Xbox Series X/S Review: Saints Row (2022)

Saint by numbers?

Developed by Deep Silver Volition, Saints Row is a complete reboot and features a brand-new setting, brand new characters and a brand-new tone, all refreshed for today’s gamer. Saints Row is set in Santo Ileso, a vibrant fictional city in the American Southwest and one of the most varied and diverse city locations ever built for a Saints Row game. Three friends join you on your incredible journey to become self-made.

It’s been a long time coming but Saints Row is finally back. After the weird decision to blow up the world in Saints Row IV and then to go to Hell in the standalone sequel, it was definitely time to reboot the series and get back to basics, but what is the end result?

As your typical open world sandbox game, Saints Row does a lot of things well. It has a good amount of tasks and items scattered to keep you occupied, but it is rough around the edges. It also doesn’t help that the story or new characters didn’t connect with me as much as I hoped. The customisation you can apply to your own character though is highly impressive, but some extra voice options would have been nice since I couldn’t find one that I liked for my design.

The new “tone” for the reboot is going to divide opinion, but fans of the past games will be pleased to know that its still just as crazy in terms of gameplay and before you ask, yes…Insurance Fraud returns and is still just as fun as it ever was. There are newer activities thrown in and while they don’t all hit the mark, they are fun overall. Being able to use a wingsuit and lock on to an enemy for a landing takedown never gets old and is a great way of getting around the city.

There are a good number of weapons and vehicles to choose from, as well as a nice number of mods you can make to both. The game also has challenges for these and everything else which gain you money and XP. Your character also gets new abilities when they level up and can have a number of other moves at your disposal that can either give you more strength or defence in gun fights as well as throwing grenades and so on. The weapons pack a punch, and the combat is satisfying overall, even if the AI is the least bright, I’ve seen in a good while.

Missions themselves are designed well for the most part, but the game does suffer from a number of glitches and bugs currently that hold up the experience. I’ve had the game crash on me a few times during missions and have had to restart them from scratch as a result, while I’ve fallen through the floor to an endless drop underneath the city itself two or three times.

The game engine does struggle with too much action at times with framerate drops. It’s not all bad news and I’m sure it will get better over time via patches, but it does make me think maybe a few extra months to polish it up would have been better for its initial response.

The Verdict

Saints Row (2022) is a decent reboot, but it is held back by technical issues and the new style is a bit of a mixed bag. I have hope that the glitches will be improved over time through updates, though it’s hard to tell if it will improve others opinion on the new setting or not.

Score: 7.5