Categories: Video Games

Saints Row: return to balance, the impressions from the hands-on

There are still a few weeks left until the launch of Saints Row, expected return of the famous video game saga. A new chapter that completely relaunches the franchise, redesigning it for a new generation, not so much of consoles as of players. We were able to try Saints Row in a special session hands-on and we are ready to tell you our impressions.

Saints Row, impressions from the first hands-on

Almost ten years have passed since the release of the last chapter of the saga, which follows the adventures of one of the most exaggerated gangs of criminals of gaming. After all, the style of Saints Row has become more and more defined with the passage of time: take the concept of the open-world game set in the world of crime and “turn the volume up to 11”, creating the most absurd situations possible.

And so the bar continued to rise, episode after episode. And if initially there was a rather traditional urban guerrilla, over time elements have been added more and more bizarre and at the limits. The gang has come to elect their own boss as President of the United States, confront aliens and develop superpowers. Without forgetting that time when we found ourselves literally in command of a toilet or the unforgettable dubstep gun.

In short, the claim of exaggeration had been taken far beyond the imagination and relaunching again was almost impossible. So in this new Saints Row we are faced with a kind of restartfrom milder shores at least on paper, at least judging from what we saw in this hands-on.

Not that it has become a cast or traditional title, far from it. The style of the saga is still perceived, with different crazy sequences already in the first minutes of the game. However, a more moderate approach is evident, which seeks to bring the adventure back to plausibility. Let’s start from scratch, both at the narrative level and at the level of exaggeration, and then rebuild and find what made the series so famous and loved by fans.

An (anti) hero of our own

We see that the classical spirit has not been betrayed since creation phase of our protagonist. Once again he is not a character already defined in the beginning, but we have many tools available to make him ours in all respects. We can already get to work now, in view of the release of the title, so as to get ready and immediately dive into the adventure when the time comes.

Already from here we can see how that a bit of adolescent humor there is absolutely no lack in this re-launch of Saints Row either. We have the ability to really edit every part of the body of our character and even choose how to manage the censorship of the most risque areas. Small details that, however, make us fully enter the mood.

Also, the restart of the story, which starts from the location of Holy Unharmed, it allows us to experience the rise to power from the very beginning. We will find ourselves alongside our fellow adventurers to lay the foundations of our empire with small jobs to make ends meet. However, we already know from the introduction that these first steps will slowly lead us to the top of the ‘food chain’.

All this without losing that thread of madness that characterizes the series. Already the ideas put forward to try to raise the rent money make us understand that the Saints have not lost theirs subversive spirit and the ability to think outside the box. In short, we are ready to take up arms again and dive into the criminal undergrowth to emerge as champions.

The more technical aspect of Saints Row hands-on

Going beyond the narrative side, there are some considerations to make about this new game. The first concerns the difficulty which, in line with this more ‘serious’ approach, seemed to us greater than in the past. Even choosing the medium level, we will find ourselves facing a challenge that will commit us: it is not enough to take the machine gun and open fire on the enemies, we will have to do some strategy and prepare for some failure.

Fortunately, none of these difficulties relate to the technical aspects of the game. The commands scroll fluids and the innovations posed to the combat system are quite interesting. Once you get the hang of it they make the clashes exciting and smooth and we are sure they can improve even more over time. In short, we can’t appeal to lag either for the times we failed the mission.

The less convincing aspect of this Saints Row hands-on is that graphic. You can safely turn a blind eye to it alcuni bugin the certainty that they will be corrected by the release, but the general performance is not extraordinary. Nothing disablingmind you, but it is quite below the average of current stocks in this respect.

In general however, our impressions from this Saints Row’s first hands-ons are positive. We are already curious to dive into the adventure with this group of ramshackle and exaggerated criminals and discover all the news of the title. Are you waiting for it?

Saints Row will be released for Xbox, PlayStation and PC on August 23.

Published by
Marco Dellapina

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