Modern AAA Narrative Fiction Games are Falling Drastically Short

And hey while I have you here, please listen to my podcast

This week I had the pleasure of talking to merritt k about her trip to Las Vegas to play the reboot of Saints Row on Thanks for the Knowledge. You can read her impressions of the game here, of course, but you should also listen in for some tidbits about Vegas itself and what the new direction of the franchise might imply for the future of the series.

You can also listen to the episode on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

In this episode I also took a few minutes to talk about something you didn’t ask for at all: a takedown of the current crop of narrative-heavy games appearing in AAA spaces that fall drastically short of my expectations. Life is Strange, the Horizon series, and now As Dusk Falls (which I think I called “Until Dusk Falls” like five times in the recording) have all been lauded (though not universally) for their writing and dedication to creating rich characters and blah blah blah.

I respect and love so many people who love one or all of these franchises and games, but when was the last time you celebrated a game’s writing, narrative, or characters without the caveat “compared to what’s out there” or “for a video game?” Every time I see celebrations of Aloy from Horizon on Twitter I think “really?” Every time I see comparisons between games and “prestige TV” I think “are y’all actually watching prestige TV?” Critics and fans grab onto lofty touchstones so hurriedly to describe mid-at-best storytelling it makes me wonder if critics and fans are actually taking in any art that challenges them.

I think you really have to have a well-rounded art intake philosophy to be a great artist. Same goes for being a critic! No one on earth with a diverse art intake philosophy is going to mistake As Dusk Falls for Better Call Saul. Narrative fiction artists in games are working hard to push the medium forward, no doubt, but I think our collective bar needs to be set higher in order to speed up that process.

Disagree? Think I’m a big doo doo idiot for saying Life is Strange is mid? Sound off in the comments below!

Topics covered in this week’s episode:

Transcript of my conversation with merritt k:

John: You all know that classic phrase, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Well, we’re changing the we’re we’re changing the damn thing. It’s what happens in Vegas gets written about, posted online and then get, gets talked about on a podcast. That’s right, folks. I’m talking to merritt K this week. Hi.

merritt: Hey, how you doing?

John: It’s great. How’d you like that intro? Like if you got to give it like a number one added like 1-10.

merritt: Yeah. Triple sevens, baby!

John: (laughs) Thank you. Jackpot . So you were in Las Vegas last week to play a, uh, a build of the new Saints Row reboot.

merritt: That is correct. Yeah, they, um,

John: that’s that’s wild.

merritt: Yeah, it’s sort of the first time. that in my relatively short career. Yeah. As, a games journo that, uh, anyone has flown me out somewhere to see one thing. Like I, you know, I’ve been to three, I’ve been to packs and stuff, but this was just like, Hey, we’ve got this new game. Yeah. And, uh, we wanna show it to you.

We wanna woo you-

John: “we wanna woo you”

merritt: um, with our, you know, Vegas hotel takeover and that kind of thing. Um, No, but yeah, no, I played like four hours of it.

John: How, how did you just real quick, like not to put you in an unprofessional spot.

merritt: No, no.

John: Like, you know, how did that feel to be kind of courted by a PR machine and flown out? Like how was that?

merritt: It’s weird it is a little bit weird because it’s the kind of thing that I feel like used to happen a lot before YouTube and Twitch existed. Um, you know, we have people on staff who have been around for a lot longer than I have. So people like Imran will talk about this kind of thing, just happening all the time in the two thousands and, and early 2010s.

Yeah. And then, you know, influencers start to become more of, um, More of a thing. Yeah. As social media, um, becomes the way that we use the internet in the 2010s. And, uh, you know, from a PR perspective, I don’t blame PR people for thinking, oh, you know, I, we can just like give, uh, an influencer, someone who isn’t beholden to like a team of, or like any kind of like code of ethics necessarily.

