Volition has that in order for Saints Row: The Third to differentiate itself from other open world games, everything had to be “over the top this time around.”
Speaking with Spong, producer Greg Donovan said another thing which makes the series different from others in the same genre, the addition of activities and mechanics lacking in other games.
“Scott [Phillips] and I didn’t work on Saints Row 1 – we were on SR2 and SR3 – but I’ll give you a bit of history about it all…The whole goal for Saints Row 1 was to create an open world game on the Xbox 360, because there was nothing else out there at the time,” he explained. “We had no idea that San Andreas was going to be this urban contemporary simulator – and when we found out we thought ‘well, shit.’ We could do very little about going up against GTA at the time though, so we kept on at it.
“In Saints Row’s defence though, it did have activities like Insurance Fraud, and other mechanics that similar games didn’t. And from there it’s seen a natural evolution, I would say for Saints Row 2. We still had some serious moments with it – we had long discussions in development over whether the Ronin should have swords on their backs or not, thinking that players would care about that stuff. But they don’t.
“With Saints Row The Third, we’re doing a complete reboot of the franchise, with new technology and everything else. Everything’s just going to be over the top this time around. It works for us, it differentiates us from other open world games, we do it well, and players love it.”
Scott Phillips, the game’s senior designer, added that thanks to continual refinement of the series, Saints Row 2 “built on top of all the particular craziness and promise” that the Insurance Fraud segments had, and when rolled into SR3, became a more cohesive package.
“The story for SR1 and SR2 were semi-serious, but with The Third we got to look at the whole package and decided that we wanted it all to be cohesive,” he said. “The art, the city and the story to match that insane gameplay that players are responding to.
“So I think the game we’ve developed now is a much better refinement of the idea of ‘over the top’.”
Saints Row: The Third is out November 15 in the US and November 18 in the UK, and Saints Row 4 is already in the works in some capacity.