Have you ever experienced something and said “Wow, that was a lot!”? I had that experience after watching a special screening of the Saints Row Customisation Showcase. This won’t be a surprise to those who know the franchise; Saints Row is notorious for not shying away from over the top content. The original world of Saints Row gave players the ability to arm themselves with giant dildos as weapons, wear hot dog costumes as their main outfit and ride around on broomsticks. The 2022 Saints Row reboot brings things down a couple of notches from where the last mainstream title, 2013’s Saints Row IV, saw players fighting aliens with an array of different superpowers. Therefore I was interested to see what level of wacky this new Saints world will bring to customisation options such as a player’s boss’ appearance, weapons, rides and HQ, and we got a behind-closed-doors look to see how it’s coming along.
When it comes to its character maker, Saints Row has a number of customisation choices that will let you develop a character that has their own very unique vibe. The standard stuff is here such as lots of ways to customise your hair, make-up, tattoos, but hey, this is a Saint’s game, so there’s obviously going to be some Saint’s brand “bigger is better” options! For example, skin tone; you can now choose between a number of skin textures for your build such as metallic, rainbow and broken glass. You can also make your skin a multitude of colours including blue, pink, and many other shades. Want to mess around with muscle and vein definition and tone? You can do that too.
There are more options to experiment with your character’s eye style with surreal contact designs such as smiley faces, multiple pupils in one iris or no iris at all. You can also give your character feet and arm prosthetics that can be changed to a number of different colours. Your character doesn’t have to subscribe to any gender either, with the creator giving players the option to shrink and expand body parts and also choose from eight different voice options.
Probably the coolest new addition to the character builder however is the “asymmetrical face design” feature, which lets you customise each side of your face in a different way. For instance, you may want to make your character’s left eye higher than their right, or a different colour; meaning that you technically have two faces that you can customise on the one character. Also, if you’re not into customisation and just want to get into the action of the game, no stress, the game has eight different pre-set character options for you pick and play with straight away.
Of course a Saint ain’t a Saint without an awesome wardrobe at their disposal. Saints Row has brought back layers, so you can wear T-shirts, a shirt, hoodie and a jacket if that’s your Saint’s style. You can wear all sorts of different items such as hats, face masks, and can customise every element of your wardrobe, from the design on your T-Shirt to the colour and patterns on your socks.
Being a Saint has always meant that players have access to the fastest weapons and the smoothest rides and the new Saints Row has a whole bucket load of both. Every aspect of your weapon’s design and colour can be changed, with a wide array of textures and decals available to play around with. Love the idea of a rocket launcher but kind of sick of how it looks the same in every single game? How about firing rockets from a guitar case instead? Ever wanted to shoot bullets à la Batman’s Penguin? Turn your assault rifle into an umbrella! There are also potato cannons, piñata sticks, and weapons that will be story related that the devs aren’t ready to share with us just yet.
“Love the idea of a rocket launcher but kind of sick of how it looks… How about firing rockets from a guitar case instead?”
Ride-wise there are over eighty new vehicles to get you round your neighbourhood and each can be customised just how you like it in the world’s garage, Jim Rob’s. There are six different paint types with different textures and the ability to change the colour of each part of your ride, like your bumper, hood, trunk, etc. You can also change the type of hubcaps you have installed, with wooden decals being my favourite from the showcase. Vehicles range from tanks to helicopters to hoverboards and have extreme extras such as ejector seats and knee cappers installed onto your wheels. One of the most grandiose however would have to be the new “Ball and chain” feature. This lets you attach a massive metal ball to the back of your ride and swing it round to literally smash away your foes. You can even drive around in a food truck if you like and customise its appearance, such as having a hotdog truck with a giant taco on top.
The last element of the preview looked at the Saints new HQ, which is being dubbed “The Church.” When you first receive this building it will be an absolute mess, obviously symbolic of the way your Saint will make their way up the ranks of the city. At this HQ you will have an armoury where all your weapons can be stored lovingly in impressive glass cases, along with a garage where you can access all the upgrades you have purchased from Jim Rob’s. Here you can also customise your gang’s uniforms, putting them in suits, singlets, or barely any clothes at all if that’s your jam. There will also be allocated “targets” on the floor of your HQ where you can place massive sculptures, such as flame generating robots, or cartoon superhero chickens.
On the second floor of The Church lies the war map where you and your team can plan your attacks on each area of Santa Ileso. Every move you make will change the cities look and feel , with over fourteen locations to expand during your time as a Saint. There will also be a number of in game specialist shops to dive into, such as fan favourite Leather and Lace and a new shop that sells Botas picudas mexicanas.
With customisation being shown off as another piece of the puzzle, there’s no doubt that Saints Row is going to be one hell of a ride.
Saints Row will be released on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5 and on PC via the Epic Games store on the August 23rd, 2022.