John: Oh, sure.

merritt: Um, not to say that influencers are. you know, nefarious or, or venal, but I just think from a, um, from a PR perspective, it makes more sense to say, oh, I’m gonna go. I’m gonna, you know, target influencers because they have a direct line to fans. They have kind of a trustworthiness. And, um, and also I don’t have to jump through all the hoops of, uh, dealing with an organization.

Yeah. So, uh, that stuff doesn’t really happen as much as it used to. Um, obviously huge sites still get that treatment, but, uh, this was my first time with that. And it was a little bit strange. Um, just being in this spot with all of these other journalists, from all these other sites and, uh, yeah, because I mean, you have the PR team on the one hand and then you have.

Uh, the devs, uh, and then you have sort of the publisher as well. So these, you know, three different, uh, teams of people who are all invested in, uh, in you sort of having a good time with the game. And also, I think more generally just sort of having a good time through the weekend, because that’s gonna maybe color your impressions of the product that they, they want you to like.

John: yeah. Uh, in, in that regard, how was Vegas? Cuz that was your first time visiting there.

merritt: It’s my first time in Vegas. Yeah. Yeah. Um, wow. It was, uh, I mean that city shouldn’t exist by all rights. And I’m fascinated by that because anytime people do something that is just like tower of babble level of hubris, I’m like, , this is interesting.

Uh, like some you cross the Rockies. But then didn’t wanna go to where the water was. You just stopped there and we’re like, this is where we do it. uh, this is where we build the city uh, and, um, it was, yeah, it was weird, you know, I’m from I’m east coast. I, uh, Northeast, uh, mainly, so I’m not used to the heat.

I’m not used to the dryness, I and naive to a lot of things. Um, but it was cool. Yeah. I didn’t have a lot of time to, to see the sites I did hit up the pinball hall of fame while I was there. I wrote about that. Which was an extremely cool place. And, you know, if you’re in Vegas and you’re, you’re a person who isn’t into gambling and all that stuff, uh, but you are into games.

You definitely wanna hit that place up. Uh, I did see a bit of a couple of casinos. We, uh, went out to eat at Bobby Flay’s restaurant because, uh, and that was not a PR thing that was just, uh, someone else that was there. Uh, her, uh, her dad happened to know the head chef, who also was the Vegas cake.

Oh, so, uh, actually, yeah, I’m gonna put her on blast Alyssa Mercante um, over at Games Radar. Uh, not on blast. It’s good. Um, but, uh, so because she, she got us, uh, table at, uh, at this place and that was really cool. Um, yeah, I would like to go back sometime to Vegas. Not necessarily that restaurant, although it was good, but, uh, yeah, it’s fascinating.

Yeah. It’s, it’s a wild, weird place.

John: I, I think my, every fiber of my being, when I see like a, a big flashy restaurant owned by a TV chef, I’m like, no, no, no, no, no. My experience has actually been in Vegas. Those are pretty good. Like, those are like some of the better places to eat. Um, uh, but yeah, I don’t know.

The place is so strange. Um,

merritt: Very odd. Yeah.

John: Yeah. I it’s been a while since I’ve been the last time I went, it was, uh, the week of my birthday, which is in July. So that was like just a huge mistake to like go out and just enjoy a place when it was like 112 degrees outside. So, um, but yeah, there’s like a roller coaster at the New York, New York, or like so many things that I should try.

merritt: There’s a lot of stuff inside that shouldn’t or typically aren’t inside um, yeah, there was, I walked, I was trying to find a, a bathroom at one point at like midnight or so. And, um, I walked down this hallway where the ceiling had been painted to look like the sky.

John: Oh, oh, oh yeah, yeah. Yeah. I’m very familiar with that.

merritt: So you couldn’t tell what time it was? Yes. Or Uhhuh where you were.

John: Oh, not being able to tell what time it is. That’s the Las Vegas special. Yeah. Right.

merritt: That’s what they want. Right. Cause they want you to keep gambling out. Mm-hmm , you know, people coming with free drinks and stuff. Yep. Very, very carefully calibrate.

