cruise around with. To quote Washington Post: “there are no more additional named side characters within the Saints Row gang that factor into the storyline.” That doesn’t mean you won’t have any other gang members to help you out, though.
A lot of hate for the new look of the series comes from not knowing what to expect from the gameplay, but it looks like fans have nothing to worry about. The gameplay, shown exclusively to Game Informer, reveals a brand new look at the world of Santo Ileso. Spoilers: it’s gorgeous.
Unfortunately, no combat or anything about the activities you can partake in was shown in this video. But hey, maybe next time.
The Old Gang
For those of us who are hoping that we might see the old gang, Volition has pretty much put that to bed. There’ll be easter eggs yes, but don’t expect to see your favourites return in any way. Gat out of Hell was an official goodbye, as hellish as it may have been.
It isn’t all bad news though. Other features that made the Saints Row series so beloved will be making a return, such as the ability to customize your Boss. While the default Boss does look to be a woman (gasp!) it doesn’t mean you can’t customize the Boss to suit whoever you want them to be. You get a brief glance at this during Volition’s ‘Welcome to Santo Ileso’ trailer. Check it out, below.
There’s also the reintroduction of beloved activities like Insurance Fraud: a mini-game where you threw yourself yourself into danger into so many weird, wacky ways and earned money from it. It was missing in Saints Row 4, so it’s nice to see it make a return with even more strange, but familiar activities like selling drugs while pretending to be a food truck. Very Breaking Bad if you ask us.
And the best part? You can take part in all of this sandbox adventure with your friends. The whole story can be played with friends, because making the world yours is so much better when you have someone else along for the ride.
Saints Row will arrive on August 23, 2022 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, as well as PC.