The Saints Row franchise followed the story of the 3rd Street Saints gang, and progressively became more chaotic and outlandish with each successive entry. Years after the arrival of the last Saints Row title, Deep Silver Volition released a full reboot of the franchise with the aptly and simply named Saints Row (2022). This rebooted game aims to take the series back to its roots by dialing back some of the absurdity, without losing the player-controlled chaos that made the franchise special in the first place.
The Saints Row franchise has offered players some of the most action-packed Xbox games since the series' debut, and the Saints Row reboot is a lot more of the same. Here's everything we know about Saints Row (2022) from Deep Silver Volition.
Windows Central reviews Saints Row (2022)
Ahead of the release of Saints Row (2022), Windows Central gained early access to dive into the complete experience and compile our final thoughts. Our Saints Row (2022) review explores everything you need to consider before purchasing, and concludes that "Saints Row (2022) succeeds at returning to the roots of its predecessors by paring back the outlandish absurdity without losing an ounce of chaos, but sometimes feels as if it's holding on too tightly to a past best left forgotten."
Deep Silver Volition has crafted a fun and interesting open-world sandbox packed with fun toys and gameplay, but the overall experience lacks polish and stability. Nothing about this game's story, gameplay, or general ambitions will rocket it to the top of the list of game-of-the-year contenders, but it's a genuinely fun game that isn't afraid to be a video game.
We cited the game's customization options, ludicrous sandbox gameplay, straightforward and easy-to-enjoy narrative, and amount of content as positives, while the plethora of bugs and issues, as well as aging game design in some areas, holds Saints Row (2022) back from greatness. Windows Central's Zachary Boddy concluded in their review that "Saints Row (2022) is a solid return to form for the franchise that I can happily and without much reservation recommend to fans of past entries and those looking for a less-serious open-world romp, as long as you can look past its numerous imperfections."
When was the release date for Saints Row (2022)?
The new Saints Row game released on Aug. 23, 2022, on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and PC (through the Epic Games Store). The game is currently available to purchase, with players able to choose from three editions.
The final release date for Saints Row was a near-six-month delay over the game's original launch, which was initially set for Feb. 25. The developers at Deep Silver Volition cited the effects of the ongoing pandemic on development and their desire to ensure the Saints Row reboot is in a polished state as reasons for the delay.
As of now, Saints Row (2022) is not among the best games on Xbox Game Pass and isn't included in Xbox or PC Game Pass, but this could change in the future.
Deep Silver Volition previously released a standalone version of Saints Row's in-game character creator, Boss Factory, on June 9, 2022, for players to explore ahead of the game's release. This is the full character creator for Saints Row (2022), including community sharing features, and syncs with the full game for when you play.
What editions can I buy of Saints Row (2022)?
Saints Row (2022) is now available on every platform from the Saints Row website, and directly from the Xbox Store. There are three editions.
The Standard Edition only includes the base game, and is priced at $60. The Gold Edition, which costs $90, includes the Expansion Pass and Los Panteros American Muscle Bundle Pack (with the Los Panteros Custom "Fury" Motorcycle and the "El Lanzador" Heavy Weapon Skin). The Expansion Pass will include three DLC add-ons for Saints Row (2022), each with new missions, enemies, weapons, vehicles, customization options, and more.
Finally, there's the $100 Platinum Edition, which features everything from the Gold Edition and a copy of Saints Row: The Third Remastered. This is a remaster of the third game for current-gen consoles. If you already own Saints Row: The Third Remastered, it's definitely better to go for the slightly more affordable Gold Edition. However, players who want to revisit what's often considered to be the quintessential Saints Row experience, or have yet to play it at all, would benefit from this package deal.
Preordering Saints Row did net players some in-game bonuses. Each preorder edition came with the Idols Anarchy Pack. It featured three items that help you blend in with the neon-centric Idols gang: the Idols DJ Helmet, the Twinkle Bat, and the Sandstorm Scrambler.
How can I watch the trailers for Saints Row (2022)?
Saints Row announcement trailer
Saints Row gameplay trailer
Saints Row Boss Factory release trailer
Saints Row "Welcome to Santo Ileso" trailer
Saints Row "Ultimate Customization" trailer
Saints Row story trailer
What is Saints Row?
