Saints Row Character Creator Review: A Post-Monster Factory Debut

The Saints Row Boss Factory is another classy and (and potentially creepy) character creator from a series known for customization.

Saints Row is the fifth (or 5.5th, if you count Gat Out of Hell, or 5.75th, if you count Agents of Mayhem) game in a string of open-world criminal goofball simulators. It releases later this year and will be the series’ first entry in a post-Monster Factory world — where making horrible, adorable, weird little guys is not only fun but a gateway to instant memes and free advertising. It makes sense, then, that publisher Deep Silver has put out the Saints Row character creator for free as a sort of diet demo for the upcoming game.

The name of this new character creator? It’s literally called the “Boss Factory.” They know exactly what they’re doing. And, as of this year’s Summer Game Fest 2022, you can download it for yourself right now.

Editor’s Note: Some of the following images include nudity and/or mosaic censored nudity options available in the character creator. Alongside some very odd teeth patterns.

Granted, there have been character creators almost as long as there have been games, but as time moves forward and demands for better representation make their way into the things we play, our standards for what those creators must do and contain has changed dramatically. The “Boss Factory” largely follows in the footsteps of other games’ previous, unnamed character creators.

Those have, historically, been pretty inclusive already. Yet the Saints Row: The Third “Sex Appeal” slider (which changed the size of your character’s breasts or penis depending on what you had selected) has been removed in favor of individual chest size and groin size options.

You can also select whether or not nipples are visible, alongside multiple “modesty” icons that will censor your genitals. (I guess Volition didn’t want to go through whatever hoops CD Projekt Red did to get the whole dick and balls on-screen.) Clothing isn’t gender-locked; neither are animations, voices, and emotes.

Then there’s a whole color spectrum’s worth of skin tone options and new to this game are a variety of vitiligo patterns. (Note: The only other time I’ve seen a character creator with vitiligo options was 2019’s Fuser, which is a great game that people still talk about, even today!) You can select specific hues and saturations when creating skin tones and there are even multiple skin “material” options — including some metals.

I really made the most out of that feature. As you can probably tell in the screenshots throughout this review…

It’s small, but one thing I appreciate about a lot of the broad strokes physical modifiers in Saints Row is that they lack words or descriptions. There are more pictorial representations for body shape, height, and skin tone.

saints row character creator teeth

The split between visual and textual descriptions ultimately makes jokes like the “Oops, All Molars!” option in the teeth section hit just a little bit harder. It isn’t a joke that targets any one type of person or group of people – it’s just funny to think about and then see a guy whose mouth is literally filled with 32 molars.

The character creator in Saints Row (2022) isn’t entirely groundbreaking. However, that’s only because the series’ character creator has always been surprisingly progressive for games that superficially appear to focus on potty humor. It’s still a high bar set over most character creators made elsewhere in the games industry (the folks who produced Babylon’s Fall should take notes). It allows you to create a character that looks like a meme-ready monster, sure, but also ones that just look like a wide variety of people — goofy or otherwise.

There are multiple textured hair options and — incredibly — they actually have physics! Braids whip around like they would in real life and the afro bounces around like it should. If these sound like small and/or details, I implore you to pick out a random game with custom characters. Odds are damn good you won’t find anything similar.

This means, besides characters like my lovable freaks, you can just make a wide variety of normal and cool people. Just like Fanbyte news writer Kenneth Shepard. He created this pretty damn good approximation of himself in game after just a few minutes messing around with the Boss Factory. I can confirm this looks like Kenneth because I have also seen Kenneth in real life, which looks a lot like this.

saints row character creator kenneth shepard
Toe to tip, that’s a Kenneth.

When the full game releases in August of this year, I will probably make a non-horrific boss. One with a normal head and non-metallic skin. In the meantime, though? While the folks at Volition and Deep Silver have let me get my hands on these tools?

This is my new playground.

I will create sin.

This Summer Game Fest coverage is part of Fanbyte’s Hot Game Summer coverage, where we’re bringing you recaps and commentary on this summer’s game presentations like Xbox’s showcase, the PC Gaming Show, and (obviously) the all-encompassing Summer Game Fest hosted by Geoff Keighley. If you’re interested in seeing all of Fanbyte’s coverage, check out our Hot Game Summer 2022 hub!