The Saints Row character creator always ensures that I’ll spend about a third of my time just recreating my Boss. In Saints Row 4, with its superhero conceit, it was probably more like half. In the Saints Row reboot, you’ll be able to conduct your fashion crimes at any time just by bringing up the menu, and you don’t need to wait until August. You can download the tool right now.
Boss Factory is a free, standalone recreation of Saints Row’s character creator, and you can grab it on the Epic Games Store and start tinkering away. I got my hands on it a wee bit early and naturally I immediately tried to make our pal Geralt.
The body was simple. Pale, white hair, yellow eyes, big scar—you’ve got yourself Geralt. Though for the life of me I could not get his beard any lighter than a silvery-grey. For the broad stuff it’s great, for the most part, though I found it much harder to get characters where I wanted when it came to the smaller details.
While there’s a fairly substantial wardrobe, it’s presumably the stuff we’ll be using to create our Boss right at the start of the game, so it’s missing some of the variety and out-there costumes that you typically end up with in a Saints Row. And that’s why I had to make, as mag editor Robin Valentine put it, ‘Leather Daddy Geralt’. There’s no leather armour or chainmail, so a leather corset and sleeveless biker jacket had to do. There’s jewellery—no wolf pendant, though—but when I gave him a chain it removed the jacket for some reason. So his neck had to go unadorned. Sorry, Geralt.
After finishing Leather Daddy Geralt, I still had the itch. The itch to make science guy and crowbar enthusiast Gordon Freeman.
Even without his suit and crowbar, and even with me putting absolutely no effort into sculpting his face, I still see Gordon Freeman here. I might be biased.
Disco Elysium’s Kim Kitsuragi next! Yes, by this point I was just skiving work.
I’m actually quite pleased with this one, even if I wasn’t able to find the right hair or ‘tache.
Kim’s design—the real one—reminds me a lot of Gordon’s. Beyond the fact that they like orange. ZAUM and Valve came up with a pair of characters that, in the context of videogames at least, are super mundane. But they’re simultaneously iconic. Bold and boring layered on top of each other. But Kim is significantly easier to create in Saints Row, and thus is objectively better than Gordon.
OK, onto the next one. It’s 100% real cockney, Tracer!
So… I’m only realising now that it’s another orange one. Is this my subconscious telling me something? Do I need more vitamin C? Anyway! This one is probably closest to her inspiration, even without the sci-fi gizmos. They say you should go out on a high, so I ended my foray into Saints Row’s wardrobe there.
I’m looking forward to the version of Boss Factory that exists once you’ve hit the shops and unlocked some new fashion disasters, but it’s already pretty flexible. Prosthetics are a welcome addition, and the barriers that can crop up in character creators with locked-in, gender-specific options aren’t present here. There aren’t any ‘male’ or ‘female’ choices, just one list everyone shares, right down to Saints Row’s trademark chest and groin sliders.
If you’re partial to rocket launchers, you can nab yourself an exclusive one by registering for a Saints Row account via Boss Factory, which will be unlocked when Saints Row launches on August 23. And take a look at my Saints Row preview (opens in new tab) from May for a better idea of what to expect from the reboot.