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Saints Row Reboots B-Movie Chaos of Hit Games but Can’t Break Free of Its Own Excess | Video Games

So when trailers for the new game were released, no one was really surprised to see diversity come to this franchise with a story of a culturally varied group of young people trying to claim power in the fictional city of Santo Ileso. And some of the best elements of “Saints Row” center the difficult existence of twentysomethings in the ‘20s, building missions around side hustles and, really, self-employment. While the concepts behind “Saints Row” are rich, the execution is another matter. This is a deeply glitchy game that is too often repetitive when it’s working too. Too much of “Saints Row” is rushed, offering deep customization when it comes to character but too little depth in terms of storytelling, mission design, and even gameplay mechanics. While it’s nice to have this rebellious franchise back in the mix, it’s going to take a sequel for it to really matter again.

Your character in “Saints Row” is entirely your own right from the beginning as the game opens with an intensely varied character customizer, allowing you to design a protagonist from scratch. After you build an anti-hero, you thrust him or her out into the world of Santo Ileso, which looks vaguely like a futuristic Las Vegas, complete with a large central area surrounded by a dangerous desert landscape. Santo Ileso is in the middle of a gang conflict between two groups—Los Panteros and The Idols—and overseen by a privately run authority known as the Marshall Defense Industries. (You will kill literally hundreds of all three groups.)

The Boss,” as your character is known, starts off working for the Marshalls, who open the game with an intense and awesome mission in which you lead the way to the apprehension of a notorious criminal named the Nahualli. Of course, The Boss isn’t one to take orders well, leading to expulsion from the Marshalls. It turns out you’re not alone in your dissatisfaction with the struggle of life in Santo Ileso, and you end up partnering with a former Pantero named Neenah, a former Idol named Kevin, and a BFF named Eli to start your own gang, The Saints, of course, with the goal of taking over the entire city.

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