"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.