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Gaming

Saints Row 2022 Hands-On: Back and better than ever?

Slowly returning to form after a long absence from the scene

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Saints Row, as a video game franchise, was a hit for a lot of people during its peak. Volition Studios sought to create an action-packed open world experience, fully customizable and accessible to everyone. However, it put itself in that situation of just being a clone of another franchise with a similar premise — Grand Theft Auto. In order to be unique, everything about the games became over-the-top, especially the storylines and, later on, gameplay mechanics.

Unfortunately, this “over-the-top” approach didn’t sit well in the game’s last mainline release, Saints Row IV. In a rather bizarre twist, that game went a bit too crazy with the gameplay mechanics that an entire plot of taking over cities from rival gangs played second fiddle. No wonder this franchise hasn’t seen another game since Saints Row IV’s release in 2015.

Now, the franchise is back, totally rebooting the entire series in its return with Saints Row (2022). I don’t know why they decided to keep the name as is and not add anything to differentiate it, but maybe the idea was that it would sell itself. This time, the developers returned to their roots and are veering away from any wacky antics, supposedly.

Action-packed right out of the gate

After getting through a short opening sequence, Saints Row throws you into the meniacal and action-packed gameplay. Basically, you play as a character simply referred to as “The Boss,” working as an average member of society under Marshall Defense Industries. During this segment, you will get a grasp of some of the basic gameplay mechanics such as movement and combat — pretty standard stuff.

Shortly after that mission, you’re off to explore the land of Santo Ileso in the southwest regions of America. Of course, you don’t get full access to everything the overworld has to offer since it is your first day. However, at the very least, you’ll also get a good feel of the game’s improved driving mechanics. Honestly, they feel a bit closer to real-life driving, except for this one mechanic that lets you immediately go 90 degrees at each turn.

For the most part, everything feels nice to control and no wacky gimmicks get in the way. I honestly enjoyed clicking heads in the earlier parts of the game as part of Marshall without relying on aim assist too much. Plus, nothing seems too over-the-top when it comes to combat and driving mechanics; gameplay flows smoothly this time around and it takes a fair amount of time to get used to everything. Although, I think the game’s target locking system needs a bit of work, especially when you’re on a controller.

Brimming with customization

The thing that made Saints Row stand out against that other game is the plethora of customization options you have at your disposal. The 2022 reboot clearly did not lack in such, and actually gave you more options this time around. From the very beginning, you get to design your character however you want. From the clothes to the body features, the games offers a wide variety of options to help you get creative.

Saints Row

Now, the customization doesn’t stop there as you will also have access to custom designs for your vehicles and weapons, as well. Think of it like you’re giving your own personal spin on the things you will most likely use throughout the game. From increased power to unique perks, these massively support the kind of explosive action this franchise brings. I’ll definitely explore all the other upgrades you can mess around with later on in the story.

A story from the ground up this time

Unlike every other Saints Row game, before the 2022 reboot goes for the “started from the bottom” approach with its storyline. Previous games had already placed you under the wing or radar of the 3rd Street Saints, an already established yet smaller gang in the grand perspective of gang warfare. This time around, you and three of your in-game friends will build a new gang to takeover Santo Ileso — you know, the whole “make a name for yourself” type of thing.

I quite like this approach to the story, especially for a franchise rebooting a game that needed some changes. Honestly, this whole idea of starting your own gang adds a bit more depth to everything you’ll set out to do within the game. Also, as with every Saints Row game, the developers are not afraid to make it a bit more personal. I’m not going to spoil too much of what happens to your character during the story, but let’s just say you’ll find your purpose later on.

Of course, with this kind of storytelling, I do have this expectation of it leading to something fruitful in the end. Early in the game, it shows you a glimpse of what life as “The Boss” would shape up to be, with the Saints as the top dog. However, getting to that point will be all on you, and I’d like to see how the game complements your journey.

Should you give it a chance?

The Saints Row 2022 reboot is a promising return for a franchise absolving itself of its wackier past. From the first couple of hours that I played, it gives me hope that the franchise had learned from its mistakes while maintaining its identity. Sure, you still have slightly improved gameplay and movement and all. This time around, the callback to a more refined, serious yet fun storyline interests me.

Saints Row

If you’re a fan of the earlier games in the franchise, this feels like a must try for the nostalgia in the gameplay. For anybody who swore off this franchise after Saints Row IV, this game could honestly bring you back if you give it a chance. So far, I’m enjoying the reboot and I’m genuinely optimistic about how this game will play out.

I’m just hoping there won’t be any surprise crazy gimmicks that I have to deal with.

