A new behind-the-scenes developer diary for Volition Studios' Saints Row 4 explains why the Saints street gang is fighting aliens.
The Saints Row games had always been more over-the-top than their open-world competitors, and senior producer Jim Boone says one of the first ideas for Saints Row 4 was that the player would now get superpowers. The problem that the developers soon realized was if the player had superpowers but was fighting the same rival gang members as in previous installments, it would be very difficult to balance.
"We really can't just have regular gangs, even if they're wearing Mexican wrestler masks," says weapon designer John Brunkhart, "we've got to go even further. So we've got the aliens." The addition of the alien Zin empire in Saints Row 4 gave the developers a contextual excuse to go even more over-the-top with weapons like the black hole gun or a laser cannon.
One weapon in particular that stood out was the "Rectifier" anal probe. According to lead weapon artist David Payne, one of the lead animators had the idea of putting a tongue inside the weapon that became visible when it was opened. When the weapon was designed, created and animated, the result "grossed [him] out so bad that he requested we remove the weapon from the game," says Payne. "We left it in."
Saints Row 4 launches on Aug. 20 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC.