volition games

The Saints Row protagonist is a legitimately great character

A few years back, I wrote an article arguing that the concept of a videogame protagonist is a tricky storytelling challenge, since there’s an inherent conflict between the player’s own actions and what a writer might demand of a character. I used the now-classic example of Adam Jensen in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, who is largely an audience surrogate but will occasionally do something moronic in a cutscene and thus force the player to clean up his mess once they’ve regained control of him. This is still a problem I see a lot of games suffer with whenever they try to tell a decent story, but nobody was more surprised than me when I started playing through the Saints Row series and discovered that it might have one of the best compromises between characterisation and player agency I’ve ever seen in all my years of unhealthily obsessive gaming.

The boss of the Third Street Saints is a character with no canonically determined gender, sexuality, race or even voice. But their dialogue and general manner paints quite a vivid picture of a witty, confident and frequently psychotic individual. Their story is of a no-name street thug who rises through the ranks and ultimately seizes the presidency of the United States before having to fend off an alien invasion. But through it all they maintain a jovial, potentially amorous relationship with their lieutenants and display such enthusiasm towards violence and domination that it’s believable they’d insist on continuing to help out with the ground-level crime even once they’ve built the Saints up to the point that they command a fleet of laser-equipped VTOLs. In short, they’re a completely irredeemable bastard who still manages to be relatable because of their charisma and the fact that their behaviour lines up perfectly with how most players tend to react when dropped into a sandbox full of flamethrowers and dildo bats.

I think Saints Row as a franchise is deceptively clever in its design beneath all the manure-spraying and pop culture references, and how the protagonist is used throughout the overarching story is pretty damn unique. Most truly memorable game characters tend to be the people you meet as you steer your generic avatar around like Sheldon Cooper’s virtual presence device, whereas Saints Row is as much of a character piece about the Saints Boss as anything else. Saints Row 2 in particular managed some good tonal variety and established a level of customisation and open-ended design that ended up making me weirdly invested in the expansion of my criminal empire. Whether by intention or by accident, Volition hit some kind of magical sweet spot that gave players great freedom in how they expressed themselves while still presenting a memorable and almost worryingly relatable main character.

So am I saying that every game should embrace Saints Row’s very specific brand of protagonist? Absolutely not. But think of how many games settle for a bland, personality-free protagonist seemingly because the creators assume the audience won’t care, when giving players a character they can become attached to in their own way can help cultivate the sort of devoted following Saints Row has enjoyed. If I was feeling hyperbolic, I might even say that Saints Row is the RoboCop of videogames: an intelligent work of fiction that’s not afraid to revel in explosions and dick jokes.

And if you enjoyed this post, I have many other similarly fabulous game articles you might find pleasurable.

youtube

Agents of Mayhem Trailer !!!

So today I played Agents of Mayhem and after that a bit of Saints Row the Third and I got inspired to draw the Agents of Mayhem version of my character in SR since Pierce,Oleg and Gat had a version there as well.
So as far as Agent name(cause Im not calling her Boss XD) I went with Hellblaze.She is a strong close range character that has incindiary type weapons.A boomstick-like shotgun and grenades for long range stuff.In my headcanon she would definetly be good buds with Pierce,Gat and Oleg.And I think that she would have a special type of friendship with Daisy,considering their personalities I can see a lot of initial Hostility from the Ladies,

Gonna add this,Im happy Volition didnt add character costumization.Considering the agents are the stronghest element in the game it would suck to risk ignoring them cause we can make our own agent.

the walking dead starters ( s7ep11.)

!! SPOILER !! ALERT !! FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T WATCHED THE EPISODE YET.

