Volition development director Jim Boone has confirmed that the upcoming Saints Row entry is being developed and written with ‘modern’ sensibilities in mind.
Boone’s comments come after Volition released their first trailer for the upcoming Saints Row game that has been widely panned by long-time fans of the franchise for eschewing its over-the-top tone and humor.
Boone explained the game’s new tonal direction shortly after the Saints Row trailer debuted on August 25th, telling PC Gamer writer Morgan Park that though the studio loved the previous entries in the series, they “also recognize those are games of a time.”
“They made sense within that era, and we were able to do things that felt good back then,” Park continued. “But that tone is not something that we feel like we want to do today. We had a different kind of story that we wanted to tell.”
In a separate interview with Eurogamer, Boone further confirmed that the reboot would scale back the series’ ‘wackiness,’ telling the site’s deputy editor, Martin Robinson, “By the time you were done in Saints Row 4 – and spoilers here – you were the ruler of the galaxy. Where would we take it from there?”
“In Gat Out of Hell, well we went to hell – but there truly isn’t anywhere to go past there!” he continued. “Even though we loved the mechanics we came up with, the superpowers and everything, it didn’t leave us a lot of runway to figure out where we would go past that – so it was a pretty easy decision to go back to our roots with something contemporary.”
While a full list of changes made to the game’s setting has yet to be either officially released or unofficially compiled by fans, given that the game is far off from its 2022 release date, some players have already begun to notice a number of changes that have been made to the identity of the Saints Row universe.
For example, as noted by Twitter user @LivingScribe, the reboot has already been seen to change the names of two in-game establishments, as “THEY CHANGED RIM JOBS [an automobile repair shop] TO JIM ROBS AND FRECKLE B—-ES [a fast food eatery] TO FBS.”
“CURSE YOU, SAINTS ROW,” he facetiously added.
As for fans who don’t agree with the new direction, Volition has taken to antagonizing them on social media, as seen in an August 26th interaction between the game’s official account and a disappointed player.
“I know you wont listen, but if you want fans to stop complaining and giving yall s–t, maybe, just maybe, replace these clowns and give us the real saints (doesnt even have to be the old crew just real gangsters,” said Twitter user @gavinator6429 in response to the premiere of the reboot’s trailer and the subsequent backlash it received. “That would honestly clear up a lot of the hate you guys are getting.”
In reply, the Saints Row account simply tweeted a gif of a Saints Row player character dancing in front of an explosion as the words “Haters Gonna Hate” slowly appear at the top of the image.
Taken aback by the studio’s flippant indifference to his rather level-headed opinion, @Gavinator6429 asserted, “If anything I’m not a hater, I’ve been defending you guys since people called you a ‘GTA Clone’ which wasn’t true at all.”
“Now I feel like I wasted my time defending you guys,” he lamented. “As the boss once said ‘The Saints use to mean something, only mf that seem to rememba that is me and Gat.”
Doubling down on their initial response, the official Saints Row account told @Gavinator6429, “We are not backing down on this game.”
“We get it, it’s new and it’s a shock reaction to a reboot like no other,” the studio said, wholesale dismissing the feedback given to them by fans. “The gif was supposed to convey that.”
The Saints Row reboot is set to release for the PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on February 25th, 2022.
What do you make of Volition’s response to the backlash against Saints Row’s new direction? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!