Following my palms off preview of the Saints Row reboot, I sat down and chatted extra with Volition builders Kenzie Lindgren (affiliate UX designer) and Damien Allen (principal designer). We lined a broad vary of matters, together with a lot on what’s new for this entry, however we began by discussing why Saints Row aficionados ought to come again to the sequence, regardless of its brand-new solid and setting.
“It undoubtedly nonetheless looks like Saints Row – even when it is not the identical characters, even when it is not the identical setting, even when it is not precisely the identical as earlier than – it looks like Saints Row,” Lindgren stated.
“I really feel that each single time I’m going into the sport, whether or not that is simply customisation (as a result of customisation is a large a part of it), whether or not that is travelling across the metropolis, whether or not that is wing suiting and doing the missions, it looks like Saints Row. And I feel that is a minimum of value trying out in case you’re an older participant, but additionally for a more moderen participant to find that feeling for the primary time.”
That is one thing Allen reiterated. “I actually assume that the texture of the Saints Row franchise is alive and properly,” he added.
“If you’re a veteran, in case you’ve performed via one or all 4 of the earlier video games, there’s going to be one thing so that you can get pleasure from, [be that] the traversal mechanics, the brand new issues we have added or a world that’s extra vibrant and distinctive than something we have ever had up to now.”
However whereas the general tone of Saints Row will be the similar, Volition believes this new reboot stands head and shoulders above different video games (and never simply these throughout the Saints Row sequence) in its customisation, which appears to be one of the vital intensive examples of its variety. Every little thing will be altered, from outfits, vehicles and weapons to the scars and birthmarks in your character’s physique.
“We undoubtedly have much more customisation than another recreation available on the market proper now,” said Lindgren. “But additionally, simply the truth that within the recreation, we would provide the similar instruments, and we would provide the similar methods to traverse and to maneuver round, and also you is perhaps finishing the identical missions and getting the identical rewards [as other Saints Row players, but] no two gamers are essentially going to have the identical expertise.
“With the extent of customisation and the extent of choices and instruments we provide you with, two totally different gamers are going to play into the sport utterly in a different way. And I feel that is one thing that is actually cool about Saints Row particularly.”
However even with the massive swathe of cosmetics included throughout the recreation itself, the Saints Row crew has determined to maintain the protagonist’s pronouns gender impartial, with the Boss at all times being known as both “they”, “them” or “you” all through. That is one thing the builders say is solely for technical causes, and never completed to recommend the Boss is non-binary.
“Making an attempt to place all that along with eight totally different voices and to have a number of totally different choices in there and likewise to then make it really feel pure… That alone can be a problem that, good now, shouldn’t be one thing that we’re taking a look at dealing with,” Allen stated.
“That is to not say that possibly it would not occur sooner or later however we’re not likely certain for now,” added Lindgren.
This introduced us to Saints Row’s preliminary reveal final 12 months, which was met with a lukewarm response, and the sport’s subsequent delay.
“I feel there was at all times part of me and possibly even another individuals within the studio that at all times knew it was going to be a bit of tough at first, as a result of the [old] Saints aren’t coming again… I feel that was at all times going to be one thing that was form of contentious,” Lindgren acknowledged.
“It’s a little bit irritating to see [initial reactions] when what you are making, and once we’re not fairly able to reveal every little thing. And that may be one thing that could be a lot to undergo.
“I used to be the one which got here out and stated, ‘the Saints aren’t coming again’, and that may be very nerve wracking. However that does not imply it is a unhealthy factor. And truthfully, the whole time I have been right here… we have at all times been assured on this course. I’ve at all times been assured on this, and I personally have liked what we have made. So yeah, it may be irritating, however I am additionally fairly assured nonetheless.”
“You simply [have to] take that method of like, ‘Okay, we all know what we have and we’ll present you what we have. Simply be affected person, please’,” Allen added. “Typically you simply should take it in your stride. And it wasn’t, from my perspective, as if we needed to pivot or shift or something [following the announcement’s reception]. It was, ‘that is that is the trail we have been taking place this complete time,’ and we have been very assured in that. And when individuals can see it in totality, I feel they hopefully will agree with us.”
And it seems, Volition’s goal is for Saints Row to be skilled by as many individuals as potential, due to the sport’s accessibility choices.
“One factor we actually did strive to take a look at with accessibility was to ensure a minimum of every class of participant had one thing on supply for them,” revealed Lindgren. “So, there’s a part for visible accessibility. There is a part for motor accessibility. There is a part for digital camera movement [and] all of that.”
“I consider there may be a minimum of one thing for everyone,” she stated, earlier than promising a extra in depth breakdown of the sport’s accessibility choices to come back later down the road.
So, what does the way forward for Saints Row maintain? As soon as the sport launches, it may be performed as a completely co-op expertise do you have to want, with cross-gen gameplay capabilities. Nonetheless, don’t maintain your breath for Saints Row changing into a cross-platform co-op endeavour. When requested if this might ever be a chance, I used to be informed a really easy “no” by Allen.
In the meantime, Allen and Lindgren have been each very cautious to not give an excessive amount of away once I requested a few Saints Row multiplayer possibility, and as an alternative selected to deal with what we will count on on the sport’s preliminary launch, which is the aforementioned co-op mode. Nonetheless, this was prefaced with phrases corresponding to “at this second”.
Lastly, earlier than my time with the Volition builders got here to an finish, I requested them how they might describe Saints Row in only a few brief phrases. Properly, that was a simple one. They’ve promised it is going to be a “distinctive, power-fuelled fantasy” and a variety of “enjoyable” to dive into on its launch.
Saints Row is because of launch on twenty third August throughout Xbox, PlayStation and PC.