  • “ please. please don’t.”
  • “ please, god, no.”
  • “ i hate this. please!”
  • “ welcome home, haircut.”
  • “ there’s more at the library. a lot more.”
  • “ you… you have a library?”
  • “ s/he escaped?”
  • “ you know where s/he is?”
  • “ no. i’d tell you if i did.”
  • “ th-this’ll be satisfactory.”
  • “ you hungry?”
  • “ i’ll get you something. what do you want?”
  • “ what do i want?”
  • “ anything? really, anything i want?”
  • “ sure, whatever.”
  • “ dude, yes, you can have anything. what do you want?”
  • “ can i have lobster?”
  • “ no, you can’t have lobster.”
  • “ what the hell do you think this is?”
  • “ do you have canned pasta and tomato sauce?”
  • “ you want orange-y or red?”
  • “ i like pickles.”
  • “ number 42 is a coding system for persons here?”
  • “ okay, i’ll be back in ten.
  • “ enjoy your new place.”
  • “ good mornin’ sunshine.”
  • “ is it just as cozy as you remember?”
  • “ you spent a long time at the wrong side of the door.”
  • “ so let’s talk about now.”
  • “ you know anything about that, ___?”
  • “ i gotta tell you, that is one hell of a coincidence.”
  • “ was it you?”
  • “ did it work the other way around? you were supposed to break him/her. did s/he break you?”
  • “ i mean, let’s face it. you’ve got some pretty legitimate grievances.”
  • “ you change your stripes on me, ___?”
  • “ you startin’ to see things different?”
  • “ after all this… before and after… hell, after everything… who are you, ___?”
  • “so, do you think you know where ___ went?”
  • “ bring him/her back. sort it out.”
  • “ stitch him/her up. fix what you can fix.”
  • “ you don’t think s/he did it?”
  • “ you think s/he did?”
  • “ you were just beaten and thrown in a cell. unfairly, if you ask me.”
  • “ i like to think that i do.”
  • “ that’s exactly the kind of person who really isn’t…. expected to be around anymore.”
  • “ just trying to help.”
  • “ barber. might be able to kill that thing on your head.”
  • “ you’re one of us now, not them.”
  • “ they eat shit, we eat good.”
  • “ must be your lucky day, ___.”
  • “ are these homemade?”
  • “ that’s some good diy stuff there.”
  • “ no – no thank you.”
  • “ you want something, you take it, ___.”
  • “ there s/he is! wo/man of the hour!”
  • “ come on over here, big fella.”
  • “ don’t be rude asshole. say hello.”
  • “ … h-h-hello.”
  • “ you got a name, asshole?”
  • “ you see this right here? you might have to get real close.”
  • “ now, under normal circumstances, i’d be showing you that real close over and over again.”
  • “ but, see, all i really want to know is if you are a smarty-pants.”
  • “ you know things?”
  • “ answer the question.”
  • “ i- i am indeed a smarty-pants.”
  • “ even though my memory is not considered eidetic, i don’t skim and i don’t scrimp.”
  • “ if knowledge is dropped, i do indeed pick it up.”
  • “ oh, you really are just some asshole.”
  • “ n-no, i’m not.”
  • “ fire, with uh… you know… fire.”
  • “ uh, huh. all right, then, dr. smarty-pants. you ought to be able to crack this without breaking a sweat.”
  • “ how do we keep them on their feet?”
  • “ you already possess the means to resolve your issue.”
  • “ god damn! if that ain’t the coolest thing i’ve ever heard in my life!”
  • “ not only is that practical, it is just bad-ass!”
  • “ look at you, dr. smarty-pants.”
  • “ oh, their loss, our gain.”
  • “ i feel like i need to give you some kind of signing bonus here.”
  • “ uh, w- well, i wa- i was gifted these pickles.”
  • “ now, i don’t think i have to worry about this, but who knows how truly smart you are?”
  • “ that is a grave no-no.”
  • “ i wouldn’t know anything about that.”
  • “ what does dr. smarty-pants say to his/her new bestest friend in the whole wide world?”
  • “ thank you. fully, completely, sincerely, seriously: thank you.”
  • “ why don’t you go have some fun?”
  • “ what the hell am i even looking at?”
  • “ maybe you should take it easy, ___?”
  • “ maybe i shouldn’t.”
  • “ uh, we could play something else. warlords? it’s four players and quite the hoot.”
  • “ whatever you want. this is your night.”
  • “ do you want a massage?”
  • “ while i appreciate the gesture, and your commitment to your assigned objective, i am fully aware that you are not here this evening of your own volition.”
  • “ video games are all about me showing you a fun time.”
  • “ would you care for more microwave popcorn?”
  • “ hey, just because this was ___’s idea doesn’t mean that i don’t want to be here.”
  • “ i’d be down with just having an intelligent conversation.”
  • “ well… i suppose a conversation would be acceptable under the current circumstance.”
  • “ what would you like to talk about?”
  • “ i could talk about that shit all night.”
  • “ in all likelihood, even if i could, it would probably escape your comprehension.”
  • “ did s/he just insult us?”
  • “ it was not a dis, it was simply a statement of fact.”
  • “ my intelligence has been objectively measured.”
  • “ so, what, are you one of those guys who can make a bomb out of bleach and a toothpick or something?”
  • “ serious as sepsis.”
  • “ so stupid.”
  • “ i’m hoping to illustrate the opposite.”
  • “ did you just make helium out of toilet stuff?”
  • “ it’s cool. we’re good.”
  • “ hey, relax. you’re one of us.”
  • “ can you please just show me some good shit?”
  • “ i’m gonna light this candle.”
  • “ no, i mean, i’m gonna light this candle.”
  • “ i was given to understand that last night’s shinny was supposed to be a singular incident.”
  • “ i need your help.”
  • “ you aren’t afforded any… mental-health services?”
  • “ that would be wildly irresponsible.”
  • “ we’ll handle that part.”
  • “ look, i know that this is crazy, and that you barely know me.”
  • “ i can tell that you are a good person. there’s not many of those left.”
  • “ truth of the matter is i’m not good. i’m not lawful, neutral or chaotic, none of the above.”
  • “ are you saying you can’t do it?”
  • “ lack of ability is not the problem here.”
  • “ you are good, ___. you have to be.”
  • “ you kidding?”
  • “ hey, the line’s a line. what, they don’t have ’em where you come from?”
  • “ you don’t know how they work?”
  • “ which means you report directly to my ass.”
  • “ i didn’t know. we just – we get so many new faces, i didn’t…”
  • “ i don’t even know what you call this. i’m gonna call it a gremblygunk.”
  • “ where is s/he?”
  • “ i killed her/him.”
  • “ s/he ran away from me right into a mess of dead ones so, i, uh… made it quick.”
  • “ it still hurts.”
  • “ feels better with a bandage.”
  • “ i wasn’t talking about that.”
  • “ oh, we’ve all done things.”
  • “ before we got here. before we understood, we were cowards about it.”
  • “ we don’t- we don’t get to have big hearts. remember that.”
  • “ wh- what is this?”
  • “ you are gonna want to pay close attention to this.”
  • “ i – i didn’t do anything.”
  • “ i found this little souvenir tucked away in your desk.”
  • “ i don- i don’t know what that is.”
  • “ you… left the door open and let my puppy out.”
  • “ that is some weaselly shit right there.”
  • “ oh, s/he ran? you know why s/he ran?! because s/he knew i would blame her/him, which i did.”
  • “ it’s not true. __, s/he’s lying about it. i would never do it.”
  • “ why? why? why would s/he do that?”
  • “ why would s/he intentionally try to hurt you?”
  • “ so, what’s s/he gonna get out of this?”
  • “ it worked before, and it worked now.”
  • “ ain’t that right, ___?”
  • “ please, please, please! oh, jesus, don’t burn me. please! no…!”
  • “ no, no, please! no! no!”
  • “ now, you know i hate this shit.”
  • “ just tell me you did it and that you’re sorry and i won’t have to do this.”
  • “ yes– yes, i did it. all of it. i’m sorry. i’m so sorry.”
  • “ please… i’m sorry. please. i’m sorry.”
  • “ that’s all you had to say.”
  • “ i trust you, ___. never should’ve doubted ya.”
  • “ i’m sorry.”
  • “ ice cold! i love it.”
  • “ are you all right?”
  • “ better than that.”
  • “ you can call next but it might be a while.”
  • “ i did. but you can’t have ‘em.”
  • “ do not insult my intelligence.”
  • “ said pills aren’t for __, said pills are for __. that’s why you wanted two.”
  • “ didn’t s/he kill your friends?”
  • “ turnabout and all that.”
  • “ you’re replaceable to him/her. i, on the other hand, am not.”
  • “ you’re a coward.”
  • “ that is a correct assessment.”
  • “ may i come in?”
  • “ so, how you liking it here?”
  • “ are we doing right by dr. smarty-pants?”
  • “ it’s all right. i get it.”
  • “ i know how hard it can be to accept change to get on the right team.”
  • “ i need you to understand something. i do not make this invitation to anyone. and i sure as shit do not make it lightly.”
  • “ hey… hey! you don’t need to be scared anymore.”
  • “ you don’t need to be scared. you just need to answer me one question. and it’s a big one.”
  • “ hey, be careful with that.”
  • “ hey, you want to get burnt by molten metal? ‘cause that’s exactly how you get burnt by molten metal.”
  • “ you on board?”
  • “ i am. just like you.”
3

