December 4, 2023

Saints Row made me nervous with its initial cheesy reveal. Reimagining a 2022 version of the tongue-in-cheek humour and utter chaos of the Saints Row games is not an easy task. But the demo I got my hands on convinced me that it’s shaping up to be wonderful, stupid, joyful nonsense that ignores all the ordinary common sense of real life. 

Physics? Out the window. Character quips? Plentiful. And character creation? Transformative. Straight out of the gate, the game gives you a gun, a ridiculous setting, and tells you to hang onto a fighter jet-helicopter-thing while it tries to escape. It’s completely bonkers but that’s exactly what it should be. The dialogue is cheesy, sure, but it’s far better than the trailers suggest and its millennial/zoomer cast are more amusing than they are annoying. 

Unfortunately, I do have concerns about Saints Row’s performance. Calling the several-hour demo I played stuttery would be an understatement. Pauses lasting several seconds were present, as well as shorter stutters that still interrupted the flow. These mostly appeared when driving as other elements loaded in, and I could hear audio but everything else would freeze. With August looming, it’s my main cause for concern, but performance issues aside, the action and pace of Saints Row was thoroughly enjoyable. Lightly crass, terrible, yet lovable friends doing crimes to make rent. So let’s talk about them, shall we? 

(Image credit: Deep Silver)

First we have Neenah. The best driver in the fictional Santo Ileso is #notlikeothergirls. Neenah hails from one of the local gangs, Los Panteros, who used her pedal-to-the-metal talents as an excellent getaway driver and mechanic. Though hardcore and strong, she’d do anything to help her friends, even if that means she might scratch her car’s paint.


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