Saints Row Reboot – 11 Biggest Changes from Previous Entries

Here's how the reboot is changing things up for Volition's long-running open world franchise.

Posted By | On 17th, Aug. 2022

Saints Row Reboot – 11 Biggest Changes from Previous Entries

When you take a long-running franchise like Saints Row that’s as beloved and popular as it is and you decide to reboot it, you have to know you’re taking a big risk. Volition’s open world series has built up a huge fanbase over the years with its many instalments, but with its next game, it’s taking on the herculean task of wiping the slate clean to welcome in more newcomers while also delivering the sort of fun that series fans will be very familiar with. Obviously, that means it’s making a great deal of changes over all of its predecessors, and here, as we approach Saints Row’s launch, we’re going to talk about a few of those changes.

MUCH MORE GROUNDED

saints row

Saints Row is, of course, a complete reboot of the series- which has been a little bit controversial with its fans. Volition took one look at where the series went in Saints Row 4 and Gat Out of Hell and decided that the story had escalated far too much for it to get a sequel. With the upcoming Saints Row, they’re pulling things back to street level, which means you can expect a much more grounded game about gang warfare, capturing and expanding territory, and what have you. Of course, Volition says that Saints Row is going to retain its trademark brand of over-the-top humour- but it’s going to do within a much more grounded framework than what series fans have become increasingly used to with each new instalment over the years.

THE BOSS

saints row

The Boss has always been the heart and soul of the stories in Saints Row game, and while that is still going to be true in the upcoming reboot, it’s not The Boss that we’ve become used to. The Boss will once again be the protagonist of Saints Row, but they will be a completely new character as part of a completely new story, in a new continuity. In the early hours of the game, The Boss is a former member of Marshall Defense Industries who gathers allies and forms a new gang with the intention of becoming the new power in the city. Oh, and speaking of allies…

NEW CHARACTERS

saints row kevin

Of course, given the fact that this is a new story in a rebooted continuity, it goes without saying that there’s going to be a completely new cast of characters around The Boss driving the story as well. As you set out to create your own gang and then expand its influence, you’ll have three main partners in crime who’ll form the backbone of the game’s story. There’s Kevin, a DJ-slash-chef who specializes in pulling off heists; there’s Neenah, a mechanic who serves as the gang’s driving expert; and there’s Eli, an MBA who plans and administrates the gang’s activities. Once former members of other gangs, each of them comes together with The Boss to form the new Saints.

NEW GANGS

saints row

With Saints Row telling a fresh new story populated by new characters, it’s obviously going to have new adversaries to take on as well that haven’t ever taken the spotlight in any previous instalment. The city of Santo Ileso (which we’ll get to in a bit) is occupied by three gangs before The Boss and their allies form the Saints. There’s Los Panteros, who rule the city’s streets and are all about strength, car culture, and drug trafficking. Then there’s Marshall Defense Industries, a private military corporation known for its advanced weaponry and its ruthless mercenaries and black ops teams. As mentioned earlier, The Boss is a former employee of Marshall Defense Industries. Finally, there’s The Idols, known for their anarchist culture and their obsession with bringing down the social order.

NEW CITY

Saints Row - Wingsuit

Saints Row is wiping the slate clean in more ways than one- with its characters, its story, and its protagonist, as well as with its setting. Up until now, we’ve visited the cities of Stilwater and Steelport in previous Saints Row games, but with the upcoming reboot, Volition is taking us to a completely new city- Santo Ileso, based on the American Southwest and surrounded by a desert and badlands. Interestingly, it’s also the first city in a Saints Row game to not be completely surrounded by water. But there’s plenty else about the setting that’s also interesting…

BIGGEST SAINTS ROW YET 

saints row

Volition is making big promises with the city of Santo Ileso, not only in terms of environmental variety and diversity and density of activities, but also its size. According to the developer, it’s the biggest city ever in a Saints Row game, so players can definitely expect a heathy chunk of real estate in which to mess around and wreak havoc. Santo Ileso is divided into nine districts, each of them of them offering a fair bit of variety in terms of design and aesthetic, so exploring the city should potentially be a lot of fun.

FAST TRAVEL

saints row

Saints Row is making a few smaller changes to how it plays as well. Appropriately enough for a game that’s going to have a much larger world for players to traverse than any of its predecessors, the developers are introducing a new fast travel system to make it easier to get around and across larger distances. Players will have to take photos of various landmarks scattered throughout the world, and once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to fast travel to that point at any time.

FLOW POINTS

saints row

A major new mechanic that’s being introduced in Saints Row is Flow Points, which are going to be crucial to combat. Flow Points are essentially necessary to activate the abilities that you’ve unlocked for your character so far, which can range in what they do from stealth to melee attacks to something much more explosive. Dealing damage, destroying vehicles, and performing well in combat is how you’ll earn Flow, and it seems like the game will put a much greater emphasis on incentivizing performing well in combat with its Flow system.

PERKS

saints row

Another new system being introduced in the Saints Row reboot that’ll change things up significantly for its progression mechanics are perks. While you will still be unlocking abilities by earning XP and leveling up, perks, which will be passive upgrades split across three tiers. Players will be unlocking both perk slots as well as new perks in a variety of ways, including earning cash, completing challenges, and performing a number of other side activities.

VEHICULAR COMBAT

saints row

Vehicular combat has always been a crucial part of the Saints Row series, but the upcoming reboot is zeroing in on it with added emphasis and new mechanics. Driving will bring plenty of familiar mechanics, from boosts to drifts and what have you, but for combat, you’ll have a repertoire of new moves to pull off, not only when you’re behind the wheel, but in other ways as well. For instance, you’ll be able to get on top of the roof of your vehicle in the middle of driving it to then fire off your weapons at enemies.

EXPANDED CUSTOMIZATION

Saints Row has always prided itself on extensive customization mechanics, but it looks like the reboot is going completely all-in on that. Volition has hammered on the fact that this is going to be the studio’s most customizable experience yet in more ways than one. From the character creator to your vehicles to cosmetic changes you make to The Boss throughout the game to even what certain areas of Santo Ileso look like, it looks like players will have a great degree of flexibility with Saints Row’s customization mechanics.


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