Last week we were guests of Koch Media for a closed-door event dedicated to Saints Row. An event that allowed us not only to test the game first hand, but also to taste a special Mexican recipe made by Stefano Callegarowinner of the fourth edition of Masterchef. After attending the initial presentation between an empanada and a beer to celebrate the arrival of the new work of Willwe sat at our station to live the first few hours with the gods Saints.
We’ve said this on several occasions before: Our first impressions of Saints Row weren’t particularly enthusiastic. We hadn’t understood the choice to restart the franchise and, from the first videos, it seemed that the title had lost its distinctive humor. Needless to say, we were very wrong. The game begins by letting us choose the design of our character, and then throw ourselves into a mission perfect to understand the game mechanics.
A few moments with the pad in hand and we immediately noticed how much the shooting has improved. The firefights are a lot of fun and we were surprised by the dynamism of our alter ego’s movements. Of course, there are no real covers, but it does not matter: in Saints Row you constantly move and face opponents with a hard-nosed face. One of the mechanics that we loved the most is that of the “finishers”, or hand-to-hand moves that kill the enemy instantly with an action that is as crazy, when fun. This skill needs to be recharged by killing other opponents, resulting in an at times exhilarating pace of combat.
As we progressed with the adventure we unlocked new weapons and new abilities, which made it even more varied. Impossible not to fall in love with the possibility of inserting a grenade in the pants of the poor unfortunate person on duty, and then throw it towards the other enemies and see them all explode together. The key word is: fun. We actually found ourselves smiling all the time over the new Volition title. A feeling that many modern open worlds, however spectacular, have not been able to convey to us. In fact, most of the stocks on the market take themselves too seriously. Exactly the opposite of what we saw in these early hours of Saints Row.
AN INSANE CAST
A few lines of dialogue are enough to become attached to all the characters in the game. Neenah, Kevin and Eli they are the best friends of our alter ego and in these two hours of gameplay we already love them so much that, if one of them dies during the campaign, we would be genuinely hurt. The writing of the plot and the supporting actors seemed to us constantly over the top, but without ever exaggerating. In hindsight, this “return to origins” and a more realistic context seems to have done well to the series, which with the fourth chapter had reached too high levels of madness. Holy unharmedinstead, it’s the perfect place to start over. To take the good things seen in the past, refine them and package them for a modern audience. A result that, as seen so far, we can say absolutely achieved.
SO MANY THINGS TO DO AND SO LITTLE TIME
We admit it: we didn’t want to leave the game anymore. After two hours we only scratched the surface of Volition’s new work. We have unlocked cars, weapons, abilities, new missions, but it is evident that many features are left waiting for us when we return to the game for the review.
On our return trip we found ourselves smiling as we remembered the afternoon just passed. In our hearts pumped that desire to go home to hold the pad and continue the adventure. A feeling that we unfortunately had to put aside, given that there is still a month to go until the game is released. The important thing, however, is that this emotion was there. It means that Saints Row has left us something and this is certainly the best quality of the title.
We can’t say yet that this is one of the funniest games of this 2022, but first impressions are really great. Saints Row is now on its way and we are counting the days that separate us from the official release. What do you think of it? Are you looking forward to the return of the Saints? Let us know with a comment below or, if you prefer, through the social pages of Bad Gusto.it.