In these recent days, it was announced that Saints Row will be getting its expansion. Gat Out of Hell, is what they call it. What I find it mildly amusing is the fact that Saints Row IV started as an expansion for Saints Row the Third, and then grew into a full-fledged game. The announcement trailer is everything you expect it to be when you think of Saints Row franchise these days, but I have my doubts.
Lets get done with the most obvious first. I hated the colour scheme in the fourth game, and going as Gat to Hell in order to save the protagonist of the first four games is not helping this at all. The game appears as red and dark as it was in the fourth instalment. Now, I understand we cannot really judge the game still in development by its announcement trailer, but on the other hand, it is not like they have much poetic freedom with their interpretation of hell. There will be flames, and there will be darkness. In that regard there is not much that can change.
I am also quite amused because the protagonist caught the attention of the Devil himself. I am proud because if you played the game, you know you were the protagonist who did all that crazy stuff. And some of it was quite wicked when you think of it. We can safely say that the announcement trailer caught my attention. But what worries me, and this is hard to admit, is that they will once more go out of control. For me, the third game was at its release, the Holy Grail of videogames. It was funny, entertaining, it did not take itself seriously, and it honoured all great works of inspiration. Saints Row the Third revelled in being the parody of gaming, the joker of videogames.
As someone who first came to the franchise with the third game, the fourth was already a bit too much for me. It lost its original charm. In the third instalment you were simply an armed to your teeth maniac who never cared for anyone but himself and his crew. In the fourth game though, you were more akin to a superhero. You ran faster than a speeding bullet, were more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. The guns you carried became unnecessary, the gunplay was not fun, and the world became much smaller, and felt as if it was of cardboard.
My hope for the franchise is that once the Saints manage to wreck the very hell into pieces, they will actually go and explore the universe. I want to see how the gang tries to find a way to actually restore Earth, not just travel back in time. I want to see the Saints at their best, wrecking Universe to pieces while trying to bring back the Earth. Because who else but the Third Street Saints would sacrifice an entire galaxy to get back what they lost.
We all know morality was never their strong suit. They killed before, and they will continue to kill as long as they live. Considering their next game is taking place in hell, one could say they will continue to kill even in death. I want to see the Saints fighting against the various gangs of the galaxy. On the other hand, having the Saints kicking Hitler in the nuts because of time travel seems pretty fun idea. And just along the lines of silly that we all come to know, love, and expect from the franchise.
I do not want Saints Row to be as realistic as some other open world games such as GTA5 and Sleeping Dogs, but I do not want it to be a false Superhero simulator either. I want Saints Row to be what the third game was. Unapologetic, crazy, without constraints, and full of silly humour. I want Saints Row to be exciting and fun again, not just bleak in all the shades of red and black.