Here's everything we know about the Saints Row reboot

The Saints are taking control of Santo Ileso, and the player chooses the path they take.

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 is releasing a full reboot of the franchise with the aptly and simply named Saints Row. 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, but it remains to be seen if the Saints Row reboot will be able to do the same. Here’s everything we know about Saints Row from Deep Silver Volition.

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Release date


What is Saints Row?
Reboot info
Character creation

Return of a legend

Saints Row (Preorder)

$60 at Xbox (Xbox, Standard Edition)
From $60 at Epic Games Store (PC)

Become The Saints

The legendary Saints Row franchise is returning in 2022 with a brand-new entry from Deep Silver Volition. A reboot that aims to take the series back to its roots, Saints Row still has no shortage of content and customization options for players to explore. Saints Row is available to preorder now.

When is the release date for Saints Row?

The new Saints Row game is slated for release 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 preorder, with all three available editions releasing at the same time. Deep Silver also intends to release a standalone version of Saints Row’s in-game character creator for players to explore ahead of release, although exact details are not known yet.

The new release date for Saints Row is 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.

There’s no word yet on whether Saints Row will join some of the best games on Xbox Game Pass, but we’ll keep you updated if we hear more.

Preordering Saints Row

The Saints Row reboot is currently available to preorder on every platform from the Saints Row website, and directly from the Xbox Store.

Preordering Saints Row does net players some in-game bonuses. The Standard Edition, which costs $60, comes with the base game and the Idols Anarchy Pack. It features three items that help you blend in with the neon-centric Idols gang: the Idols DJ Helmet, the Twinkle Bat, and the Sandstorm Scrambler.

The second option is the Gold Edition, which costs $90, and features a lot of extras. You get the base game and the Idols Anarchy Pack, but also access to the Expansion Pass, the Los Panteros American Muscle Bundle Pack (with the Los Panteros Custom ‘Fury’ Motorcycle and the ‘El Lanzador’ Heavy Weapon Skin), and the Saints Criminal Customs pack. The Criminal Custom pack has two bonus items: the Saints Custom Convertible and the Saints Custom Stab Jacket.

Finally, there’s the $100 Platinum Edition, which features everything from the Gold Edition but also a copy of Saints Row The Third Remastered. This is a remaster of the third game for current-gen consoles.

How can I watch the trailers for Saints Row?

Saints Row announcement trailer

Saints Row The Game Awards gameplay trailer

Saints Row “Welcome to Santo Ileso” trailer

Saints Row “Districts of Santo Ileso” trailer

Saints Row “Criminal Ventures” trailer

Saints Row customization showcase

Saints Row “Ultimate Customization” trailer

What is Saints Row?

Saints Row is a long-running video game series, with each current entry tasking you with building up a criminal empire as a member of a gang known as the 3rd Street Saints. While the plots, design, and scope of each title may differ, the general idea is the same across the entire franchise.

The series initially started as a Grand Theft Auto clone developed by Volition (now called Deep Silver Volition). 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.

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.

Is Saints Row a reboot?

The upcoming Saints Row game 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 we love the mechanics we came up with… there just isn’t a lot of runway to figure out where you’re going to go past that.

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 (as far as we know). In Saints Row, you’re back to just building up your criminal empire. We’ll go into more detail about what that entails below, but what you need to know is that you can’t rely on the more bombastic elements of the Saints Row franchise. You have to use your skill to take on enemy gangs, buy up property, and literally 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.

Volition didn’t completely forget its roots. A lot of elements from previous games are present here. We’ll learn more about everything that has come over, but for now, we know of two important inclusions. For one, insurance fraud will be present. This is a fan-favorite activity from the series that has you doing as much damage to yourself as possible, earning you money. The second is character customization. In previous games, character customization became a huge endeavor with a wide variety of options, and that’ll be returning in the Saints Row reboot.

Boone also noted that there will be nods to the previous games in the reboot, but didn’t expand on what those might be.

What is the story in Saints Row?

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 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.” The Volition developers said that 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 from trailers, looks like a combination of Las Vegas, Reno, and other parts of Southern California. It features nine playable districts that each have their own distinct feel. For example, one looks like the Vegas Strip, but others look more suburban while even more look like mostly desert.

As we mentioned, the player character is the Boss, but three other characters will be 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 maybe having a history with one of the three gangs.

You’ll be 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 group of people who just want to be famous. 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.

What is the gameplay in Saints Row?

Volition hasn’t shown off a ton of gameplay in the new Saints Row game, but it appears to be, at least on the surface, very similar to past Saints Row titles. While the latest Saints Row game does claim to dial back the chaos and return to the series’ roots, there are still plenty of ridiculous weapons to wield, mayhem to cause, and action to enjoy.

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’ll have the opportunity to build up your criminal empire with a degree of freedom. According to the developers, you gain control of property in Santo Ileso, and each one unlocks criminal options. The early footage showed how you could use a food truck to smuggle drugs, a medical clinic to invest in sketchy practices, or a garage to deal in stolen vehicles. The developers also mentioned opening a toxic waste dump in the middle of a financial district. You can build your empire however you please, and going down certain paths will unlock new play options.

All of this can be done solo or in untethered two-player co-op, so you and a partner can play together or go your separate ways. Developers said that the game has a storyline that you can play alone, but there’s an open world that you can explore with a partner.

Is there charactor creation in Saints Row?

If anything has remained constant throughout the entire Saints Row franchise, it’s the importance of robust character creation. The new Saints Row promises to have the most in-depth character creator yet, with a truly ridiculous number of options for customizing your character, vehicles, weapons, The Saints gang, and more. Practically endless possibilities will be available immediately after starting the game, with more options being unlocked the more you play.

You can read the post linked above for a full breakdown of everything we know about Saints Row’s character customization. Players will be 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 will also feature a ton of in-game brick-and-mortar stores that allow players to purchase even more cosmetics for their character and gear.

Like previous Saints Row games, Deep Silver Volition intends to release 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. The Saints Row reboot should also see a return of the community creations feature, which will let players upload their custom characters for other players to browse and use to their heart’s content. More information on all of this should be revealed once we’re closer to release.

Is there DLC for Saints Row?

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.” It’s unclear if this means that we’ll see new areas beyond the promised nine areas of the city, or if they’ll be new to the game.

It’s likely we won’t learn more about the Saints Row Expansion Pass and future DLC releases until after the game’s initial launch.

Return of a legend

Saints Row (Preorder)

$60 at Xbox (Xbox, Standard Edition)
$90 at Xbox (Xbox, Gold Edition)
$100 at Xbox (Xbox, Platinum Edition)
From $60 at Epic Games Store (PC)

Become The Saints

The legendary Saints Row franchise is returning in 2022 with a brand-new entry from Deep Silver Volition. A reboot that aims to take the series back to its roots, Saints Row still has no shortage of content and customization options for players to explore. Saints Row is available to preorder now.

Update, May 4, 2022: Updated with new information on the release date and character creation, new trailers and images, and more.

Here's everything we know about the Saints Row reboot