Talk about like, you know, we talk a lot. in games about, uh, the ways that, uh, developers of live games, especially and gotcha games. Try to manipulate, you know, behavioral. Uh, stuff to try to get you to keep playing, talk about people who have that down: Vegas.

John: Vegas, baby.

merritt: They’ve they’re years ahead of us.

John: Yeah. They do everything to manipulate your senses into being like mm-hmm yeah, I guess I could just go back into that casino and do something mm-hmm huh? Um,

merritt: Yeah throw some dice, uh, a few hands of blackjack. Yeah.

John: Yeah, very weird place. All right. Let’s talk about the reasons for the season.

You played about four hours at saints row. Um, uh, first of all, I’ll, I’ll just ask, like, what’s your experience with the saints row franchise up until this point?

merritt: Yeah, so I played three, four, and the somewhat maligned Gat out of Hell. Yeah. Um, so I. Played through all of those. I never really played the first or second.

I think I just didn’t at the time, maybe just didn’t own the consoles they were on or something. And also they never didn’t really appeal to me because those games were the first one was more straightforwardly, a GT, a clone. I think, uh, the second one, they started to develop a voice and a direction for it.

I think that one is a lot of people’s like, you know, first exposure to the the series. Um, And I love three and four. Um, I thought at the time that four came out, I thought it was actually like one of the smartest mainstream Western games that had come out in a long time. Yeah. Um, just because of the ways that it skewed a lot of the design decisions that were common at that time.

So, um, like, you know, this is the early 2010s, so BioWare is. Like can, can basically do no wrong at this point until you get to massive effect three in the ending and people right. Turn on them. Um, but they, and they had that really clever thing. And four, I thought of, um, there being a romance button that you just press and then, uh, Your character and the other character, just, it just fades to black.

And you just do your thing Uhhuh. Um, which I felt was a really funny deconstruction of the whole, like build up of the romance mechanics and BioWare games. Uh, and also just, you know, uh, having super powers in four was great because, uh, it really reminded me of, um, like prototype or like the Hulk game. Um, the X, the original Xbox, I love open world city games where there is verticality.

Because I feel like what can happen so often is like, you know, cities are very dense, vertical spaces, but, uh, if you can’t go into the buildings, you’re not seeing like 90% of the real estate Uhhuh. Yep. Um, so yeah, so I, three and four are out there for me. Um, . Yeah. And, uh, and I did also play get out of hell a few years after that.

Uh, you know, maybe not as good, but they tried something different.

John: Sure. So, all right. So what, what did you play during this, uh, period? Right. So it was about four hours. Was it kind of near the beginning of the game? What, what was your experience?

merritt: Yeah, so I started right from the beginning.

Uh, there was sort of an intro part that I can’t really talk about. but, um, sure that, uh, there’s, you know, a bunch of cut scenes and then it just sort of drops you into your first day on the job. You’re you play? So you’re the boss because it’s Saints Row. Um, you’re not the same boss as the previous games because it’s a reboot.

So you are, uh, you are a character who is starting their first day as a part of Marshall defense, uh, forces, I believe, or industries. Yeah. Which is basically like a private security. Um, company love that. Yeah, no, uh, it’s a fun idea. Um, you know, there there’ve been, there’s always been this sort of like these factions Saint Row games that are like militarized police forces.

Uh, and, uh, so you, you don’t start off, you know, as a leader of a gang, you start off as, uh, kind of a grunt working. Uh, this not great job. And, um, I played through the first 10 or so missions, which basically take you up to founding to deciding, to like start your own game. Um, because the way that the game sets it up is you, your character, the boss is, uh, lives with three other roommates, uh, Nina, Kevin, and…

do not remember the last guy’s name . Um, but, uh, so basically like you all are working for, um, for different gangs. Um, but they’re all kind of giving you a raw deal. And as you, you, oh, Eli is the last guy. He wears a bow tie and his thing is that he’s not a gang guy, but he. He wants to make money. Like he’s an investor, right.

