It’s been eight years since the last mainline Saints Row. The open-world series first attempted to ape Rockstar’s popular Grand Theft Auto games, but as time went on they began to dip into a sillier formula. Aliens, super powers, and even a story of a gang member become the US president weren’t off the table for this bizarre series. Where do you go from there? For the developer, Volition, the decision was simple: go back to the franchise’s roots. Things did get a little crazy back there, didn’t it? After last week’s tease, everyone knew that Saints Row was getting a reboot, and today we saw it for the first time in a trailer at gamescom 2021.
The reboot is simply called Saints Row, marking the point where the franchise has gone full circle. However, unlike the original Saints Row, which was still very much like GTA, the reboot will still include some of the elements that made the franchise stand out. You’re also no longer in Stilwater or Steelport, the cities that the Saints made their homes across four games.
The Saints Row reboot instead takes you to Santo Ileso, a fictional city located in the American Southwest. Here, expect skyscrapers and urban areas surrounded in arid desert and, dunes, and mesas. Santo Ileso itself appears to take inspiration from cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas, complete with dusty freeways and casinos.
Back to basics
As for the story, we’re going back to square one. The Saints Row reboot places you once again in the role of the Boss, a customizable avatar leading a motley crew. You and your three compatriots, Neenah, Eli, and Kevin, take on rival gangs or groups in a bid for power and control. And yes, you can also bring along a friend in online co-op. Since you’re building a new criminal empire, that means founding some shady ventures. You’ll have missions and side hustles, and, yes, it appears insurance fraud schemes have returned. With cash in hand, you can purchase weapons like rifles and rocket launchers, with some exotic items being customizable.
There also plenty of vehicles, as these new Saints can’t sprint like a super hero anymore. You can drive cars and bikes, but the game also includes planes, hoverbikes, go-karts, VTOLS, and a wingsuit if you want to skim through the air. There are also helicopters with magnets at the end of cables for when you want to take an armored truck for a ride.
If you’re looking for more on the Saints Row reboot, keep an eye out for our preview of the game coming later today. Saints Row will release on PC, likely exclusively for the Epic Games Store, on February 25, 2022.