Last year’s Saints Row received a rough reception, leading developers Volition to become part of Gearbox and to pledge that they were “supporting Saints Row for the long-term.”
That pledge bears fruit on May 9th with the release of the Sunshine Springs update, which includes a new district, a combat overhaul, and many quality-of-life improvements.
The new district, for which this update is named, is a “sprawling resort area” and Saints Row’s first map expansion. It includes new activities and stores to explore and can be found in the south-east of Santo Ileso.
A new, free area to explore is nice, but it’s the combat changes that sound the most impactful. “We heard a lot of feedback about the amount of damage needed to down enemies, and we agreed,” said the patch notes. “Combatant health has been dramatically reduced. This change, combined with several aim and engagement improvements, increases the pace of combat and reduces the ammo starvation.”
The full list of tweaks is lengthy and includes fundamental changes such as enemies no longer waiting to attack the player one at a time, revisions to animations and sound designed to make weapons feel more impactful, and removing damage immunity from enemies when they dodge.
Alice B ultimately had fun in her Saints Row review, while finding that the game lacked a strong identity and didn’t make a lasting impression. That’s a far harder thing to fix in a patch, though.