Gamescom 2021 had its opening night today, and with it came a not-unexpected announcement. A confirmation that a reboot of the beloved Saints Row series is on the way.
The very first trailer of the night is a confirmation of the long-rumored reboot of the sandbox crime game Saint's Row. The trailer showed off a brand new, back to basics look for the series. Superpowers and celebrity cameos are gone. But the trailer itself wasn't without plenty of charm and excitement. It shows the new characters Neenah, Kevin, and Eli getting into a gunfight followed by a car chase, ending in some urban destruction. The intention is clear, This is all about a street gang trying to rise through the ranks against rival criminals to establish a criminal empire. But it is also about delivering the kind of madcap mayhem that only Saint's Row can deliver.
The team behind the original series, Volition are working on the new installment. "I can tell you that Volition took a really fresh approach to Saints Row this time around," voice actor Bryce Charles told Gamescom Opening Night Live 2021's host Geoff Keighley. "I think it's evident by that awesome trailer that they went back to the drawing board and essentially created everything from scratch. We got new characters, [a] new city, new gangs to take on — the whole deal."
Fresh is the operative word. The new city, Santo Ileso will be based on the American Southwest, drawing inspiration from the cities of Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. In addition, there will be new gangs to face: Los Panteros, The Idols, Marshall as you build your empire across the streets and battle for control of the city. Whether that be with guns, cars, or gliding through city with a wingsuit ( as shown briefly in the trailer), the choice is yours in an open-world crime sandbox.
Much like the original two installments, this Saint's Row reboot will be all about being a start-up company, except the job is in crime. You'll be able to buy property and make meaningful choices about how you run your criminal empire. Will you specialize in chop shops, or drug smuggling? The choice is yours.. Finally, while actress Bryce Charles will be the voice of the new Boss of the Saints, the character will be fully customizable with whatever you prefer. While a male option hasn't been confirmed yet, given how this has always been an option before, it's bound to happen.
In fact, that is the biggest surprise the presentation had: downplaying nostalgic references. Aside from a Professor Genki-looking neon sign near the end, any and all shout-outs to the city of Stillwater, or prior versions of the Saints are non-existent. Not even a cameo by the ascended meme of a man, Johnny Gat. Then again, considering the last installments of Saints Row involved the Earth being destroyed by aliens, the street gang messing with time travel, and Gat himself going to Hell, killing Satan, then learning the secrets of the universe from God himself, perhaps a clean break was necessary.
This new Saint's Row will be available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on February 25, 2022.