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Saints Row Reboot Takes Customization to Impressive New Heights

Violation, the studio behind the upcoming Saints Row reboot, has been making some incredibly bold claims. Among those has been the promise of a customization suite that offers far more design complexity and accessibility than any previous game in the series.

In an incredibly confident testament to that statement, the studio has released an entire trailer dedicated only to the plethora of customization options in the world of Saints Row. Even a brief glimpse leaves a big impression. This is set to be not only the most impressive customization experience in Saints Row history, but among all AAA titles frankly ever.

Be Anyone You Can Dream Up

The Saints Row customization trailer showcases its remarkable ability for simplicity in micro-designing avatars. It’s so precise that it even allows for alteration of small details such as muscle fiber and vein definition.

While showcasing its impressive diversity of customization options, it didn’t take long for the new Saints Row, a series known for its raunchy humor, to show off its “modesty” options. These are used to alter your avatar’s chest and genital regions.

To name a few more of the endless editable features, you are also able to:

  • Attach a variety of prosthetics, such as fake arms and legs.
  • Change between unique hairstyles, and add multiple colors to your hair/eyebrows, allowing you to create exciting blends.
  • Control the gloss, color, texture, and material of your skin and teeth. If you’d like to be a vampire, a werewolf, or a vampire-werewolf, anything is achievable.
  • Create interesting scar patterns and alter muscle or vein definition to meticulously create the body of your dreams (or nightmares).
  • Create asymmetrical faces that include a variety of lipsticks and face paints.
  • Change the design of your clothes and create unique color variations in them.

How Customization is Evolving in AAA Games

In recent years, there has been a massive push among developers to create unique and player-tailored experiences. Far too often, players are left feeling like they’re left messing around with essentially the same customization tools. After all, a shallow and basic customization mechanic acts as more of a gimmick than as a meaningful addition.

The concept of designing and playing as an avatar of your creation is a prevalent one. Naturally, modern video games are making this way more accessible than ever before. When the topic of in-game customization comes up now and again, however, one title is always referenced.

Without a doubt, the most notable example of in-depth avatar creation in recent memory hails from Cyberpunk 2077. That game allowed players to edit the morphology of their avatar in multiple ways. Like the new Saints Row reboot, it even possessed its own version of “modesty options,” existing as a comical slider that would increase or decrease the size of your intimate parts as you moved it. Developer CD Projekt Red heavily marketed these customization features and even used them as a main selling point.

Despite the noise around the game, in all honesty, the customization options in Cyberpunk 2077 don’t hold a candle to what Saints Row is offering in its upcoming reboot. Not even close. I found myself frustrated with Cyberpunk for minor details, such as the fact that you can’t get a haircut in-game. For a title presenting itself as a marvel of customization, I found that to be, quite frankly, ridiculous and underwhelming. I won’t even go into the optimization nightmare that was Cyberpunk 2077. That is an entire article in itself.

What Do Higher Customization Standards Mean for Us?

A key takeaway from this trailer is that Violation is looking to set an entirely new industry benchmark. From the looks of things, it’s succeeding. In fact, it seems to be moving way out of reach from any title in any series before it, which is wildly important.

After all, as gamers start to get a taste for accessibility and freedom, they won’t be able to go back. It’s just too fun to be able to modify your characters and in-game items. Given time, other developers may be pushed to match their title’s customization to a similar standard or risk disappointing fans.

I can only imagine the wave of content and stylistic options that will arrive with a mega-title such as the upcoming Grand Theft Auto 6. Yet, I anticipate that even this highly anticipated video game giant will find itself faced with a general sense of lackluster regarding its customization. Saints Row has gone way beyond modern consumers’ expectations.

It doesn’t end there, incredibly, as Saints Row also promises to allow for the alteration of vehicles and firearms, to an extent never seen before, following the game’s trend of breaking creative boundaries.

Among these many possibilities are:

  • The option to modify and paint an impressive collection of over 80 vehicles. The system allows for customization of engines, wheels, parts, dirt, decals, and more.
  • Equipping and altering of individual gun components, including skins, engravings, holsters, and designs.
  • Editing of your multi-level criminal base of operations, with statues and other furnishings.

Some Final Thoughts

Saints Row reboot customization guns

The Saints Row reboot lets you cause chaos and explore a world of your own making, expressing your creativity as you link up with a friend in the confirmed online co-op experience. That’s right, the entire story is accessible for you and a buddy to play through together.

Interestingly enough, players will actually get to design their character before the game is even released. Unfortunately, we don’t know how just yet. Thankfully, we do at least know Volition is working on it in the meantime.

Naturally, this has sparked massive conversation across varying online forums. Players have mostly been discussing what they thought of the trailer and what they intend for their characters’ design. Ideas ranged from Elven warriors to simply being content with the ability to wear a lampshade over one’s head. And honestly, that’s the kind of freedom gamers have wanted all along.

Saints Row will hit store shelves on August 23, 2022.

Written by Andrew Smith