Um, Kevin is a perpetually shirtless DJ slash cook. And Nina is like, the car expert kind of gave me like a, a Kinsey vibe from the previous games. And um, so you all decide like, okay, we’re all getting a raw deal. We should go into business for ourselves. Uh, and, uh, because you, you get fired during the events of the.

the intro missions. And, um, so I saw basically up to that part, which I feel like that was kind of like the intro. Uh, and then the game probably opens up a lot more after that with right. They’re talking about these criminal enterprise systems where you can, you know, start doing the stuff like insurance fraud from the previous games.

Um, but it was fairly, uh, fairly on rails to that point. There, there are side missions and stuff that I, and I did a few of those as well. Um, But yeah, like, it seems like the first few hours of the game are just sort of dedicated to setting up this like new Saints Row world.

John: Right. Um, and it does kind of take place in a desert environment, right?

merritt: That’s right. Uh, it’s called, um, Santo Lleso . So I think that’s supposed to be, I think it’s like a Southwestern, like a fictional, uh, Southwestern city.

John: Yeah. I, I, I, I wanna say in the. Very well, like in the announcements, they said something about getting a lot of their stuff from El Paso, which is interesting.

merritt: Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense.

John: But I, I don’t know if they stuck with that or not, but yeah. It kind of looks like it.

merritt: Yeah. Yeah. So it’s, you know, a lot of, uh, a lot of desert there are, you know, there is like a, a downtown, there are yeah. Skyscrapers towers, that kind of thing. Um, fairly like varied kind of terrain, which is cool.

Yeah. One thing that did stand out to me, unfortunately, was that it, uh, it feels dated the open world. Just it’s it’s cliche at this point, but, you know, breath of the wild really did change a lot, a lot. I feel like about the, about open world design philosophy and games. It feels like. Uh, a Saints Row game from 10 years ago.

Mm. Um, again, you’re in a city primarily. So, um, a lot of the, the real estate of that environment is locked off to you because, you know, it’s hard to kind of make an open world where, uh, you have buildings that have fully flushed out interiors and people in them and, and things to do in them. So most of the buildings, like in older open world city based games, You know, just blocked off terrain.

And what that means is you do a lot of driving kind of just back and forth to get missions. Which is something that I had totally forgotten about that kind of thing, because. again, it’s like, I hate going back to breath of wild constantly, but yeah, that’s a game where it didn’t feel like you were doing a lot of busy work running back and forth.

John: It was always getting interrupted by something like you know, your own curiosity or, um, you could choose to basically cut out a lot of that stuff if you wanted to with fast travel. Um, yeah, there, there’s not a lot of wasted space in that game at all.

merritt: Right, right. Yeah. So, I mean, yeah.

Um, whereas, you know, in, in saints row, um, you know, you’ll start a mission and it’ll be like, all right, go to this place where you have to steal this car where you have to meet this person. And it’s like, yeah. Okay. So I have to drive across the city. and you can unlock fast travel points, I think. But, um, I didn’t, you know, do any of those because I think you have to do kind of side missions to get them right.

But it was just like, Okay, so I’m just driving. And the, the problem is like, there are games where getting places is enjoyable. And to bring up a, you know, breath of wild, obviously that goes without saying, but you know, a game, like even a game, like monster hunter rise. Mm. Which isn’t open world, but does have these fairly big maps that lets you unlock fast trouble points.

But it also like. Is kind of just fun to like use the wire bug to run up walls, to get on your dog, and ride around, um, things like that. Whereas in this it’s like, okay, so I find a car and I drive through the streets until I finally get there. And on the way there, like nothing much is happening.

Um, the people are kind of wandering around saying the same lines over and over. Um, you can like run into a cop and if they’re going somewhere. Or they just ignore you. Um, so it’s, there’s not a lot of like emergent events happening.

