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Saints Row (2022) represents a reboot for the series, dialling back on the iconic satirical and wacky tone – but, arguably, this feels like a backwards step. While the over-the-top action remains entertaining, the unimaginative missions are bland and the story fails to deliver laughs or an engaging plot.


  • Mindless chaotic action
  • Great selection of weapons and vehicles
  • Lots of customisation options


  • Boring story with cringeworthy jokes
  • Bland missions
  • Open-world city feels lifeless
  • Rife with technical issues


  • UKRRP: £59.99
  • USARRP: $59.99

Key Features

  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Google Stadia
  • Release date:23rd August 2022
  • Genre:Action adventure


The Saints Row series has never taken itself seriously, opting for a more laid-back and comical approach to organised crime, opposed to the grittier takes from other studios. 

The Saints Row (2022) reboot attempts to take a similar approach to its predecessors, with chaotic action so absurd that it’s borderline parody. During the campaign, you’ll experience train heists, prison breakouts and more explosions than all the Michael Bay films combined. 

And yet, I can’t help but feel that developer Volition has lost sight of what made the Saints Row series so appealing in the first place: the comedy. Yes, there are plenty of jokes here, but they mostly fall flat, lacking the satirical wit of its predecessors. 

Without the rib-tickling satirical comedy upon which its predecessors built its reputation, Saints Row (2022) ends up feeling like a mediocre imitation of the open-world games at which the series has previously poked fun. Here are my thoughts.


  • Characters are annoying and lack depth
  • Boring and erratic storytelling
  • Jokes fail to land

Volition has opted for a clean slate for the latest entry of Saints Row, positioning it as a reboot rather than a continuation of previous entries. That means you won’t be seeing any familiar faces or locations. 

Instead, Saints Row (2022) revolves around a group of four young adults, who have resorted to organised crime in order to pay rent. The main protagonist, called “The Boss”, is a chatterbox mercenary who acts and sounds like a knock-off Ryan Reynolds impersonator. 

The Boss isn’t exactly a fleshed-out character, with the only two observable personality traits being his crass love for murder and his strong bond with his friends. And while the lack of any character development or growth is forgivable for a game of this nature, his inability to make me laugh is a crime that can’t be tolerated. 

The new Saints Row (2022) game press picture

His three friends suffer similar issues. Kevin is a moronic DJ who walks around shirtless, while Eli is a stereotypical hipster nerd who plans out all the gang’s schemes. Neither contribute much to the story, while they lack the emotional depth and likability for me to become attached. Neenah is my favourite of the trio; she’s a realistic character who can actually hold a normal conversation, offering a grounded respite from the mindless action – but even she failed to make a lasting impression.  

The four main characters feel out of place in a Saints Row game, as they don’t act like any criminals you’ll find in similar games, especially due to their young age. Instead, they seem like a 60-year-old’s ill-informed interpretation on millennial culture, and it’s more cringe than comical. 

The main story focuses on the four friends forming the very first Saints gang, as they seek to challenge three other factions for territory in the city of Santo Ileso. This involves a lot of street fights, as well as acquiring criminal ventures to increase your revenue. Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a plot beyond this, with the absence of high stakes providing little need for urgency. 

Car chase in Saints Row (2022)

It seems like developer Volition realised that this is the story’s final third, since it’s added a new antagonist with questionable motives. With little build up to this point, it feels as though a completely new story has been whacked onto the end for a jarring and abrupt conclusion. 

I never expected a Saints Row game to have a blockbuster-quality story, but I was hoping it would at least make me laugh. There are a few amusing moments, such as the LARP (Live action role-playing game) missions where enemies will dramatically pretend to die when attacked. But I can’t remember ever laughing out loud during my time playing Saints Row (2022). 

It’s also a pity that Saints Row has lost its satirical wit. The previous entry, Saints Row 4, parodied the likes of Mass Effect and The Matrix to great effect, but I didn’t notice any gags of this kind in the latest entry. 


  • Great variety of weapons and vehicles
  • Missions are bland and repetitive
  • Open-world city feels lifeless

Saints Row (2022) is a third-person shooter with an abundance of weapons, ranging from pistols to rocket launchers. In addition, vehicles take only a few rounds of bullets to explode like a firework, resulting in over-the-top explosive combat that’s as entertaining as it is spectacular. 

The best missions in Saints Row allow you to cause as much mayhem as possible, whether that involves stealing a tank to disrupt a convention or using a rocket launcher to take down a helicopter. These are undoubtedly the high points of the campaign. 

Sadly, there are more low points than high. The vast majority of objectives simply require you to take out small groups of enemies, which can become really repetitive. The three different factions at least have a slight variance in enemy types, with the neon-dressed Idols gang featuring foes who can deflect bullets, while the futuristic militant Marshall group have sci-fi laser rifles that can strike from afar. 

