Saints Row Reboot Takes the Series to New Levels of Weird (Preview)

Saints Row preview

When the Saints Row reboot news was announced back in September 2021, many were concerned that the series was abandoning its cartoony, over-the-top antics. From that brief first trailer, it seemed like the franchise was course-correcting back to the vibe of the first game in the series, favoring a more serious, traditional Grand Theft Auto gang warfare style story and gameplay.

Thankfully, a preview event for the upcoming newest installment in the Saints Row series proves that is not the case. In fact, it honestly looks like things will be even wilder in the reboot, as the “weird west” of Santo Ileso is set to feature a boatload of crazy customization options. 

Saints Row face and character customization

Right from the get-go, it’s made clear that there really is no limit to what can be created when it comes to Saints Rows characters, cars, and guns. Volition is showing that player choice is a huge focus. This is on full display in the character creation suite, as players are able to create just about anything. 

While there are eight starting presets and voices to choose from, what you do to them is entirely up to you. Want a cool, serious, and ripped gangster with lots of scars? Go for it! Want a deformed, monochrome elf with asymmetrically different facial features? The world is your oyster!

I personally can’t wait to create my Saints Row monster, as one of the best parts about the series is being able to make the weirdest looking character possible and seeing how they look in cutscenes. Once created, there are also an immeasurable amount of ways to dress your characters, too. 

Saints Row features everything from fine threads to full firefighter outfits, all of which you can customize at your leisure. Character customization is actually so in-depth and weird that there are even custom walk cycles, one of which lets you creep around like a cartoon villain in the most hilarious way. 

When you’re not creeping around, Saints Row also boasts a crazy amount of customizable vehicles. According to Volition Creative Director Brian Traficante, there are over 80 vehicles, each with its own unique customization options and upgrades. 

There are over 80 vehicles for players to find, collect, and customize; each of them offer a preset, which is a completed combination of choices that radically change the look of the vehicle.

There’s even a feature called Ball and Chain, where you drag a giant metal ball behind you, which is great when there are pursuit vehicles trying to stop you. As you swing it around, it’ll knock them from being a threat. 

Other items like ejector seats and nitrous injectors will also be upgrades, which will all certainly provide distinct advantages while exploring Santo Ileso. Every single one of these items looks like they’ll be perfect for causing mayhem. And that doesn’t even touch on how amazing you can make vehicles look. 

Saints Row car customization

Whether it’s a car, boat, plane, or even a hoverboard, there seem to be endless options in terms of adding crazy stuff onto your vehicle. Regular cars could be changed into food trucks, flying dutchman-like ship cars, monster trucks, and so much more. 

Considering how creative most gamers are, it’ll also be fun to see how people use all of these mechanics, designs, and features, as it’ll surely make for some hilarious videos and trends within the game’s ecosystem. No doubt the tow hook that precedes the Wrecking Ball upgrade is going to be worth its weight in gold by itself. 

Weapons will also be customizable, as players will be able to adjust material, individual part color, and textures, and add decals to their liking. Thanks to visual mods, Saints Row also makes it so that weapons can be packed into things like Guitar Cases or piñatas, adding an extra bit of wacky flair. 

Last but not least, the preview showed off a little about the headquarters. Alongside being fully customizable — letting you add crazy decor like a tree with a bird-like engine that shoots flamethrowers right in the middle of your foyer — the HQ will also serve as a mission hub for expansion.

Saints Row hq decorations

On the second floor of the HQ sits the Empire table. This war map is what you’ll use to keep track of the Saints’ expansion throughout Santo Ileso. 

From this map, you select and complete missions that’ll increase hourly and overall income while also unlocking rewards like new outfits and upgrades. In total, there are 14 different locations to expand upon, with each one allowing players to shape the city with their choices as they go. 

Whether those choices will actually give players agency has yet to be determined, though it would definitely be a nice addition. I’d love to be able to have big choices that have significant story ramifications and outcomes for once — even if it isn’t as big as curing cancer or ending world hunger.

The preview event ended with a fun tease, as the developers stated that eager fans should be on the lookout for something soon related to customizing your boss for the game. 

This likely means anyone who is interested is going to get to play around in the customization suite for creating their character. It also isn’t too far-fetched to assume this will allow you to import these character customizations straight into the game when it releases for Xbox Series X|S, PS5, Xbox One, and PS4 on Aug. 23, 2022.

For more on all the weird stuff that is coming to Saints Row this summer, be sure to check out the official customization trailer, which shows off a lot of the action and features discussed here.  

About the author

Andrew McMahon

Andrew was Twinfinite's Features Editor from 2020 through until March 2023 and wrote for the site from 2018. He has wandered around with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications sitting in his back pocket for a while now, all the while wondering what he is going to do for a career. Luckily, video games have always been there, especially as his writing career progresses.