John: Okay. Yeah, that’s it feels like kind of a, um, like lifted whole cloth from how these games exactly played.

Like you said, like 10 years ago or more. Um, I mean, that’s a problem that GTA five didn’t really solve. That’s a problem that. Um, Red Dead Redemption 2, like for all of its touted kind of mission design, it still was kind of like once you start a mission, you’re on kind of these rails to do it. Mm-hmm um, and there’s nothing really super interesting or emergent that happens in between those things.

Um, you know, to Rockstar’s credit a lot of the peripheral stuff that like, doesn’t start as a quote, unquote mission is fairly interesting. Like you can stumble onto interesting stuff, but I don’t know if that’s ever been Saint Row’s forte. I don’t know.

merritt: Yeah, not terribly. I mean, for me, Saints Row mainly has been about the characters and kind of the over the top-

John: like big bold mission design too…

merritt: Exactly. Yeah. And there is some of that I will say, like there. You know, in the first four hours, like the most memorable mission for me is this one where you are. So when you’re still working for Marshall, you’re supposed to tail this convoy, that’s heading into the desert. Okay. And, um, you can do a kind of a cool thing in this one where you can, uh, you know, if you’re riding shotgun, you can climb out onto the roof of the car.

Oh, okay. And that lights you basically pull out larger weapons that you couldn’t otherwise sort of fit through the window. Oh, that’s it does make you more vulnerable though. Yeah. So there’s a bit of a trade off. Um, and that was cool because like, you know, you’re driving down this like kind of desert valley.

You’re leaping from car to car. You’re getting further up. The problem is that so much of the really exciting stuff is automated. Um, it’s like you, you know, the car pulls up close enough to the next car and you just press a, and then it plays a canned animation of you jumping over. Okay. Um, so there’s a lot of like early 2010s Western game design philosophy here of like a lot of quick time events.

Um, lot of cool set pieces that you’re not actually really doing much during which maybe, I don’t know, like, I guess I haven’t played like a ton of these kinds of games in the last few years. Like, I don’t know if that is still a thing. Um, but coming off games like Elden Ring and the Dark Souls series, it’s so much harder for me to stomach that stuff now.

Cuz it’s like, I, I could just be watching a movie yeah. Um, and uh, the other thing is too, is like they, you know, they did this reboot, um, and I can see why they did that because

John: they went very big in four. Like how do you-

merritt: they blew up the Earth, they went into space and they went into the matrix.

Um, they got a, a time machine. Uh, it just got really, really silly. And then, you know, Gat Out of Hell. You’ve got Johnny got like, literally in hell. Um, fighting Satan. So like, yeah. Okay. I can see, they wanna pull it back a little. They want, they want it to be a little more fast and furious. A little less

John: it’s it’s like, yeah. It’s like, where do you go after super Mario galaxy? Uh, well, I guess he’s got a fucking hat and he is back down on earth. All right, cool. Yeah,

merritt: (laughs) yeah, yeah. Um, so I understand why they did that. Yeah. Um, the problem is I feel like they, to me right now, it. it’s like, okay. It would be maybe okay. If the design was dated, if it still had a lot of that, like trademark saints row flavor to it?

John: If it had that charm yeah. Yeah. That’s stuff that everybody is like, everybody was really attached to the characters, especially from three, I feel like, and-

merritt: there are great characters. Yeah. I mean, like. Yeah, like Shawn um, I mean, Keith David. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Great. Uh, just like, yeah, it was, it was a lot of fun. Uh, the characters in this one, like, obviously I didn’t have that much time with the game.

It was like a few hours. Yeah. I didn’t like really care about them that much after that. Um, maybe they, they improve and they get more interesting, but like one of the, the problems I feel like with the tone is they’ve gone for this sort of… (sighs)

weirdly, socially conscious kind of angle that I feel like doesn’t really fit the series at all. Um, and it makes sense as a motivation for the characters. Like you wanna see them go from being scrappy to running an empire. Right? Like I get that, but like just the constant, like clips of like, oh, I gotta pay my student loans.

