Saints Row Hands-off Preview Features Fast-Paced and Explosive Over-the-top Action

As with anything Saints Row, you can expect things to go from 0 to 100 in record time. The team at Volition is making sure things are extra special with this reboot, and after being treated to a lengthy hands-off preview showing a comprehensive look at gameplay, it would be safe to say that things are going as planned.

The journey through the fictional Southwest city of Santo Ileso is looking to be a vast expanse with 9 districts to explore, each with a unique feel that is dense and vibrant. There are no Saints yet to start with, and in this reboot, we get to see how a group of four roommates from rival factions struggling to make rent become some of the most notorious players in the business.

Within minutes, players will be thrust into a car chase, and Volition looks to have that part of the game covered well. Driving looks fast and responsive, and players will be able to use the new sideswiping mechanic to handle themselves while driving around the world.

saints row forge mission

Armed and hand-to-hand combat look equally as impressive, spiced up with the addition of skills like the Pineapple Express, where the player ties a grenade to an enemy and tosses them to a target. The player won’t have to rely solely on firearms to get things done because the devs have made finisher moves part of the combat as well, giving this Saints Row installment one of the most varied combat systems in the franchise.

Roaming around Santo Ileso will give you a lot of opportunities to scrape up some cash through what the game calls Discoveries. One such example is an armored van, which you can blow up for some instant moolah, but the cops will be right on your tail, so you better get ready to hit the jets or take them on. The longer the battle with the cops, the more your notoriety escalates, so players will need to learn to choose their battles in Saints Row.

saints row idol faction

There are also things known as side hustles, which are repeatable activities found on the map. In one of these side-hustles, you’ll be asked to defend your vehicle from the cops, and while you can unload your weapon from the passenger seat, Saints Row goes crazy and lets the player hop onto the roof for some serious car surfing. While this maneuver allows players a wider view, you’re also more exposed to gunfire, so pick your poison.

One of the bigger missions in the preview sees the Saints take on one of the rival factions in Santo Iloso, the Los Panteros. Prior to entering the mission, players will be able to change their loadout, equipping proper skills and perks that go well with the situation. In this case, the Los Panteros like to use fire, so a fire-resistance perk or passive ability will work wonders.

Weapons also play a big role in any Saints Row game, and this is no different. From SMGs to Rifles and Shotguns, each of these weapons also has signature abilities that will be suited for certain playstyles and situations. Loadouts will be an important aspect of the game, and players will have to plan ahead to see success.

saints row los panteros fight

All of these will come to play when facing opposing rival factions, with each group having multiple enemy types and a distinct combat style. In this case, Los Panteros favors strength, so get ready to face enemies that like to get in your face but can also soak up some damage. One enemy type is the Gladiador, which uses charge-like maneuvers to beat you silly, while the Pantero mini-boss called the Higante will prove to be a big challenge as well.

After all is said and done, the Saints will need to regroup and recover in their very own HQ, an abandoned church right in the heart of Santo Ileso. This will serve as your base of operations and from here, you’ll be able to customize your characters and vehicles to your heart’s content, as well as choose your next move. You can even customize your HQ with various decorations and props to suit your style.

Related – Saints Row will let you customize just about anything

Your HQ will also play host to the War Table, a map of Santo Ileso that will let you manage and grow your empire. You’ll be able to build criminal ventures, which is Saints Row’s take on open-world activities. There are 14 vacant lots across the city to build more ventures, which in turn unlocks new gameplay activities that allow for district takeovers.

One of these activities is called Mayhem, where you setup your arms trafficking venture by demonstrating the destructive potential of your weapons. The more damage you cause across the city, the more money you can rake in. You’ll need to complete multiple activities to progress the district takeover status, so players will surely be kept busy with stuff to do in Saints Row.

For players looking to take on Santo Ileso with a friend, co-op is as easy as jumping into a seamless gameplay instance, allowing for drop-in untethered coop at any point in the gameplay.

saints row coop screenshot 1

Overall, Saints Row is looking to be as unfiltered and as over-the-top as you can imagine. Apart from the obvious visual enhancements, players are once again given ultimate control of their character, with extreme customization choices and varied gameplay activities. While it doesn’t feel like a ‘next-gen’ installment, it still looks like a hell of a lot of fun.

Saints Row is scheduled to launch on August 23, 2022 for the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and PC via Epic Games.

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