Ok so today I got the chance to play Agents of Mayhem for the first time.Being a huge fan of the wackiest instalments of Volition,Saints Row the Third and Saints Row IV I very much looked forward to this spinoff installment.
So after around 4 hours of gameplay I believe I can give an initial impression.
As biast as I am I will say that it started fairly slow,I had to force myself to get into the groove of the game the first hour.However as soon as I got into the first agent unlocking mission that exposes backstory I got hooked.Main story isnt super impressive but its good enough for what I got the game for,and that is mindless shooting with awesome characters.Gameplay wise its solid,but feels slightly limited(due to the fact that having 12 characters they cut functions to make each one of them unique in their own right like say TF2 or Overwatch,something I can definetly respect).Art wise the game got me hooked from the getgo,I FUCKING LOVE IT.Perfect mix of cartoony and colorfull visuals in a saints row spinoff?Im alll for that!So all in all I cant reccomend anything but Im gonna enjoy the game for what I bought it for.
Now to my personal comment on the characters I sketched,that is my main trio tem
Kingpin or better known as Pierce Washington was my absolute favorite character of the original Saints Row series(Only next to my Boss character) so I was absolutely ecstatic to know that I would be able to play as him here
Daisy is an awesome character that simply looks and acts almost identically to my boss character from Saints Row.They are both really bulky femme fatales and both have a “Dont give a fuck” attitude so I was pretty sold on her XD.
And last but not least Yeti or better known as Uleg,not much to say I just liked him a lot in the third Saints Row XD.