Saints Row 4 debuted last week with all the subtlety one might expect from a game with dubstep guns and rocket-launching guitars, and it's eyeballing an August 20 release. That sets up a scant month-long gap between it and Grand Theft Auto 5's planned September launch , and Rockstar's titan has both years of success and a heavy fanbase to bring to bear. Speaking to Eurogamer , Volition Producer Jim Boone says the team isn't worried in the slightest and feels Saints Row is unique enough to stack up to its giant competitor.
"Obviously, when [Rockstar] announced its date and it was so close to us, that was an interesting phenomenon," Boone says. "But the thing we feel good about in general is that we're such a different game to what they are. If we were stylistically similar to the first Saints Row, I'd be horrified right now. Saints Row: The Third came out the same time as Assassin's Creed, but the games are so different in terms of what they do."
Saints Row 4 certainly departs heavily from its original predecessor (remember when you were fighting gangs?), adopting a chaotic grab-bag of wacky antics such as superpowers, alien invasions, and pedestrian-firing cat cannons. Grand Theft Auto 5 is much more narrative-focused by comparison, weaving a more serious tale of crime and redemption connected across multiple main characters.
For Boone, open world games have come along far enough for both styles to co-exist peacefully. "The genre's matured enough where you can have all these different styles and still be an open world game and be different," he states. "So I look at GTA 5 and think there's this massive game coming out, but I don't think that with our superpowers and alien invasions, no one will compare us to them."