Saints Row - Saints Low

CriticalGaming

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Well through some industry friends that I still have, I was able to get a "review copy" of Saints Row, and holy fuck do I wish I hadn't. At least I got this game for free, which is about all you need to know about this game but hell I guess I'll review it anyway.

The first thing you'll notice when starting a new Saints Row playthrough is that the game immediately looks like it's using the same assets, same engine, same graphics, as Saints Row The 3rd. You know that really really good game from 2011. So first impressions are bad right out of the gate. I don't mind the slightly cartoony art style of the Saints Row games, but you'd think they could update the quality a little bit but nope. The game opens on a party at the Saint's Row Headquarters where a limo pulls up and this limo has the flatest blandest most unfinished looking textures I have ever seen. A man gets out of the limo goes up to the headquarters and asks to see the boss, flashing a briefcase full of Saint's money, okay he get's let in and we basically get a walkthrough of a party where all the characters from the game are having a blast. Throughout this intro, characters are using the same animations as in SR3, many of them have terrible clipping issues as they reach THROUGH each other, and even the subtitles can't go right as many of them skip ahead while the dialog is still playing the previous subtitle's worth of dialog.

And that's the way the game performs for the whole game (at least as far as I played in 8 hours). The game feels like a beta. So chalk this up to another rushed and unfinished open world pile of shit.

The thing is....it gets worse imo. You see graphics and shit can be cleaned up and patched, but you can't fix bad characters, bad story, cringy humor, and weak gameplay. Yes Saints Row is outright bad in all things. And by far the biggest problem I have with the game is the story and the characters. Firstly I feel like the game is trying to play things too safe, trying to have edgy humor but at the same time bending over backwards to make sure not to offend anyone. So every character is andorgenious and unsexual as possible, hell they even took out the dildo bat and the blow-up doll collectibles. Apparently it's okay to sell and smuggle drugs, but you can't show any titties or dick-like objects that's over the line.

With dialog lines about "fuck the capitalists" And waging a war because a guy got too good at the "capitalism". The games dialog reads like a Tumblr post made by a high school drop out who can't get a job and is really mad that other people are richer than they are. It like all the bite, and social commentary of these games have been neutered in order to be as inoffensive and mundane as possible, which means nothing in the game works. There are no stakes, and I can't really tell who the major bad guys are other than "rival gang" because they've not done anything to put these 20-something hipster characters through any real hardships. You have no motivation for wanting to become king gangster anymore because there isn't much interaction. It's all just kind of there like the crew has nothing better to do so might as well become the most powerful gang in the area for reasons. And even then the gangster hardcore killer thuglife doesn't fit these characters, they act and sound like they should be working at a Starbucks and even when they try to be "hard" it just comes across as your 12-year-old sibling trying to be badass. It's cringy and doesn't work.

When it comes to the actual gameplay, it's a lot like Agents of Mayhem in that it's just generic and also really buggy so it doesn't quite work most of the time. Animations stop playing, enemy health bars change types at a whim which can fuck you up, finishing moves just stop working randomly, piloting vechicles can cause wacky and unplayable camera angles. It's very much an unfinished game, in the sense that it needed several months more of bug testing and polishing before release.

HOWEVER, admittedly when the game is working the missions can be a lot of fun still. The core of working fun gameplay is here, but sadly the cringy dialog written by people who get their news from Twitter, and the bugs bring this game down to one of the most disappointing games I have ever played. I don't know how Saint's Row 1-4, and the lessons learned from AoM, haven't allowed this studio to bring back the design and writing that they used to be so great at. And frankly this toned down, socially safe, cringe humor makes me worried about GTA 6. Playing it safe has never worked for these games and only makes the games generic and lifeless.

Fuck it. Don't play it. Don't rent it. Don't waste any time thinking about this game than you already spent reading my bullshit about it.
 

Drathnoxis

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I think you are missing something from the title. A number, a subtitle, something! That's your first indication of how creatively bankrupt the game is, they didn't even have enough to come up with a new title.

