The Saints Row games are one of the most fun sandbox games you can play but the latest Saints Row game that we have for review is a worrisome gaming experience. It’s neither fun nor does it do justice to the older games in the franchise.
Saints Row review
Umm… how did we get here?
The story involves you, named - The Boss, and your friends trying to start your own criminal empire. An empire of Saints that do GTA-things for the kick of it. It sounds fun like the previous games until you actually grab the controller and go about doing it yourself in the game.
The script writing and storyboarding in Saints Row would make an Akshay Kumar movie feel Oscar-worthy. As Indians, we’re sort of used to prominent names leveraging us to spend 2 hours in the theatre only to come out and wish we never went in the first place. This Saints Row game gives you the same feeling in just one hour of playing it.
The Saints Row franchise has always been about goofing around and shooting things in your little utopia, but even by those standards, this game feels less than what it should be and deadpan. It’s not even outrageous enough to warrant a laugh and you will find terrible one-liners and a story that seems to be written by toddlers.
Missions and gameplay
The gameplay is pretty much the same as the previous Saints Row games. You can customise your guns, cars and outfits, and pretty much spend hours just fiddling with the customisation options. Although, when it comes to the core gameplay mechanics it falters with way too many bugs. The shooting itself doesn’t feel correct. It’s wonky and the hitboxes don’t connect.
Our Xbox controller input on PC was, and still is, bugged beyond help. Even after running through the settings multiple times, the controller support is totally buggy. A is B, B is X, X is A and the right thumb stick is the left thumb stick and the left thumb stick is the right thumb stick. Oh, and up and down is also irreversibly inverted. (we’re not making this up).
The missions are not as outrageous either. It doesn’t have the same over-the-top charm as the previous games nor does it bring anything new to rake in your interest after the first few missions. Some set pieces are dazzling but because this new reboot goes back to its roots, you won’t find that same over-the-top feeling in regular missions. Even if you go on a murderous mission to fire rockets at anything and everything in your sight, it’s not as fun and interesting as the Just Cause games nor like the superpowered Saints Row 4.
You can map four abilities that let you do wild stuff but those are still within the confines of a traditional third-person shooter.
Here’s the kicker. We actually expected the graphics to be significantly better than the last games but unfortunately, Saints Row doesn’t conjure up any sort of graphical fidelity to warrant its buggy mess. In fact, on our Nvidia RTX 3080, it looked meek. Almost to a point where you would compare it to a PS4 game even after cranking up the quality to the highest settings.
Sometimes you may see something graphically appealing here and there but that’s only when you find yourself without game-breaking bugs and performance issues.
A mediocre game that doesn’t do justice to its predecessor. The Saints Row formula is not explored to its full potential and even as a sandbox game, it doesn’t bring new and interesting ways to wreak havoc in your little utopia.
Even after a few weeks into the launch, the controller bug has not been fixed on PC and if you want to jump in with a keyboard and mouse, the missions and story itself are not worth the effort.
A broken and shoddy game which doesn’t live up to its predecessor