written by Blain Newport on Saturday, 3 August 2013
I picked up a used copy of the original Saints Row. Unfortunately the first game doesn't respect the player's time like subsequent entries, so I bailed and watched all the story missions on YouTube. I now know the back story on Donny and Luz, who appeared in SR2. And I know more about Benjamin King, who will be reappearing for the first time in SR4.
People who only know SR3 might think I'm crazy to care about background characters in games that they think are "about" giant floppy purple wang bats and zooming around in VTOL jets with lasers. But the previous games did a much better job of giving the background characters just enough personality that you'd remember them, just enough to make it feel like the world didn't exist solely for the benefit of the protagonist. SR3 felt kind of empty that way.
SR4 is a game in which the protagonist begins as President of the United States, so it's likely that it will suffer the same emptiness. I guess at some level I'm hoping that by experiencing all three games I'll be able to make up for the emptiness with extra appreciation for the fan service.
The truth is it's going to be a very different game, though. Saints Row has moved on from an open world crime game to an open world super hero game, where the super hero happens to be a criminal.
That could still be awesome. But I'll miss what Saints Row used to be.