Anyway, I still need to finish Saints Row 2, I got about half way through and then stopped for reasons I no longer remember. And also 3, which I got for $2.50 and haven't ever booted up.
 

immortalfrieza

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About what I expected. When I heard they weren't going with a continuation from Saints Row 4 I didn't have any interest. I want to see The Boss, not someone they call The Boss. Not to mention an expansion of the superpowers from the 4th game, not pull back in the gameplay of the series.

I don't mind the removal of the dildo bat and dolls. That was part of the juvenile sex jokes that were never funny or entertaining. Just a bland "oh look at me I'm shocking"! nonsense. Now, driving a tiger around Steelport? Cop shows where you cut up suspects with chainsaws? Cracking jokes about the guy you just buried alive? Now THAT's funny.
 
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Specter Von Baren

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And the hits keep coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming...
 

CriticalGaming

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And the hits keep coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming and they don't stop coming...
Yep. I never saw this quite exactly the same, but I've seen enemies do some very dumb shit, including taking out and putting away their weapons over and over again. Or just standing there while I shoot them. Or, and this is the worst one, spawning OUTSIDE THE FUCKING MISSION AREA!
 

Drathnoxis

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Part of the reason why I lost interests in GTA, generally. I just called my brother and caught him in time. He was about to buy the game at his local Game Stop.
Dramatic Re-enactment

*BrawlBrother heading to buy Saint's Row*
Untitled.png

*Brawlman sees forum post and dials brother*

"Come on, pick up!"


*Phone rings urgently*
"Hold it! Critical Gaming DOESN'T LIKE THE GAME!!!"


"Phew, just in time!"
 

wings012

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Instead of all this reboot nonsense, they should've really just made.... Saint's Row V.

And you might wonder, man. We've already done superpowers and aliens and the matrix and shit. Even had a guy break out of hell. Where can we even go from here?

But y'know, I feel the whole spirit of Saint's Row was just to go completely off the rails into insanity. I think there's room to go crazier. The Third Row Saints discover time travel or some jazz in the ending of IV, so maybe we can just go on a crazy time/dimensional trip somewhere. Maybe something goes really wrong and we now have to contend with cosmic horrors.

Saints Row V: Something Something Cthulu. Let's go.
 

BrawlMan

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Dramatic Re-enactment

*BrawlBrother heading to buy Saint's Row*
Funny enough, I had sent him the voicemail before even reading the forum post. I had already seen some videos, before that point. He apparently never bothered to check his voicemail the whole day.

Instead of all this reboot nonsense, they should've really just made.... Saint's Row V.

And you might wonder, man. We've already done superpowers and aliens and the matrix and shit. Even had a guy break out of hell. Where can we even go from here?
That's a problem with a franchise at its apex. Whether you get out of hell, or going to outer space, everything else will seem like a step backwards. For Saints Row V, they could have gone multiverse like everyone else, and done a parody/satire of that genre-fad. Most of us had a bad feeling about this reboot. I said about the same thing: make a fifth game, or better yet, just do a completely different game. The Agents Of Mayhem spin-off was not doing them any favors either. Most people have already forgotten it exists.

THQ Nordic... It's time to move on...
Do something else and be better. Or the very least, finish off the Darksiders games and just be done with them.
 
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meiam

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Wow rockstar leave the field wide open and barely anybody tries to fill it and the one who do apparently can't be bothered to actually put decent resource into it.

It's just weird how this industry loves leaving money on the table sometime, it relly gives the feeling that all the top suit in the industry have no idea about what's going on and just follow trends or, more often, what other company are doing (see all the destiny clone even though destiny was never that big a success).
 

Elijin

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This reads like an amalgamation of a youtube review or two. Complete with the observations about in game controls which I have been completely unable to replicate after 4 hours with the game.

I'm not saying you're lying, I'm just saying that there are comments here which are provably incorrect, and you also seem to be saying them. Hmm.

Anyway, for anyone who appreciated the hamfisted over the top parody games which are Saints Row...its more of the same, when it didn't have superpowers. Is that a good thing? Milage may vary. Im personally having a blast with it.

Edit: While I've heard many issues with bugs, my experience has been pretty clean, I'm unable to think of anything that impacted my session. I think it potentially has bad optimization though, as most bugs are being reported on older consoles and PC.