Volition's Saints Row 4 upgrade was meant to be a make-good, but it broke the game instead

Free Epic Games — In Saints Row IV Reelected, the presidential player character leaps towards combat with a squad of alien soldiers.
(Image credit: Deep Silver Volition)

Remember this year's Saints Row? Volition would probably prefer that you didn't, which might go some way to explaining why the studio recently decided to upgrade everyone's copy of Saints Row 4 to its full-fat Re-elected Edition, containing all the game's story and cosmetic DLC and even introducing cross-play between Steam, Epic, and GOG versions of the game. 

Unfortunately, that upgrade seems to have backfired, and players now report a myriad of bugs with their new version of SR4. Both the Saints Row Steam forums and subreddit are filled with players complaining of broken saves, crashes, and mods failing to function. It's also received a few hundred negative Steam reviews since the update. If it's succeeded in washing the taste of Saints Row (2022) out of players' mouths, it's only because it tastes even worse.

Deep Silver, SR4's publisher, says it's looking into the problem, and urges anyone experiencing bugs they haven't already seen reported to get in touch with via its website. For now, a helpful Steam user has written up a guide to revert to a pre-upgrade version of the game, but be warned it's a bit of a labour-intensive process. 

It's certainly a shame. Unlike its successor, SR4 was an excellent game. Rich McCormick scored it 90% in his Saints Row 4 review all the way back in 2013 (you know, a decade ago), complimenting its "heartfelt love for the medium" of videogames, in contrast to GTA's filmic pretensions. Hopefully it'll be fixed sooner rather than later. It is, after all, the last great game Volition made.

In other Volition news, the studio recently found itself folded into Gearbox after the lacklustre response to this year's Saints Row. Volition's parent company, Embracer Group, sold the merge as a move to give the studio an "experienced management team in the US," and "create future success". Not off to a great start, but in fairness, the new management has probably barely had time to get through the door.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.