Volition has patched Saints Row, claiming that players actually need played the game to appreciate how the game has been fixed.
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In line with the previously announced post-launch roadmap, developer Volition previously stated they would add both a free update and expansion DLC- the latter called “The Heist and The Hazardous.” Volition provided details this month on the Sunshine Springs update, launched May 9th.
The developers states via the official webpage that they are working to undo the harm caused by the game’s poor launch, as they admitted back in October. The base game was hated by both professional and independent critics alike, who found the gameplay dated, plenty of bugs and technical faults, as well as a lack of overall identity.
Voliton dismissing fan concerns prior to launch, and even mocking them in some cases, didn’t help much either.
“Alongside the launch of The Heist and The Hazardous and the opening of our brand new district, Sunshine Springs, the team have also been hard at work bringing you a huge set of quality of life improvements, new features and bug fixes,” Volition is now assuring.
“This includes an overhaul of the combat, making it feel smoother and more badass than ever before, plus new features like Selfie Mode and an emote wheel allowing you to choose up to 8 emotes for quick deployment,” they further detail. “Some missions have also been improved and we have added the options to disable or enable health bars at your leisure.”
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“Plus, we have fixed a huge number of bugs, including achievement/trophy issues, stability and challenges,” they said, adding, “So get comfortable, there’s lots here to digest!”
Before the full patch notes, Voliton summarizes and almost pleads, “TL:DR: We improved a lot of stuff – some of it you need to play to really appreciate (especially combat changes) so get back to Santo Ileso now and let us know what you think!”
This didn’t go unnoticed by outlets such as The Gamer, who went with the headline “Saints Row Devs Overhaul Everything, Ask Fans For Another Chance.”
Alongside the new and titular Sunshine Springs district, the update adds “significant” changes to combat based on feedback on how enemies could be damage sponges. As such, enemy health has been “dramatically” reduced, along with “several aim and engagement improvements,” reducing how often enemies can dodge to “near 0”, and increasing the time players have to interrupt an enemy’s reinforcements call-in.
While this sounds like the game is being made easier, other notes do suggest enemies are hardier. “Enemies will no longer wait to engage the player 1 at a time in combat,” and all Panteros have resistance to fire damage and not panic when on fire (fitting, as they use fire weapons).
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In total, the webpage lists almost 600 fixes alongside 75 other adjustments, tweaks, and quality of life improvements. “We hope you enjoy the improved Saints Row experience, Saints – our next update will be alongside Doc Ketchum’s Murder Circus in July,” Volition closes.
Besides The Gamer noting Volition’s humbled tone, it seems fans aren’t ready to forgive them just yet. The Heist & The Hazardous Launch Trailer has an almost equal ratio of likes and dislikes on YouTube — with an estimate of 1,700 likes and 1,600 dislikes as of writing.
YouTuber Vara Dark discussed the update announcement, characterizing it as Volition “begging” fans to buy the game and DLC they had sunk their development costs into.
“Saints Row devs overhaul everything and ask fans for another chance,” Vara prefaced, opining that the game’s developers aren’t really asking but begging players give them a second chance. The YouTuber also felt their actions were a sign of panic and fear. “That isn’t just asking, OK? That is pure and utter desperation!”
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“It’s just the way that these developers are acting, like they’re doing us such a big service by finally releasing this content,” Vara derides. “It has been months since the game launched — again, it launched last August — and they have released absolutely no content.”
Vara did give some credit for Volition not abandoning the game, “but at the same time, these are things that they promised players, so they’re simply doing their job.” Further voicing her lack of interest in the base game and DLC, Vara felt the base story and characters were a major factor in holding back player’s enjoyment, and that the “core” and basic structure would need to be redone.
Addressing Volition’s rather tone-deaf statement, Vara further demeans them. “Yeah, this is not a good way to market your game, by saying ‘some of you really need to play it to appreciate it!’ They do not realize how hostile they sound, well maybe they do, now that people have roasted them.”
Vara then highlights the Spring Update trailer, which also had a large number of dislikes. At this time of writing, it sits at an estimate of 1,000 likes to over 1,600 dislikes. She also highlighted comments that showed their total rejection of Saints Row and how it failed to live up to the series so badly that people purged it from their minds.
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