I've just discovered that Eurogamer has released an article / interview on the fan backlash against the Saints Row reboot.
This should be good. Quotes by the interviewed developers themselves:
It definitely still feels like Saints Row - even if it's not the same characters, even if it's not the same setting, even if it's not exactly the same as before - it feels like Saints Row
So in other words, it tastes like shit, it looks like shit, but trust us it's not shit? Why should I believe you over everything what I've seen so far?
I feel that every single time I go into the game, whether that's just customisation (because customisation is a huge part of it), whether that's travelling around the city, whether that's wing suiting and doing the missions, it feels like Saints Row. And I think that's at least worth checking out if you're an older player, but also for a newer player to discover that feeling for the first time.
I don't think wingsuiting was a big part of Saints Row, frankly I don't even remember it being in any of the games. I know you could fly in SR4, that was memorable. The customization I remember, but that hardly makes Saints Row unique. It's a small part of why we liked the games, it only got prominent with SR3.
We saw the trailers, it does not look or feel like saints row at all, so stop gaslighting please. Unless you are announcing that "Yeah we made a mistake with the direction, but we course corrected hard since we made the trailers" But I'm not seeing you doing that.
If you are a veteran, if you've played through one or all four of the previous games, there's going to be something for you to enjoy, [be that] the traversal mechanics, the new things we've added or a world that is more vibrant and unique than anything we've ever had in the past.
Really, the traversal? That's the best thing you can mention about the game? OMFG, this game is really doomed. That's like saying our fetch quests are the best eva!
Everything can be altered, from outfits, cars and weapons to the scars and birthmarks on your character's body. We definitely have a lot more customisation than any other game on the market right now
No, that's still not unique to your game, stop acting like you are just invented the wheel. I feel like these developers haven't really seen any other game.
But also, just the fact that in the game, we might give you the same tools, and we might give you the same ways to traverse and to move around, and you might be completing the same missions and getting the same rewards [as other Saints Row players, but] no two players are necessarily going to have the same experience.
That makes zero fucking sense, if everything is the same, how will it be different? You mean people can use different weapons than others? That's every TPS that ever existed, fool! How does that make SR unique?
With the level of customisation and the level of options and tools we give you, two different players are going to play into the game completely differently. And I think that's something that's really cool about Saints Row in particular.
So you basically confirming what I just said. It's like you really haven't even played any other game, including the previous games in this franchise! You really think that Saints Row, will be the first game that allows players to choose their loadout and weapons? You cannot be serious.
But even with the huge swathe of cosmetics included within the game itself, the Saints Row team has decided to keep the protagonist's pronouns gender neutral, with the Boss always being referred to as either "they", "them" or "you" throughout. This is something the developers say is purely for technical reasons, and not done to suggest the Boss is non-binary.
I have to press extra doubt on that one, mate. You can record two sets of VO depending on the gender of the protagonist. As I'm sure you recorded multiple sets of voiceovers for the protagonist itself. Just admit it, you wrote the protagonist as non-binary but now you are trying to play it down. Just come clean, instead of gaslighting us with this technical reasons BS.
This brought us to Saints Row's initial reveal last year, which was met with a lukewarm response, and the game's subsequent delay.
"I think there was always a part of me and maybe even some other people in the studio that always knew it was going to be a little rough at first, because the [old] Saints are not coming back... I think that was always going to be something that was kind of contentious," Lindgren acknowledged.
And the gaslighting continues. No, it's not because the old saints aren't coming back, I can't speak for others, but I was never super attached to those characters, I can't even remember the names of any of them.
It is about completely changing the tone. From actual hardcore career criminals, to soy latte frappucino sipping fratboy upstart wannabe loosers who are as obnoxious as they are unlikeable.
"You just [have to] take that approach of like, 'Okay, we know what we've got and we're going to show you what we've got. Just be patient, please'," Allen added. "Sometimes you just have to take it in your stride. And it wasn't, from my point of view, as if we had to pivot or shift or anything [following the announcement's reception]. It was, 'this is this is the path we've been going down this whole time,' and we've been very confident in that. And when people can see it in totality, I think they hopefully will agree with us."
But you already shown us what you have, and it stinks. If what you have shown so far is not representative of the game, why the fuck would you show that?
So it seems you decided to not alter course, but head straight for the iceberg at full steam. That's a bold strategy, hope it works out better for you than it did for the Titanic. And you might even survive the iceberg, and not loose all hands in the process, but wouldn't it be better to skirt around it? And maybe keep everyone on board?
And that is the gist of the article covered, the rest is filler. Well, I guess it is a win in that they didn't come out swinging outright calling fans toxic, right?
Unfortunately it didn't in any way improve my expectations for this game either.