Saints Row is a long-running video game series, with each existing entry tasking you with building up a criminal empire as a member of a gang known as the 3rd Street Saints. While each title's plot, design, and scope may differ, the general idea is the same across the franchise.
The series was initially considered as a "Grand Theft Auto clone" developed by Volition (now called Deep Silver Volition), but quickly expanded into something special, with a dedicated player base.
The first two games involve standard gang stories, with serious plot points juxtaposed by comedic moments, and the second has you bring the Saints back together after they disband. The third and fourth entries in the series progressively became more chaotic, with over-the-top gameplay and ridiculous settings. The third involves the Saints contending with a criminal conglomerate called the Syndicate, and the fourth traps them inside a simulation run by aliens and gives them superpowers. You can then work up to being the president of the United States.
The last mainline game was Saints Row 4 in 2013, with a standalone expansion, Gat out of Hell, released in 2015. The studio also worked on Agents of Mayhem, which was released in 2017. It takes place in the Saints Row universe but is unconnected to the story of the four main games. Saints Row: The Third, which is considered by many to be the best overall in the franchise, was remastered in 2020 for modern platforms.
The Saints Row franchise has gone through a lot since its initial debut in 2006, with each entry expanding the scope of the games and pushing the boundaries of absurdity. Saints Row (2022) aims to both return the series to its roots and to modernize it, without abandoning what made the franchise unique in the first place.
Is Saints Row (2022) a reboot?
Saints Row (2022) is a reboot of the franchise, and the reasons for doing so are numerous. After going to Hell, where can you go from there? According to Chief Creative Officer Jim Boone, the team almost had to start over.
"We went to Hell. There truly isn't anywhere to go past that," he said during a media event. "While we love the mechanics we came up with — all the superpowers and everything — there just isn't a lot of runway to figure out where you're going to go past that. That's why it was a pretty easy decision for us to go back to our roots."
While the four main games had an interconnected story, the new game, just titled Saints Row, features an all-new story and characters (sorry Johnny Gat fans), along with a new sandbox to explore. It also features a new direction for the team at Volition, which had previously been trying to up itself with every game. Now it has to pare back in interesting ways.
For one, gone are the superpowers and the supernatural elements. In Saints Row, you're simply focusing on building your criminal empire. We'll go into more detail about what that entails below, but what you need to know is that the Saints Row reboot is less focused on the "shock value" of its predecessor and more on the player and the sandbox. You have to use your skills to take on enemy gangs, buy up property, and build up an empire along the way.
"(We wanted to) go back to our origins and get back to that more contemporary crime angle that we love and that Saints Row is known for," Boone continued.
Many elements of previous games are still present in Saints Row, including activities like Insurance Fraud, absurdly in-depth customization across characters and everything else, chaotic gameplay and combat, and zany humor. There are also nods to the previous games in the reboot, which players will have to discover for themselves.
What is the story in Saints Row (2022)?
Volition calls the new Saints Row a "contemporary" story, aligned with many of the struggles that millennials and Gen Z are dealing with right now… at least, tangentially. You play as the Boss (as in previous games), and you and your three friends band together to build a criminal empire from the ground up. In the first trailer for the game, you call it your "startup." All four characters come from "dead-end jobs" (three come from each of the rival gangs in the city) and have things like debt from which they want to get away. Saints Row is described as a "power fantasy" for those who want to be their own boss.
The reboot takes place in the fictional city of Santo Ileso, which combines elements of many American Southwest locales like Las Vegas, Reno, New Mexico, and parts of Southern California. It features numerous playable districts that each have their own distinct feel. The map is diverse, and feels radically different to the New York-inspired cities of previous entries in the franchise.
As we mentioned, the player character is the Boss, but three other characters are a part of your main crew. First, there's Eli, a young guy with an MBA who came to Santo Ileso to start a business. He's the planner of the group. Then, there's Nina, the driver, who grew up working in a car garage and became a mechanic. Finally, there's Kevin, who's a DJ. Each of these characters has a back story that ties them with the city, which includes possibly having a history with one of the three gangs.