Gaming

Doraemon farming game demo now up

Pre-order bonuses released

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Doraemon Story of Seasons

The free demo for Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom is now available across all platforms.

The upcoming Bandai Namco title which is the latest in the Story of Seasons series is slated for a November 2, 2022 release on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5 and Steam.

Details of the bonus content available for players of the demo have also been released. This will be a start-up set which will help players in their tasks in Illuma once the game releases officially. It includes:

  • Soft Wood x 20
  • Normal Wood x 20
  • Hard Wood x 20
  • Stone x 20

Friends of the Great Kingdom

In the latest chapter of the Story of Seasons series, players get an upgraded feel of the game’s world wherein natural light, wind, and environmental sound effects have been added.

In addition to the quests found in the previous games such as raising crops and caring for animals, Doraemon-themed activities using the character’s famed secret gadgets – such as Farm Restaurant and Gro-Quick Powder – have been made available to enjoy.

There will also be an inspiring new story for the title. For those who will pre-order the Digital Version and Deluxe Editions of the game, bonuses are in store.

 

The Digital-Exclusive Pre-Order bonuses include:

Doraemon Story of Seasons

  • Summer Wear set
  • Home Furniture set
  • Sweet Seeds set

The Deluxe Edition includes:

  • Main game
  • Season Pass (Costume and Furniture Sets 1, 2, and 3)
  • Season Pass purchase bonus (Premium Crops Seeds set)
  • Digital Soundtrack
  • Seasonal Vegetables Seeds set
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Gaming

Cyberpunk 2077 is already getting a sequel

Codenamed Orion

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Without a doubt, Cyberpunk 2077 faced one of the world’s most controversial launches for a video game. Though CD Projekt Red released several updates to fix the game’s reputation, the developer is already moving on to bigger projects. In a new tweet, CD Projekt Red has already confirmed development for Cyberpunk 2077’s sequel.

Earlier today, CD Projekt Red announced that the next Cyberpunk 2077 game will have the codename Orion. Unfortunately, the announcement doesn’t reveal much else about the upcoming project, except that it will “take the Cyberpunk franchise further and continue harnessing the potential of this dark future universe.”

Following a smattering of bugs and glitches on launch, Cyberpunk 2077 further progressed through its redemption story through patches and an upcoming DLC. However, that’s as far as the story goes. With the sequel’s development underway, it’s hard to imagine much more coming for the first game. Unlike No Man’s Sky (which suffered a similarly controversial launch), Cyberpunk 2077 is calling it early.

Besides the cyberpunk title, the developer also announced more updates for the future of the Witcher universe. The next major entry in the series is codenamed Polaris and will precede two more entries to create a new trilogy. Outside of the main series, the franchise is also getting Canis Majoris (a spin-off from the main series and developed by an external studio) and Sirius (a multiplayer game with a single-player campaign).

Finally, CD Projekt Red also teased a new franchise called Hadar. Unlike Cyberpunk or Witcher, Hadar will be an original setting, marking the developer’s first following the success of the preceding two franchises based on past properties.

SEE ALSO: Cyberpunk 2077 soars to 1M daily players after Edgerunners

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Gaming

Horizon Zero Dawn is likely getting a remaster

For the PlayStation 5

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How many remasters is too much? With newer hardware coming out, several developers have decided to update their old games to function more smoothly and gorgeously on modern consoles. However, there’s still an unresolved issue on where the industry should draw the line. Pending a resolution to that conundrum, here’s another remaster: Horizon Zero Dawn is likely getting a remastered edition.

According to sources in VGC and MP1ST, Sony is planning a PlayStation 5 remaster for Horizon Zero Dawn, the first game in the franchise. The upcoming edition will likely bring updated graphics and a few technical tweaks to the 2017 title.

For a while now, Sony has found a new obsession in remastering and remaking its old titles for the new console. The company has already released similar editions for the Spider-Man duology, for example. Besides remasters, PC ports are also making their way to Steam, creating a new market for Sony’s former exclusives.

Of course, one can argue whether Horizon Zero Dawn truly needs a remastered edition. For a 2017 title, the game still looks gorgeous even on newer hardware. Though there are graphical differences between the first title and its sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, Horizon Zero Dawn is still a beautiful game.

That said, the remastered edition is still likely coming, albeit at an unknown time. Also, the same source speculates that the franchise is getting a new multiplayer game sometime in the future. With the franchise’s success over the years, Sony is unsurprisingly going all-in on more Horizon titles, including a confirmed VR-exclusive game for the upcoming PSVR 2.

SEE ALSO: Sony confirms ‘Horizon’ and ‘God of War’ shows are coming

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