Volition is ramping up the hype train ahead of the Saints Row reboot release date with the announcement of the Boss Factory character creation mode. Here players can build their very own Saints Row Boss in preparation for the game’s release. I recently had the opportunity to check out the customisation options and build my very own Boss ahead of time and I must say, Saints Row has one of the most inclusive character creators that I have ever seen.
I recently attended a hands-off preview for the Saints Row reboot, and it didn’t really fill me with much hope. From my perspective, the Saints Row reboot seems to lack the charisma of its predecessors. One thing that did stand out though was the depth of customisation and I’m delighted to see that’s been afforded to players in this nifty tool.
While some of the customisation options are locked – presumably until launch day – Boss Factory did still give me creative freedom over my character, including giving them neon red skin and shark teeth.
But what captured my attention the most was just how inclusive Volition has made this character creator. Boss Factory allows people of all genders, sizes, and sexualities to make a character that they are not only completely comfortable with but that represents how they would like to be seen by the world – and that’s something not many games can really claim to do with their character creators.
Boss Factory does not denote between male or female, instead giving you the option to create your character from seven or eight presets that all come in different shapes or sizes. These presets all have different levels of masculine and feminine-presenting appearances, but you can change that in an instant with varying sliders and dials to best configure a character that represents you.
Another big tick on the inclusivity front is the ability to dress your Boss any way you see fit. Do you want the physique of a bodybuilder with the dress sense of a ballroom dancer? Anything is possible in Boss Factory. No matter what your character presents as you will have access to the entire customisation library to utilise and build from. It’s not just clothing either, you can make use of the many different hairstyles and equip whichever makes you feel the most /you/. Volition has made sure that there are hairstyles that cater to everyone’s backgrounds and ethnicities too – something other games have come under fire for in recent years.
But that’s not the only thing Volition has taken into consideration when building this character creator – it’s looking at other forms of representation too. Saints Row has options to allow you to equip prosthetic arms and legs, following on from the same inclusion in Forza Horizon 5 and Cyberpunk 2077 last year.
The best bit of this diverse character creator, though, are the voice options. Currently, there are eight available and because there are no specific sexes in Saints Row, you’re not locked in to picking from just four. Instead, you can pick the tone – regardless of whether it sounds masculine or feminine – that suits you and your character.
I love the focus on inclusivity and the way that Volition has carefully considered representation in its game. Even if the wider concerns I raised following the Saints Row preview come true, at least this reboot will be remembered for Boss Factory and being one of the earliest adopters of having a fluid, expansive, non-gender-specific character creator – something more games should look to include in the future.