In Saints Row (2022), you're tasked with going up against each of them. The first is the Los Panteros, who are locals of Santo Ileso and rely on muscle and physical power. The second is Marshall Defense Industries, a private military conglomerate. Finally, there are the Idols, a cult-like collective that want to sow chaos and look good while doing so. The ultimate goal is to grow your intimate group of friends into a fully-fledged gang known simply as "The Saints," and to take over Santo Ileso gradually.
As far as the story's tone is concerned, expect plenty of drama intertwined with equal amounts of comedy and absurdity. The narrative of Saints Row (2022) is still filled with plenty of goofy humor and dumb jokes, but there's an underlying thread of humanity that pulls everything together. The characters of the Saints Row reboot feel more believable than those of previous games.
What is the gameplay in Saints Row (2022)?
The gameplay in Saints Row (2022) is similar to past Saints Row titles. While the latest game in the series does dial back some of the more chaotic elements of its predecessors, there are still plenty of ridiculous weapons to wield, vehicles to drive, mayhem to cause, and action to enjoy.
The moment-to-moment gameplay in the new Saints Row is still ridiculous, with a new spectacle at every turn. The newly redesigned physics engine launches bodies and vehicles into the sky, many elements of the world are fully destructible, and the vast array of tools and abilities at players' disposal ensures that no two playstyles are quite alike. Taunts, execution-style takedowns, and more return from previous games to inject further chaos into the gameplay.
Our Saints Row (2022) beginner's guide provides several tips and tricks to help players get started in Santo Ileso, including how to Fast Travel, how to accrue cash and other resources quickly, and more.
The biggest update in the reboot is arguably (and literally) the new map, which Volition developers purport is the biggest in the series to date. It's so big that they can't exactly measure its size.
"In terms of gameplay, I've never done a side-by-side comparison, but I'm continually amazed by how much gameplay there is. It's huge," said Design Director James Hague.
Within this giant sandbox, you have the opportunity to build up your criminal empire with an added degree of freedom. As The Saints gain power and funds, you can build Criminal Ventures across the city. Each Venture is a unique business or operation that provides passive income, unique rewards, and exclusive missions. Investing in Ventures helps you take control of more of the city.
All of this can be done solo or in untethered 2-player co-op, so you and a partner can play together or go your separate ways. Our Saints Row (2022) multiplayer guide details everything you need to know about jumping into this epic sandbox with a friend.
What are the customization options in Saints Row (2022)?
If anything has remained constant throughout the entire Saints Row franchise, it's the importance of robust character creation. The new Saints Row has the most in-depth creation and customization options yet, with a truly ridiculous number of settings for customizing your character, vehicles, weapons, The Saints gang, and more. Practically endless possibilities are available immediately after starting the game, with more options being unlocked the more you play.
Players are able to play as practically anyone (or anything) they desire, with none of the options locked to any specific gender or any other arbitrary value. Santo Ileso also features a ton of in-game brick-and-mortar stores that allow players to purchase even more cosmetics for their character and gear, including the return of fan-favorite stores like Leather & Lace.
Like previous Saints Row games, Deep Silver Volition also released the in-game character creator as a standalone experience ahead of the game's release, letting players get a jump start on building their dream characters. You can download Saints Row Boss Factory right now for free from Xbox. This is the full character creation engine for Saints Row, letting you create and fully customize your Boss before you purchase the full game. You can then save your creation to the cloud, so it's available the moment you start playing. Saints Row (2022) also marks the return of the community library, meaning you can browse creations from other Saints Row players and explore Santo Ileso as anyone.
Will there be DLC or expansions for Saints Row (2022)?
Volition hasn't revealed its post-launch plans just yet, but store listings mention an Expansion Pass. The Xbox Store listing says, "the Saints Row Expansion Pass gives access to three expansion episodes opening up new areas of Santo Ileso to explore, including new missions, enemies, and more."
This indicates that fresh content will come to Saints Row (2022) after launch, although the scope of these planned DLC expansions isn't known, yet. We also don't know whether there will be any other optional DLC or expansions beyond this Expansion Pass, or what the timeline for release is. For all of this and more, we'll likely have to wait until a while longer.
Update, Aug. 30, 2022: Updated with links to the Windows Central review and relevant guides, as well as updated information now that Saints Row (2022) is officially released.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.
- Carli VelocciGaming Lead, Copy Chief