Oh, are we gonna make rent? Oh, you don’t have health insurance. We can’t go to the hospital. And it’s like, yeah. Okay. Those would fit in like a more serious kind of narrative. Like if it’s exploring that stuff then. Sure. Yeah. I guess um, but it’s not, it’s still kind of wacky and it’s like, okay, this just is kind of a downer and kind of like boring um, like I, I want these characters to be immoral sociopaths. Like I don’t want them to, you know, be like, oh, oh, I gotta make my student loan payments. Um-

John: well, especially it’s like, like in the moment they’d be like, ah, I gotta make my student loan payments. And then in, in, in the gameplay world, you can choose to pull out a bazooka and just like blow up a restaurant or whatever.

It’s like, Like, I, it, it is kind of a weird fit of like, wow, like the world sure. Is messed up anyway. I’m gonna drive my car through a stadium. Like yeah. You know, like I don’t, I don’t know. It doesn’t really work to me. Yeah.

merritt: It’s yeah. It’s an odd juxtaposition. Yeah. Um, and again, like, I, I like volition, like I’m willing to-

I will probably still try to play this. Yeah. Um, You know, depending on what August, September looks like in terms of releases , but it’s, it’s just like, I, I feel like, yeah, there’s a lot of odd choices, um, that went into this and, um, there, there is some cool stuff I will say, like in terms of gameplay, there is some, some new or newish stuff that I, I like, um, there’s.

Um, so like in the previous games, like you sort of get abilities as you level up, and usually you have to like spend money to, to do that. Um, the first ability you unlock is like a grenade ability, but instead of just throwing a grenade, you, uh, grab the nearest enemy, you throw a grenade down their pants, and then you sort of. hurl them out, a crowd of enemies, uh, and they all explode. Okay. So, okay. Sure, sure, sure. That’s sort of that saints row flavor. Yeah. Um, they’ve tried to make the vehicles more interesting because I, I do think one of the criticisms of four was that being able to, you know, run super fast and jump and stuff, made cars, basically superfluous.

Yeah. Um, and they’re trying to, you know, bring that back into the picture. So when you’re driving there is you can, um, Hit a button and the, the control stick to do like a quick jolt to the left or right. As like a side swipe move. That, um, makes it a lot easier to sort of throw off other cars.

Yeah. Uh, rather than trying to just use the steering controls to do that. Yeah. Yeah. Um, the driving itself, like, I don’t know that it’s gonna blow anyone away. Um sure. There’s you know, as far as I can tell there’s no multiple camera angles or anything, you’re basically locked into the chase view. Um, but you know, after having played like Forza and, uh, and some of the other big racing games that have come up this year, obviously it’s not like mainly a racing game.

There’s a lot of other stuff going on, but like, they are trying to make, bring the cars back in. And I’m not sure that they feel like amazing. Yeah. Right now. Yeah. They feel fine. Yeah. But yeah.

John: Well, cool. Um, I mean, you played a bit with the creation suite before this, I believe also, or also, or did you not do that?

merritt: I actually didn’t touch the boss factory before going here. Or for going to the event. Um, but yeah, that tool, they did make that tool public and it to a public. And, um, I, you know, tried to go through it fairly quickly just because I knew that it had already been released.

Yeah, sure. So I just made a green guy who kind of looked like Shrek . I think the developers liked that because they were hanging out behind me, sort of, uh, watching me, make sure I do weird little emotes, uh, kind of creeping through the desert with no shirt on. Um, so yeah, the character creation tools are cool.

Uh, you can do stuff like you can create an asymmetrical face, which I’m sure Monster factory that’s crew is gonna have a good time with yeah. Um, you can, uh, Do, uh, prosthetics now, which is something that, oh, that’s cool. I think I saw for the first time in Forza, a I’m sure other games have done before that, but yeah.

