One of the games that I had the most fun with at E3 was without a doubt Saints Row 4. Part sandbox, part crackdown like superpowers, the game doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks and is running wild with the gangster-superhero-president idea. Plus, dubstep cannon. It’s the kind of game that should have been a next-gen title, but there’s a reason why Saints Row 4 has remained current-gen.
Speaking to IGN, Volition’s Jim Boone explained that a combination of past experience and timing had resulted in the game remaining as a current-gen title. “We’d been working on [Saint's Row 4] for a little while and hearing the rumours about the timeline the new consoles might come out, but we didn’t know for sure,” Boone said.
The big thing for us was, we wanted to make sure we had time to do the game right. Going back in our history, we did Summoner way back in the day as a launch title for PS2 and it was hard. We were able to do it but it was brutal. There were things we had to rush as we just didn’t have time to polish.
That’s a sentiment that extended to the very first Saints Row game, which wasn’t even going to appear as an Xbox 360 title originally. “We’d learnt from our past and weren’t about to pump the game out and cut corners,” Boone said.
That’s why with Saint’s Row IV we didn’t want to do the thing we did with Summoner. Saints Row 1 was the blueprint: doing what’s right for the game rather than rushing to get something out.
Boone has a point there. Saints Row 1 was very much a rougher sandbox when it first arrived, but by the time the sequel had arrived, Volition had found their niche. Saints Row 4 though, must have been cheaper to produce, based on the graphical engine being pretty much the exact same as the one used in Saints Row 3.
And yet, despite that cost-cutting move, I’m still excited for Saints Row 4, because the gameplay most certainly has not been entirely recycled. And hell, I just want to get my hands on that dubstep cannon again.