Game Informer recently posted an almost-nine-minute-long video that showcases an early mission from the upcoming Saints Row reboot, simply called Saints Row. I’m not going to make you hunt for that video yourself; I’ve included it at the top of this article.

While watching this video, I had two initial thoughts: 1. These fledgling gangsters have no qualms regarding high body counts and killing police officers willy-nilly. 2. These enemies seem awfully bullet spongey, something that I either forgot was an element of the original or was added to this new entry in the series for some reason. Neither of these things bodes well for my enthusiasm to play Saints Row, which was admittedly pretty high upon seeing that initial announcement trailer back in August of this year.

And I’m seemingly not alone in my hesitation to get pumped for a series that I really do look back fondly on — at least for the first two games, even if those games don’t quite hold up to today’s standards. Looking at the like-to-dislike ratio of some of these recent trailers gives us a glimpse into the community’s reaction to the newest game in the Saints Row series. While the response is not abysmal like, say, that one Call Of Duty trailer from 2016, it ain’t great either. 

Just as a disclaimer, all of the numbers discussed below are current as I’m writing this article and will more than likely be different by the time you read this. I would venture to guess they won’t skew widely one way or the other, but rather increase while remaining fairly consistent in the percentages.

Saints Row

If we go back to that original August announcement trailer, the version posted to IGN’s YouTube channel is currently sitting at just over 175k views, with 7.6k likes and 6.6k dislikes. So the split between likes and dislikes isn’t that wide. If you venture over to the publisher Deep Silver’s YouTube channel, the same trailer has only 8,290 views with 271 likes and 500 dislikes.

Another video on the Deep Silver channel is the Saints Row Welcome to Santo Ileso trailer, which is at just over 33.6k views. That video only mustered 646 likes versus 767 likes. So again, the dislikes beat out the likes.

Now let’s talk about Game Informer‘s YouTube channel, since they have Saints Row for their latest cover. Of course, current build of the game isn’t perhaps the best representation of the final game, which is admittedly still several months from launching. Any footage should be taken with a modicum of salt.

Saints Row

That said, the next video of note that focuses on specific elements of the game and showcases actual gameplay is the Saints Row: Exclusive First Look At The World of Santo Ileso trailer, from October 11, 2021. This one has more than 200,000 views, with 4.8k likes and 2.9k dislikes. This is where we see the highest amount of engagement from the viewers and where we start to see a clearer divide.

This video marks the point when I personally started to wonder whether or not this new Saints Row is clicking with me as much as I hoped it would when I first saw that original announcement trailer. Although the visuals look great, and this has the attention to detail you’d expect from an open-world metropolitan environment, I think this is where I started to question the idea to set the game in the American Southwest.

I like when open worlds venture outside of New York and New York-style metropolitan settings, and at first I was really excited at the prospect of Santo Ileso utilizing the Southwest. It was giving me some really strong Breaking Bad vibes. But after spending time in Cyberpunk 2077‘s badlands outside of Night City, I am kind of already burned out on desert settings. And also with the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy Definitive Maximum Completionist Special Remastered Edition launching in the middle of November, I’m afraid I’ll get all the open-world desert action I will need from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Saints Row

So now we finally circle back to the trailer that I mentioned at the start of this article: Game Informer‘s Exclusive Look At Saints Row’s Opening Missions video. This video has more than 228,000 views, which currently is the highest view count and suggests there is a growing interest in the new Saints Row overall.

This video also has the widest like-to-dislike spread, with 6.1k likes and 3.9k dislikes, so perhaps the tides are turning and positive interest is beginning to outweigh the negative.

But for me personally, this video further cements my interest at the “wait for a sale” tier instead of the “day-one must-have” tier. This video also highlights the thing that originally turned me off of this series around Saints Row: The Third: Even though the series’ identity is simply balls-to-the-wall insanity, it seems to lack a true identity aside from “open-world crime game in which you can do crazy stuff.”

Maybe it’s just that, in my burgeoning old-man tastes, I don’t have the buds for wanton video-game destruction and shenanigans for the sheer sake of wanton video-game destruction and shenanigans. But in looking at the numbers for each of these videos, I’m getting the sense that the community is waffling over whether this game will be anyone’s jam.

Saints Row

Of course, these are just samplings of the people that bother to watch and interact with these particular Saints Row videos. The comments section could shine a more focused light on specific gripes, as well as calling out what people are most looking forward to in this new entry in a beloved series. But I’m not going to wade through that swamp. Not today.

Considering how mixed the reaction has been, I think it will be interesting to see where this one lands in the ol’ history books. Even if I am less than enthused to give it a try, I still hope that it sells well, if for no other reason than that I want the franchise to continue. I’m hoping someday there will be a Saints Row game that can rekindle that fondness I had for the original two games in the series.

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