More than anything, fans love the Saints Row series for its over-the-top and outlandish antics. While, the story missions (especially in latter titles) certainly divulge into absurdity, nowhere else in the game does the chaos truly shine than in the side activities. Since the first time the Third Street Saints took to Stilwater in 2006, these activities remained a franchise staple.
Now, as we near the Aug. 23 release date for the reboot, we can prepare ourselves for even more insanity. Last week, IGN showcased an exclusive preview of some of the new activities, dubbed “Criminal Ventures”, that our all new Boss can participate in. Featuring both new and returning fan-favorite modes, the Saints Row reboot promises to deliver the level of mayhem fans expect.
However, with still a month before release, we still have time to wait until we can get our hands on the brand new game and all the wacky side content that comes with it. So, as we build up to the game’s release, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Here are the five best Saints Row side activities from the series so far!
1. Mayhem – Saints Row 2
I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that Mayhem is one of the most satisfying modes in a video game. Dating back to the very first game, this Saints Row activity doesn’t shy away from its simple premise: destroy everything. From vehicles to street poles, it’s up to you to blow up and shoot as many things and people as you can within a given time limit.
As you rack up property damage, you’ll earn more cash and respect. However, you’ll also get increased notoriety as well. Thankfully, as the cops try to stop the carnage, the unlimited ammo you get during the activity’s duration means you can blow everyone and everything away.
The addictive nature of causing chain explosions and building up combos makes it no surprise the mode became an instant classic. As a result, Mayhem featured in all four Saints Row games to this point. We can only hope it makes a return for the reboot as well.
2. Professor Genki’s Super Ethical Reality Climax – Saints Row: The Third
Saints Row is usually at its best when it’s at its weirdest. And trust me, this mode is weird. Introduced in Saints Row: The Third, this activity places you into possibly the world’s most violent game show.
Each instance of this activity drops the player into a unique arena filled with multiple rooms with a set amount of enemies and several hazards to avoid. The goal of this mode is to make your way through the trap-filled course while eliminating all the enemies within a time limit. In addition, there are five sign types you can find hanging throughout the courses to shoot. While four of the five signs provide bonuses, however, beware of the panda sign as shooting it will result in a point deduction for being unethical.
Although the gameplay alone is strong enough to warrant this activity’s inclusion, its the outlandish style that truly makes it stand out. From the anime-esque emotes that pop up on the screen periodically to the enemies themselves dressed in various mascot costumes, Professor Genki is packed with the dark humor Saints fans love. To top it all off, you’ll be greeted by the sometimes humorous, oftentimes annoying, commentary that nonetheless always adds to the activity’s charm.
3. Septic Avenger – Saints Row 2
Any self-respecting Saints Row fan could probably smell this pick making the list from a mile away. No? Okay, I’ll keep my day job. But in all seriousness, this activity from Saints Row 2 is an absolute classic. The premise is simple: spray sewage all over the city to earn cash and respect.
What’s better than spraying buildings and people with human waste from a sewage truck? Being hired by the mayor to do it. Yep, players unlock the mode following a cutscene where Mayor Hughes signs you on to devalue mega corporation Ultor’s property throughout Stilwater. What follows is a hilarious and addictive on-rails side activity that sees you maneuver a hose to, quite literally, dump on everything in sight.
It’s just a shame that Septic Avenger never returned to Saints Row since the second installment. Maybe it could come back in the reboot? I have my doubts, but it’s on the wish list either way.
4. Zombie Uprising – Saints Row 2
Another mode exclusive to the Third Street Saints’ second outing, Zombie Uprising features as a minigame you can play from the TV in your crib. While this mode probably won’t make it on to some peoples’ lists, I’ll admit that I’ve always been a sucker for zombie modes within action games. As such, battling through waves of undead makes for a nice change of pace from all the gangsta shenanigans every now and then.
The mode offers six waves of zombie attacks that progressively become more difficult. To complete Zombie Uprising, you have to survive all six rounds by killing a total of 345 zombies. In addition, you’ll have four NPC survivors that work alongside you throughout the mode. However, they tend to be rather useless and need revived quite often.
Sure, the mode may be repetitive, and yeah, the map is just the recycled asset of Old Stilwater, but Zombie Uprising holds a special place in my heart. Facing off against large zombies, flaming zombies and even exploding zombies makes for a nice challenge. And getting the powerful mini-gun to blow away hordes is very rewarding. Although the minigame only featured once, it would be awesome if we could ever get zombies back in a new Saints Row game.
5. Insurance Fraud – Saints Row
Of all the Saints Row side activities, did you really think I’d forget this classic mode? In fact, it wouldn’t even be a Saints Row game without Insurance Fraud. This staple side activity sees you jumping into oncoming traffic to make some quick cash.
While playing Insurance Fraud, you won’t have to worry about fall or impact damage, as you’ll be completely immune to any hits. However, you will need to pay attention for the time limit. Regardless, it’s easy and fun to throw yourself into vehicles, oftentimes causing them to even crash into each other and earn an ejection bonus.
What makes the mode so addictive is the hilarious ragdoll physics and chain combos you can perform that send your character flying from car to car. In addition, the more adrenaline you build up, the higher your character will fly. All in all, Insurance Fraud is just some good dumb fun. Fortunately, fans can rejoice in the fact that Insurance Fraud will return in the reboot with just as many insane ragdoll effects as ever.
Saints Row brings the chaos this August
Saints Row is developed by Volition and published by Deep Silver. It launches for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC via The Epic Games Store on Aug. 23, 2022. You can pre-order the new game here on any of the listed platforms.
You can also choose to pre-order four unique editions of the game on the platform you choose. Anyone who pre-orders either the standard digital or physical version of the game will receive the Idols Anarchy Pack. In addition, you can pre-order the Criminal Customs version which gives you a new custom convertible and custom stab jacket.
For diehard Saints Row fans, you may want the Notorious Edition. In addition to the previously mentioned bonuses, this version also comes with the Los Panteros American Muscle Bundle, the Expansion Pass, a Steelbook case and many other cool physical collectibles.
To learn more about the game, you can also click here to learn everything we know so far!
Are you excited to try out the new Saints Row side activities and Criminal Ventures? Which activities from previous games are your favorites? As always, let us know what you think in the comments!