Uh, last year I think that was the first time I’d seen that done. And, um, there’s a lot of different options. There, there are some things that I feel like they removed. Like, it doesn’t seem like there is like accessories and like, I don’t know if you can layer stuff in the same way that you could in previous games, like with clothing and things like that.

But yeah, I mean, as character creators go, it’s, it’s pretty cool. It has a lot of flexibility. Yeah. And, uh, people have already made some really whack stuff with it. So um, so that’s cool. Um, and there is, you know, there is like online co-op, which was fun in, in previous Saints Row games, just doing stuff like, you know, one person getting on a motorcycle and the other person, um, riding in the back and just driving the city.

Uh, it’s not. Massively, uh, multiplayer. Um, I did talk to the EP briefly, uh, on that trip. And, uh, he said that they had discussed it, uh, early on in development, but just, you know, I think that the technical challenges and the fact that this was a reboot, I guess they wanted to focus more on establishing the world and stuff.

Yep. Um, but yeah, I mean, I think. that those comparisons are going to be, uh, invited unfortunately with GTA online. Of course, course that game has become, you know, like you, you brought up GTA five before. I’m like, yeah, that game didn’t really reinvent the wheel. And I mean, you know, a lot of people still loved it because people loved GTA.

Yeah. But I think online has really just like changed the entire game when it comes to. If you have an open world that isn’t that exciting on its own, but then you add other people into the mix. , there’s going to be wild stuff that happens. So I’ll be really interested to see if this game gets any kind of mods that, that sort of open up some of those possibilities.

John: Because at this point, I think it’s like, I don’t know if it’s like a very strong expectation, but like, I feel like it, it, it, you, you have a big open world modern game. Um, I, I do feel like the GTA online. Crowd’s probably going well. Okay. Why would I come? Why would I flock over here? Um, exactly.

Unless I can do this, so I don’t know. It would be interesting to see.

merritt: Yeah, for sure.

John: Um, anything else? Any, any other takeaways from the weekend that you were, uh, either excited or kind of bummed by ?

merritt: Um, yeah, I mean, I think there is some wackier stuff that I didn’t get to. Because they did send me a bunch of screenshots and one of them does have a hover bike in it.

And there is a, there are side missions where you have a wingsuit where you’re like dropping outta a helicopter and sort of gliding around. So. Uh, so there is kind of that element of like, I, you can unlock these towers that let you sort of launch yourself into the air and glide around.

So that’s sort of maybe a breath of the wild inspired type thing. Um, so again, like, I it’s, obviously it’s a preview. I played four hours of what is probably like a 30 hour game. I, I don’t wanna like. Say it’s it’s, you know, it looks terrible or whatever. Um, I think I was a little bit disappointed just based on the direction that it seemed to be headed in.

Yeah. But I, you know, I wanna give it a chance. Um, and. I, I don’t know. Maybe we will learn more in the, uh, the next few weeks leading up to you launch.

John: Yeah, well, we will, uh, yeah, we’ll definitely keep an eye on it. It’s one of those games that like, uh, one of, one of those franchises that some people just really, really, really love.

I definitely, um, did not love three and four that much, but I enjoyed jumping in with Niki recently and doing RKOs on people. Um, just random wrestling moves and things like that. I think if this is. A a real reboot and kind of a reset to that saints row, two kind of vibe, then I’ll definitely be interested in what comes after that.

You know what I mean?

merritt: Right. Yeah.

John: Um, but, uh, but yeah, no, I I’m, I’m still intrigued by it. They’ve there’s, they’ve still got some of the best instincts they think in terms of character creation. Um, on the market and I think that’s like that’s compelling enough to at least get me to, to run around a bit in the desert.

Um, well, yeah. Okay, merritt, thank you so much for, uh, for chatting with me and,

merritt: Yeah, anytime.

John: We’ll have to all go to Vegas, we should all plan that. I think that’d be fun.

merritt: (laughs) Yes, maybe not in July.

NOT in July.