As a lifelong Saints Row fan who believes the series peaked with SR2, I’ve been cautiously watching Volition’s upcoming Saints Row reboot. But that’s a can of worms best remain air-sealed for now. Despite my polarizing thoughts on each subsequent entry, one cannot deny the awesomeness that is the character creator for the Saints Row series. From being able to create an average joe to outright wild carbon-based lifeforms, you were able to make the boss of your choice like no other game. That’s why it is such a nice gesture of Volition to release Boss Factory, the signature character creator for the upcoming game.
I just love it when games release demos such as these that give the players a chance to create their characters beforehand and export them to the game once it’s out. Boss Factory is no exception. Arguably the most notable feature of the demo is uploading your characters to the cloud to appear in the final game, as well as browsing and downloading characters created by folks who are much more creative than you (yes, this is a personal jab). If you set aside this feature, then Boss Factory is similar to the character creator seen in previous games but cranked up to 11.
After having spent some quality time with the Boss Factory, I can honestly say that this thing is groovy. Of course, there are certain things that I think could be improved upon, but overall, Boss Factory rules. Much like basically every other game with a character creator, the groundwork is very similar. To start, you can either select from a small set of available presets and tweak them, or make your character from scratch. All the usual stuff such as skin type, skin color, face sliders and the jazz are present. Also present are classic Saints Row staples like a boob and penis slider, the personality selector and a few neat new additions. But as a KinoFabino fan, I’m deeply disappointed that there is no cheek slider. Like, what the hell, Volition?
Jokes aside, the new additions such as the body hair slider (you can finally make Anil Kapoor in this game), veins slider (don’t skip leg day bro), glossiness slider (um….) and a buttload of new options in already available categories make this thing a dream come true for any Saints Row fan. I’ve seen people online make all sorts of wacky stuff ranging from the obvious Shrek impersonator to Tifa to Liquid Ocelot to several…*ahem*questionable folks from outside the realm of digital goodness. Your creativity is the limit.
So after creating a onlymylordknowswhatkindofabomination, a culturally-appropriate serial killer and an even more boring-than-usual version of myself, I got to thinking, “this feels great but how can it be even better?” Well, by adding even more crazy shit, duh! For starters, as a long hair enthusiast, I’d love for there to be more long hairstyles. Hell, throw in more braids. Speaking of hairs, it’s 2022 and games still can’t get facial hair right. They all look too grainy and oily for my taste. Thankfully, it’s good that Saints Row isn’t going for a realistic art style. Not being able to equip necklaces on top of jackets is also disappointing. Not being able to equip multiple piercings is also a bummer. I have the same feeling about the variety of tattoos present in the game at this point. Also, where’s the cockney voice accent Volition? That shit was so bad it’s good. The UI is also pretty tedious to navigate, at least on the PC. The one other major gripe I have with the Boss Factory is that it’s kind of hard to make super-accurate character faces as several important elements like the ability to modify lip sizes or mouth corners separately are lacking.
But I feel like I’m nitpicking at this point. The game is said to have a shitload of more clothes and accessories and I’m already chuckling hard at some of the community creations. Saints Row has come a long way from being a “GTA Clone” and Boss Factory proves that it’s willing to take things further. I may have inner reservations about the reboot itself, but I’m willing to keep an open mind.