Saints Row got its start as a somewhat inspired GTA clone, though its only real edge was that it hit current gen systems a couple years before Rockstar’s series. But as GTA got closer to reality, Saints Row became more unhinged, to the point that Saints Row The Third technically starred a group of ganstas, but really it could morph into whatever it needed to be. Pro wrestling, giant mechs, Mars invading, and cyborg pimps all had their place in that world, and Saints Row IV keeps the crazy going. At this point, a pack of hoods like the Saints are just holding the series back from becoming the most absurd franchise of all.
Without the Troy Baker-voiced lead, Saints Rows’ world could support basically any type of gameplay you could dream up, no matter where it went. At this point, any minor continuity from the previous games only holds the franchise back from going to dadaist extremes. The next game could go hurtling from German expressionism straight into a verbatim re-enactment of a scene Bad Boys 2, all to the tune of Stan Bush’s The Touch, and we wouldn’t bat an eye. As sad as it might be to some fans, ditching the Saints would set the series free.