Saints Row: Biggest Changes From The Previous Games

The Saints Row series has been around since 2006, and with the 2022 reboot, there are plenty of things about this Saints Row game that differ from previous titles. Many of these things deal with gameplay, while others with the story and overall feel of the game. The idea was to capture the feel of the earlier games but with notable changes.

Here we will compare the significant differences between this title and Saints Row games two through four so fans can see just how much has changed, as well as what remains the same.

The first Saints Row game is noticeably different from the rest of the series, so it wouldn't be helpful to compare that to this reboot which is focused on re-capturing the essence of Saints Row 2 onward.

10 The Main Characters Have Been Recast

One of the main changes is that the main cast of characters has been completely altered and side characters that frequented earlier games are not mentioned or talked about. It's ironic because the Saints first get their base in this game by going into a church with the purple Saints logo already on it.

But, with that said, one character is referenced in the game, and it is one of the leading figureheads of the Third Street Saints, Johnny Gat. His name is typically alluded to on weapons, vehicles, or collectibles, making sure he remains part of the series.

9 The Saints Row Mood Is Lighter

The most prominent aspect of the new game has to be the mood, from the atmosphere to how the characters talk and even the visual comedy. The map's atmosphere in the previous titles was always very dark, with huge buildings surrounding you, and a shadow typically hanging above you.

This new vibe also includes many places' names being changed in this title to be less offensive. It goes entirely against the previous gang-centric atmosphere, with hardened criminals making offensive jokes while killing enemies.

8 Upgrades Have Been Reworked As Skills And Perks

Upgrades for Saints Row are reworked from how they originally were. In your phone, there was typically an upgrade app where you could upgrade your crew, character stats, gun-related upgrades, discounts for shops, and even lowering notoriety faster.

But in Saints Row, most of that is gone and replaced with skills and perks. You can only equip four skills simultaneously, two minor and major perks and one elite perk. Many of these skills and perks are relatively useless, except for essential abilities like being able to throw grenades. It makes your character feel the same throughout the game, relying on the same perks.

7 Activities Are Now Criminal Ventures

A big part of the Saints Row series enjoyment comes from activities scattered throughout the map. Typically in each game, there are activities like assassinating targets, destruction-based actions, driving challenges, and then fighting waves of enemies. And while they are present in this Saints Row game, they are treated very differently and are now known as criminal ventures.

These new criminal ventures, except for wanted targets, are only unlocked after buying the respective business they belong to. And upon purchasing these businesses, you'll find that many of them are simply fighting waves of enemies or going to point A and then point B in a certain amount of time.

6 Repetitive Gameplay Is More Common

While the previous Saints Row games weren't known for their stellar gameplay, they at least had various types, from waves of enemies to boss fights to quick action events and more. That's not including everything you could do with cars, aircraft, and boats in the game as well. And while Saints Row has various types of these spread throughout the game or embedded within criminal ventures, their core gameplay is repetitive.

Every mission in the game is shooting waves of enemies or riding in a car shooting waves of enemies. Bosses are included sometimes, but only until the end is there a change of pace by the game waiting for you to click a button to finish the boss, not even a quick time event.

5 The Introduction Is Far Less Interesting

Each Saints Row game begins in some fantastic over-the-top way that sets the tone for the rest of the game with how dark and comical it'll be. But in the reboot, it's almost unbelievable how vastly different its opening is from previous titles.

In Saints Row 2, you wake up after you were betrayed and left in a coma by an explosion to learn that the Saints are disbanded. Then in Saints Row 3, you're already successful, but the Syndicate takes everything away from you, so you take over his city. Lastly, we all know about the fourth game where Earth is destroyed after you become the president. So when Saints Row introduces yourself as someone who is fighting to pay off student loans, it's very underwhelming.

4 Earning Money Is Harder

Earning money in Saints Row is one of the most tedious things in the game. In previous entries, you earn money by completing activities in an area, completing missions, and doing random encounters/diversions. You can still do that here as well, but it will be a low amount of cash from completing an activity or an enemy drop.

What's completely different is how you earn money from city sections. To earn money in Saints Row, you must now have a lot of money to build something that'll make you a lot more in a few real hours. So, you're left waiting/playing for hours to get the cash necessary to make your weapons and vehicles more effective. The upgrades cost 5,000, 25,000, and then finally 100,000.

3 Homies And Crew Are Harder To Call

Your crew and homies act in a different way than the previous titles, as you were just able to call for backup whenever in a pinch. You could call any of the game's main characters or a bunch of Saints followers that would assist you for free at any time. And, you could upgrade this crew in your upgrades menu after earning enough respect and cash.

But in Saints Row, it works a little differently. You still have the option to call for help, but only from the main characters. The crew you unlock can only be called upon using the Intercession skill, unlocked at level 17. The broken part about this is that as long as you have enough flow, you can summon as many Saints as you want to back you up with no penalty.

2 Notoriety Is Gained More Randomly

Notoriety, strangely enough, in Saints Row is something that was changed in a way that doesn't make much sense. It is slower to gain notoriety in this game, but it's also effortless to accidentally gain notoriety. In previous games in the series, you did a certain amount of damage or picked a fight with the wrong people and gained notoriety through that.

However, in this game, you could be walking down the street and instantly gain three stars for being next to the wrong people. Or, you could accidentally touch another faction's vehicle and gain another instant star. But, if you run over ten civilians and destroy entire housing plots, they were just accidents.

1 Dialogue Is Sparse

Dialogue is a tricky topic because many, upon seeing it being mentioned, will think it's a complaint about what's written. However, in this game's context, the lack of what's written and being said is very different from previous games.

In every Saints Row, there is always tons of dialogue written for its main characters. While driving together, doing missions, just calling, and cutscenes, plenty of dialogue is present. However, conversation is almost put on a backburner as much discussion in activities is repeated or nothing special. During missions, they focus on gameplay rather than comedy, which is what made the original series special. The lack of dialogue is apparent for many fans and is substituted with the radio.

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