Shooting at another car

For some bizarre reason, you’ll fail a mission the moment one of the AI-controlled characters is killed during combat. This is particularly frustrating in a game where vehicles will frequently explode, knocking down anyone in their radius. You’ll get a small window of time where you can revive your allies, but it can be difficult to notice the small notification icon when there’s so much carnage on-screen. You’ll probably have a better time in the optional co-op mode, as your friends will likely be far more dependable than the frustrating AI.

Saints Row (2022) shares the same Criminal Ventures feature as previous entries, allowing you to acquire new businesses and then complete side missions to increase your revenue. However, the quality of these missions varies enormously. Hurling yourself in front of incoming traffic as part of an insurance scam is a good laugh, but towing fragile objects across the map is significantly less entertaining, feeling more like a chore than an enjoyable side activity. 

My biggest complaint with the gameplay is that it lacks originality. I feel as if I’ve played every mission before in another game, with Saints Row doing little to improve upon a tried-and-tested formula. Everyone loves a good train heist and prison breakout, but such missions have been done to death, and there’s nothing new here to make the experience more memorable than previous games. 

Car in the desert

Also, the city of Santo Ileso feels lifeless, which is a shame for an open-world game of this scale. Outside of missions, the only interactive buildings are shops for clothes, weapons and vehicles. There’s no incentive to explore, and seemingly no random events that make the world feel alive. The city is loosely based on Las Vegas, but none of the main missions involved visiting a grandiose casino, hotel or circus show – a missed opportunity, if ever I saw one. 

One thing I did enjoy was the ability to customise your home base. By taking pictures of certain inanimate objects in the city, you’ll then be able to order them in to decorate the church you’ve claimed as your headquarters. Stealing or purchasing vehicles will also allow you to summon them in your base’s garage, providing a satisfying sense of progression as you expand your empire.  

Performance and Visuals

  • Doesn’t look like a current-gen game
  • Multiple game-breaking bugs
  • Ragdoll physics can get annoying

Like previous Saints Row games, this reboot features a cartoony art style, which is different to the more photo-realistic takes on the genre elsewhere. I think this is a good move, since it contributes towards Saints Row’s casual tone. 

However, I do think the character models look a little too basic for a new-gen game on PS5 and Xbox Series X. Volition clearly hasn’t pushed the limits of the new consoles, although that’s likely to ensure support for older platforms.

The performance issues are less forgivable, as I’ve experienced a number of glitches throughout the campaign. Enemies will sometimes spawn in an incorrect location, meaning I’ve had to venture out of the specified mission area in order to complete my objective. This wouldn’t have been so problematic if it wasn’t for the 15-second timer that will force a mission restart if you spend too much time outside the mission boundaries. 

A car in the street in Saints Row (2022)

I’ve also encountered instances where triggering a finishing move has frozen my character in place, forcing me to reset the PS5 in order to fix this issue. The enemy AI has its own issues as well; I’ve often seen rival gunmen trapped in the environment, or failing to notice me when standing beside them.

There are even simple oversights, such as having the triangle button (on PS5) mapped to so many different functions. Not only can it be used to enter a car, but also to execute an enemy – you can see how that can become troublesome during a street fight. 

The ragdoll physics can be very irritating, too, especially while driving. A small bump in the road can cause your car to go spinning up in the air. This is even worse when towing a heavy object – I once got a bank vault wedged into a bridge, which wasn’t ideal during the middle of a police chase. 

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Should you buy it?

You want mindless action If you’re not bothered about the story or comedy, and just want some mindless action to pass the time, then Saints Row is ideal. You’ll get to blow up helicopters, crush cars with mounter trucks and knock police cars into chasms.

You want the classic Saints Row humour The iconic satirical jokes of the Saints Row series have vanished, replaced by slapstick humour that’s seemingly attempting to imitate the likes of Deadpool. Personally, I didn’t find it funny, which was disappointing.

Final Thoughts

I can understand Volition wanting to reboot the Saints Row series given the original launched all the way back in 2006. But the latest entry feels like a backwards step for the developer, with this release misses out on the over-the-top satirical humour that made the series so beloved.

As a result, Saints Row now feels like a mediocre open-world action game, becoming just like all of the games at which the series used to poke fun. Mission objectives are bland and repetitive, while the story is boring and lacks cohesion. Worst of all, the slapstick jokes rarely land and are arguably more cringeworthy than they are funny.

You can still have fun if you simply want mindless chaotic action, but I’d argue you’d have a better time with the likes of CyberPunk 2077 or even Saints Row The Third Remastered.

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We play every game we review through to the end, outside of certain exceptions where getting 100% completion, like Skyrim, is close to impossible to do. When we don’t fully finish a game before reviewing it we will always alert the reader.

Played on PS5

Played over 20 hours


Where does Saints Row 2022 take place?

The new Saints Row takes place in Santo Ileso, which is a fictional city loosely based on Las Vegas.

How much storage space does Saints Row 2022 take up?

The PS5 version takes up 54GB of space, while the PS4 version takes up 61GB. The PC version takes up even less at 50GB.

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