(Pocket-lint) - Saints Row is returning to its roots in the first all-new chapter from Volition in eight years. Ditching much of the craziness that crept into the franchise from Saints Row III and on, the developer is effectively rebooting the series and, as such, this is no Saints Row V.
Instead, it adopts the original name - just "Saints Row" - and the more down-to-earth nature of the 2006 original and its first sequel. Of course, there's humour and some over-the-top combat, but it features a completely new cast of characters and fresh location.
We've had a private briefing with Volition on the new Saints Row, so here's everything you need to know about the forthcoming open-world reboot.
Saints Row release date and formats
The new Saints Row will be released on both last and current-gen consoles: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4 and Xbox One. It will also be available on the Epic Games Store for PC.
It will release on 25 February 2022.
Saints Row (2022) plot and characters
The new Saints Row may have a few Easter Eggs in it for fans (we've been told), but it tells an all-new story with an all-new line-up of characters.
Set in Santo Ileso - a fictional south western American city - it is the first to feature both urban and sparse, suburban districts. This makes for a much larger, more varied sandbox, with Vegas-style zones, the desert and plenty of other themed backdrops.
You play as a fully customisable character known simply as the "Boss", who must create a new criminal organisation (The Saints) with three-likeminded but very individual allies: Neenah, Kevin and Eli.
These each have their own traits and abilities, and generally know the inside stories of the different factions of Santo Ileso: Los Panteros, The Idols, and Marshall.
Each of those are also radically different in fashion and combat styles. Marshall, for example, is a defense organisation so it's followers are heavily armed with the latest weaponry. While The Idols are influencers and very much tech-centric.
One major part of the original Saints Row that returns is a simulation-style aspect to growing the business. In the case of the latest game, this means earning cash and buying up business plots, which you can set to be whatever type of criminal venture you fancy. Want to turn a wastedump into a takeaway drugs frachise? Of course you can.
That's one of the reboot's most exciting features (for us). As well as a mission and story based campaign, the game allows you to cutomise and built your enterprise as you like.
Saints Row features
There are several big features coming with Saints Row. Here are our highlights so far. We'll also update this list as more features are announced.
The entire campaign can be played in co-op, with a drop-in/drop-out system so a friend can join you online for any mission (or all of them). You can even play pranks on your mate along the way.
Much of the action in Saints Row is vehicle-based - with Volition citing Baby Driver and Hobbes & Shaw as a couple of influences on the sort of crazy, but still grounded stuff you can get up to. One thing we learned is that the car itself is a weapon this time around, rather than just rely on you firing a gun out of the window. The game has been tweaked to make that seamless.
You will also be able to take to the skies, with helicopters, planes and wingsuits available alongside cars and bikes.
As we've detailed above, you get to fully customise your own "Boss" character, including the choice of voice, clothing, and more. Volition claims that it will offer the "most extensive character customisation suite ever seen in the series".
In addition, you can build your drimila empire as you like, placing dodgy endeavours in areas you buy or take over.
Saints Row 2022 trailers
You can watch the first trailer for the game at the top of this page (the one released during Gamescom 2021). Volition has also released a video explaining the new setting: Santo Ileso.
Saints Row screens
Here are the official Saints Row screengrabs released so far.