Cooperative play has been a hallmark of the series since Saints Row’s humble beginnings. Running around with your friends and completing missions has helped set the series apart from its open-world counterparts in the game industry, and the feature set has only grown more robust over the years.
“We had multiplayer in Saints Row 1 and we did multiplayer in Saints Row 2 too, and that was almost like the kernel of what GTA Online became – they just knocked it out of the park with everything we had back then tried of course, “says Jim Boone, Volition’s chief creative officer.” The big idea we had was, ‘Can you imagine playing this game with a friend throughout the campaign? Every little bit of it.’ It took a tremendous effort. Those were the lessons we learned from Saints Row 1, where we thought, ‘How can we innovate and how can we expand?’ “
With Saints Row’s upcoming restart in 2022, you can join an online two-player co-op with drop-in / drop-out as you explore the city of Santo Ileso. When you join a session, each co-op player looks exactly as you have customized them with no restrictions. The co-op play is untied, which means you can explore the city independently, but when one player enters a mission, the other becomes them and joins the task at hand.
When a mission begins, progress is tracked per player. Collectibles, customizations, vehicles, and weapons all follow you back to your single player game, but Volition didn’t stop there. Any mission progress you make in the co-op session will be returned to your single player memory. For example, if you find yourself in the early missions of the game and joining a co-op partner who is deeper into the story, you don’t have to repeat missions that you finish playing in the session. “The game will remember that you played that mission late in the game, once you’ve worked your way through it naturally in your own campaign, and you don’t have to play this mission again,” says Boone.
In addition to the standard game, Volition tells us that you can play a prank on your partner. We don’t know what that means yet, but the development team is thrilled with how it works. “It’s something completely different that we’ve never done before and that players will absolutely love,” said Creative Director Brian Traficante. “When they get together, they get access to the prank system and you can let your imagination run wild with ‘What would you do to prank your co-op player?'”
We’re not sure what the prank system is, but we look forward to hearing more about Saints Row’s co-op as the game’s February 25 release date approaches. For more information on Saints Row, please visit our exclusive reporting hub under the banner below.
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