You are currently viewing Saints Row 2022, test and opinion: a reboot that blows hot and cold…

Saints Row 2022, test and opinion: a reboot that blows hot and cold…

Once done, you’ll get to the heart of the matter as you discover who the Saints were before they were created, as well as all the steps it took them to build their criminal empire within Santo Ileso.

Exit the fictional town of Stilwater from the original saga (the result of a mix between Chicago and Detroit) and welcome to this American desert that looks like New Mexico and Las Vegas. The map is also the largest in the franchise.

In the heart of Santo Ileso, found the new Saints gang, and become the real boss. – Volition

“Friends” in Gangsta mode

During the main quest that can be completed in a dozen hours, you will find out who the other founding members are. By their side, you will have to carry out, throughout, missions blowing hot and cold… ranging from a few epic adventures, to many mundane and uninteresting tasks. Especially since this motley band of friends is terribly lacking in charisma. Which makes them, therefore, very unattractive, even detestable for some of them.

However, the omnipresent humor and self-mockery of this episode make it possible to avoid the descent into hell of the narrative frame.

These scriptwriting biases are also reminiscent of a Nanardesque cocktail mixing both “Friends”, “Sons of Anarchy” and “To conquer the West”.

Bite into the apple to discover the real Eden?

Beyond the red thread on the foundations of the gang, there are a plethora of side quests. As diverse as each other, they are unlocked as you progress through the story. It’s sad to say, but it was during these side missions that the fun was really present, with moments of fun taking place all over Santo Ileso.

Satisfy your power in town by confronting the other gangs with the help of your uncharismatic partners.
Satisfy your power in town by confronting the other gangs with the help of your uncharismatic partners. – Volition

Stepping off the beaten track, the open world unfolds with lavish art direction, blending flavors of the Wild West universe with that of the neon lights and decadence of the City of Angels. What’s a shame given the excellent art work is the graphics, which are decent without being mind-blowing. Moreover, the optimization of the game is far from perfect, with clipping effects, aliasing… This kind of problem could nevertheless be corrected and settled via future patches.

The soundtrack is quite good and the different musical playlists punctuate the game well. It is however regrettable to note that the French version is only present in written form. The vocal absence of Molière’s language is rather constraining. It forces the player to maneuver with difficulty between reading the subtitles (resulting from very talkative dialogues) and the different gameplay phases (shooting, chases, infiltration, etc.) during the missions. Although we shouldn’t blame him for this, since this is unfortunately also the case in “GTA”.

The Verdict of the “Last Judgment”

“Saints Row” version 2022 performs a sort of return to the future within the video game universe… Indeed, the studio has tried to develop its license by wanting to resolve all the faults of the past, and this, by means of a full reboot.

Forced to note that this new scenario, despite some flashes, is not really up to the first episodes… In addition, the adventure is served by game mechanics and a rather old school level design for a 2022 title.

A rebirth in halftone for this license rich in experience.
A rebirth in halftone for this license rich in experience. – Volition

This resurrection of the license has tried to mix certain aspects of the first and last opuses, all in a tone of humor and lack of seriousness. But by wanting to please everyone, this new episode ends up losing all identity and achieves the opposite result.

And even if this test seems generally hard towards the game… the title is nonetheless an open world game where it is pleasant to venture. In particular thanks to its successful and exotic artistic direction, as well as its pleasant additional content.

In addition, there are flaws that we can understand and forgive when they concern new studios or new licenses… but in this case, given the importance of the franchise and the background of the studio vis- vis-à-vis the “Open World”, these many missteps are simply regrettable and difficult to understand.

Good points

1. A new exotic map.

2. A very successful artistic direction.

3. A cutting-edge character designer.

4. A multitude of secondary activities.

5. A good soundtrack.

Negative points

1. A mixed story.

2. Uncharismatic characters.

3. Somewhat outdated graphics.

4. Retro game mechanics.

5. No audio VF.