How Saints Row Reboot Completely Failed As Franchise Revival

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More glitches than gangsters!

Story Highlights
  • The Saints Row reboot failed to capture the chaotic energy of the franchise, opting for a bland cast of characters.
  • Repetitive gameplay and a buggy launch further hindered the experience, disappointing fans.
  • While the Saints Row brand might continue, fans dream of a return to the series’ over-the-top identity.

Remember the good old days of Saints Row? The crazy stunts, over-the-top characters, and that undeniable feeling of pure, chaotic fun? Well, the Saints Row reboot tried to bring the franchise back, but honestly, it was a total swing and a miss.

I was genuinely excited about the idea of the series getting a fresh start, but this game just didn’t deliver the classic Saints Row experience I craved and was bombarded with negative reviews.

Why it matters: Saints Row Reboot’s mistakes highlight the importance of understanding a franchise’s core identity and staying true to what made fans fall in love with it in the first place.

The New Saints Didn’t Impress Me

One of my biggest criticisms of the Saints Row reboot was the cast of new characters. Where were those iconic personalities that made the series so good? Instead, we got a bunch of hipsters obsessed with student loans and social media.

I found it really hard to connect with these new Saints or care about their struggles. The old crew had attitude and goals and weren’t afraid to get crazy. These new characters felt like they belonged in a completely different game.

The whole vibe of the Saints Row reboot just felt off. It tried too hard to be relatable, ditching the over-the-top craziness that made Saints Row unique. There’s a place for serious storytelling in games, but it felt entirely out of place when mixed with the franchise’s legacy of mindless, explosive fun.

Saints Row Reboot
New Characters In Saints Row Reboot

Underwhelming Gameplay With A Buggy Launch

The gameplay of this Saints Row reboot left a lot to be desired. Missions were repetitive, often following the ancient open-world formula: “Go here, shoot this, steal that.” I feel like the developers played it safe instead of innovating and pushing the genre forward. The third-person shooting was okay at best, though it could’ve been better.

However, the city of Santo Ileso was impressive. It was enjoyable to drive around and cause chaos in. The lack of those vibrant characters did impact the world in a bad way though.

The whole experience was troubled by bugs and technical issues at launch. I’m not one to let a few glitches get in the way of my fun experience, but the continuous problems took away from the core of the game and made it hard to get immersed in the Saints Row world.

This Didn’t Need to Be a Reboot

I still need clarification about why they even decided to make a hard reboot in the first place. I understand that the series had gotten super wild with aliens and time travel in later entries, but a change of tone didn’t have to mean wiping the plate entirely.

Fans know and love the world of Saints Row; they would have been happy for a game that took things back to a more grounded place while still respecting the established lore and maybe even bringing back some familiar faces.

Speaking of familiar faces, here’s another fun fact. The Saints Row was initially planned as a sequel with those Saints Row 4 characters we know and love. However, the project shifted its direction entirely, and we got this reboot instead, which caused huge disappointments.

Saints Row
The hoods of Santo Ileso in Saints Row Reboot

The Aftermath From Saints Row Reboot

Despite the negative reviews, Saints Row reboot managed to reach the top of the sales charts, which still puzzles me. We should thank the power of brand recognition and hype. However, the current state of Saints Row Reboot isn’t all that well. It still has mixed reviews on Steam.

Saints Row Steam Charts
Saints Row Steam Charts

The disappointment of this game was a massive loss for Volition, the original developers of the Saints Row series. It hurts to see a talented team struggle, and the failure of the reboot was a significant blow. Sadly, due to this, Volition games were shut down.

However, Deep Silver has confirmed that the Saints Row series isn’t going anywhere and might still have future plans.

Can Saints Row Bounce Back?

I really hope Saints Row can find its way back to its roots. The series has much potential to be a unique contender in the open-world genre. But, it needs to break away from the generic mudtrap it’s fallen into and give us back the characters, the humor, and the absolute chaos we fell in love with in the first place.

This might be my wishful thinking, but a proper comeback for Saints Row could be on a “back to basics” approach. We all crave remakes for Saints Row 1 and 2, but there are yet to be any plans for them. Anyhow, we just need the old Saints Row back, packed with personality, ridiculous missions, and a healthy dose of that classic absurdity the series is known for.

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