The saints are back baby!
Deep Silver Volition has brought back what is in my personal experience one of the most fun GTA-Like games I have played in years. Saints Row 2022.
The latest entry in the Saints Row Franchise is a complete reboot for the saints series, this means a brand new origin story for the Saints.
You start off by making your own boss from scratch, unless you have already done this with the already released Saints Row Boss Factory in which case you can import your already created Boss into the game which was a nice hype build up for the main game which releases on August 23rd.
You then start off your brand new story, starting from having to rob a payday loan place just to make rent. You are introduced to your new crew comprised of members from other Gangs.
Kevin from the Idols, Kevin is a music-loving, thrill seeker who has a history with the Idols. He knows how to throw a party and get into action. With a long list of connections, Kevin knows everyone across the city and uses those contacts to get items, money, and anything he needs really.
Neenah from the Los Panteros. Neenah is the Saints’ getaway ticket. She is one of the best drivers in the business and has a long association with the Los Panteros. A love of cars means that she is a proper gear-head, but also enjoys a fine piece of art during the calmer moments of her crime-led life when she seeks to take a breath.
Eli who didn’t have an already existing crew. Eli is the brains and thinker behind the Saints’ operation. He knows how to take on the big businesses and the smarter, smaller operators. He came to Santo Illeso to make his fortune as an entrepreneur by starting a business himself. That business ended up being a criminal empire.
and of course:
The Boss. The boss is well, you, the custom protagonist that you create in the character creation menu is the star of the show. Much like previous games, the people around them have more of a personality and you simply experience Santo Illeso and the life of the Saints through them, although dialogue does help bring some life to them. After falling on hard times due to student debt, the boss comes to Santo Illeso and starts working odd jobs, including one at Marshall Defense Industries. These jobs and the trouble they run into set the stage for the story of Saints Row.
So who are the other gangs?
Of the three enemy factions in Saints Row, Los Panteros are the most gang-like. The Marshalls are essentially a private military, while the Idols are more like a cyberpunk style cult. Make no mistake, though, Los Panteros are a gang.Los Panteros want to control their own territory and perhaps even the entire Santo Ileso, They’re major muscle car enthusiasts with their home base being the Forge. The Forge is where they manufacture their own cars ridiculously quick.
The Panteros are lead by Sergio Velez. He consolidated power to establish Los Panteros as the dominant street gang in the city. His control of the faction is built on a combination of physical intimidation and sheer strength of personality, which he has used to turn something that was once a neighborhood street gang into his own personal crime syndicate.
Marshall Defense Industries
Marshall is a private military corporation based in Santo Ileso, They are known as one of the most profitable and dangerous military companies in the world. Marshall moved their HQ to Santo Ileso in the 1980s when they acquired several major defense contractors in the region. Though most of their business is international, they have many local clients–banks, casinos, museums, shopping centers, as well as city and county governments—for whom they provide private security and related services.
They are lead by Atticus Marshall. Atticus Marshall may play the part of an old-time, folksy, gentleman rancher, but don’t let that fool you. He’s a cutthroat businessman and a raging narcissist. As head of the massively successful Marshall Defense Industries, Atticus sells advanced weaponry, high tech military hardware, and full blown private armies to individuals and governments around the world.
The Idols are an anarchist cult, intent on bringing down “the system” the entire social, cultural, political, and economic structure of the day—through acts of violence and mayhem. And they have chosen Santo Ileso as the place to make their statement. The crimes of the Idols range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Anything from petty theft and acts of vandalism to kidnapping, assassination, and even bombings are fair game. As devoted anarchists, they do whatever the hell they want; as long as none of their fellow Idols get hurt, they consider it a blow against the system. The Idols are legion and growing. They recruit constantly, using parties, raves, and social media to spread their message and bring in new members. The Idols are lead by the collective.
The Collective are the six masked and mysterious ringleaders behind the anarchy of the Idols. Having shed their true identities in service to their cause, they are identifiable only by the unique pattern on their digital faceplates.
And then of course,
The saints are the crew you create and mold throughout the game. It is comprised of Kevin, Neenah, Eli and yourself and the heads of the crew.
You expand the crew income by buying up empty lots and placing your own businesses of choice there instead. Starting off with Jim Rob’s Garage where you can customize your own vehicles and store new vehicles you have acquired off the streets of Santo Ileso. There are so many ways you can build your empire and take over Santo Ileso in Saints Row, and Criminal Ventures is just one way you can do it.
You get to choose how your Saints empire takes shape and which ventures you build. Where they get built in the city is also up to you, changing the landscape and offering unique gameplay, characters and rewards.
Make bank with your very own Shady Oaks Medical Clinic; go cause yourself some damage, play in traffic and watch the cash roll in from all those totally real injuries you get. Take over the already booming food truck drug business and corner the market yourself by building a Chalupacabra and serving Mexican food with your own special kick.Or Bright Futures Disposal facility, all you have to do is find somewhere to illegally dump some potentially pretty dangerous stuff and you’re getting paid – just don’t think too hard about the environmental impact. Or how about pulling your team together for a heist with Let’s Pretend? Or a Totally Legitimate Laundry service? Or an arms dealership?
Criminal Ventures lets you build your own definitely-not-a-front-businesses across Santo Ileso as you rise to power, change the city and rake in the cash you need to make a name for the Saints in Santo Ileso.
Saints Row has been one of my most hyped games in 2022. Being able to create your own boss from scratch, build your own empire how you choose, and customize vehicles and guns from scratch. The open world is filled with side missions, collectibles, and just pure fun. The game is spoiled for choice and I welcome it!