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Volition Defends Saints Row's Silliness: 'Sometimes People Just Want A Release'

Jonathan Lester
Deep Silver, Saints Row IV, Volition Inc.

Volition Defends Saints Row's Silliness: 'Sometimes People Just Want A Release'

"It's Just There To Be Fun"

With Saints Row IV set to push the series even further towards the guilty pleasure end of the gaming spectrum, Volition have defended its OTT tone, suggesting that many players crave games willing to provide fun over grit.

"Clearly we're not doing that!" scoffed Saints Row gameplay designer Scott Phillips when I asked him what he thought of some recent suggestions that the franchise ought to take itself more seriously. "I disagree with the idea that 'all games need to be the same,' or 'everything needs to be serious.' There are lots of genres of movies for a reason, lots of genres of books and TV shows. People don't always want the same thing. Sometimes they just want a release."

"That's what our game is: it's just there to be fun, it's a guilty pleasure game that when you've had a bad day and want to kick the shit out of something, Saints Row is the game you play."

Phillips explained that the decision to make Saints Row IV even more outrageous was based on player feedback following the release of Saints Row: The Third. "We felt like people really enjoyed the direction," he continued later in the interview, "and felt it was a breath of fresh air. It was a game that didn't take itself as seriously as a lot of other games out there. We were focused on making it fun. Beyond that, it was nice hearing people say, 'I'm really glad that this game is fun and you've got crazy stuff going on, but we love it.' That sort of feedback was fantastic and we wanted to push forward in Saints Row IV."

Case in point, Phillips described one of his favourite activities in the upcoming sandbox. "It's kind of silly," he gushed excitedly, "but my favourite thing is to pick someone up with [telekinesis], smash them into a wall, and then grab their body and start rolling it along the street. It creates blood decals, so there's blood all over the street and you can start painting with it. It's kinda dark, but in practice it's actually hilarious. It's a simulation!"

Saints Row IV is certainly set to be a cathartic experience, offering players superpowers, giant mechs and a new virtual simulation city that removes any lingering feelings of remorse you might have when messing about with innocent bystanders. You can read our Saints Row IV Reveal Preview for more details, and stay tuned for our full interview with Scott Phillips later today.

Is Saints Row your guilty pleasure game, or did The Third take things too far in your estimation? Let us know in the comments.

Add a comment4 comments
Tsung  Mar. 22, 2013 at 16:05

Excellent, no point in making a GTA clone we have GTA for that.

SR3 was one of the better games of recent years. Multiplayer (co-op) worked a charm. More of that, more outrageous the better.

Lets hope they put a crazy Gozilla style monster in the game and we can then all play Rampage 3D :D

Late  Mar. 22, 2013 at 16:18

I can understand the argument that SR doesn't need to go the "sensible" route because there's already a game there that does the job and does it really well (i.e. GTA) but just because one game does something well doesn't mean it should have no competition - and I don't think GTA is untouchable. Sleeping Dogs proved that.

The Saints Row team proved they're eminently capable of creating a game that could be top of the genre when they made SR2. It didn't take itself seriously, but it was a fantastic open world sandbox game. I thought with SR3 they pushed it way too far, and were ridiculous for the sake of it, and we ended up with a game that was still pretty good fun but was kinda embarrassing.
I'd feel a lot happier playing SR2 while the wife and kids are in the room, than playing SR3.

And now we can paint with the blood of passers by, thanks to telekinetic powers? Great. I wanted a rival to Grand Theft Auto, and they're giving me a rival to Destroy All Humans. :|

I think they've decided to make the game stand out by trying to be outrageous and a little bit controversial whereas the game could have stood out by being an all time great.

Volition - why not try to be remembered for the quality, instead of the controversy?
You'll have more admirers, you'll get less divisive opinions and reviews, and you'll make a lot more money...

tr0r  Mar. 22, 2013 at 16:26

If they'd listened to feedback, they would have realised a good majority were against the LOLRANDUM style of SR3, and prefered the levels of humor from SR2 which blended a good overall story with silliness.

Also, where is Dex?

gmdlogan  Mar. 23, 2013 at 12:10

SR2 all day long.

That is all.

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