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  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Many were scratching their heads wondering just who this game was meant to appeal to. Saints Row (ie the core audience) fans generally hated it, as it's a Spin-Off that took the series even more off the rails than it was before and is barely recognizable as a game in the series despite ostensibly being one. That, and much of the edgy content was watered down by going Lighter and Softer / Tamer and Chaster, which did not appeal to fans either who generally like that the series worked hard to get the M-rating. It was also meant to appeal to Overwatch fans as a bright and colorful Hero Shooter, but it's single-player only, failing that Overwatch is successful for its multiplayer. Also, the gameplay itself is highly derivative of other games, lacking any of the signature Saints Row style that makes the series feel like a Not So Cheap Imitation, meaning the very thing that would have to be good just fell short. All in all, it was a very unappealing package for the general public, and sure enough, the game bombed so hard they didn't release the sales figures, and over 30 Volition employees were laid off just a month after release. It has (barely) avoided being a Creator Killer or a Franchise Killer, as THQ Nordic acquired parent company Koch Media six months after release, and stated Volition is working on a new, proper Saints Row, though the damage here is so great some fear how detrimental it will be in the long run.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Volition has taken measures to address several of the complaints leveled at previous games:
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    • For the first time since Saints Row 2 both mission and cutscene replay features have returned, with mission replay available after the story mode is complete.
    • Seoul is much more visually stunning and diverse compared to Steelport, which received several complaints for being bland and lifeless. While most fans still prefer Stilwater almost everyone agrees that the more traversable and interesting map is a step in the right direction.
    • The return of several major Saints Row characters as playable agents, including fan favorites such as Kenzie and Johnny Gat. Even without DLC players have access to both Pierce and Oleg, two of the most badass characters of the original series.
  • Awesome Music: The trailers featured covers of classic action TV show and movie themes like The A-Team or Flash Gordon (1954). They're just covers, but damn if they still don't sound badass.
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  • Base-Breaking Character: Johnny Gat, once again. Fans of the character are naturally ecstatic to see him, but others are simply tired of the character showing up, in lieu of the perceived Character Shilling he's gotten in Saints Row IV and Gat Out Of Hell. Others still are a bit disappointed he's a DLC character and not just in the game to begin with.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Touching the pipe in the corner of Gremlin's office causes the game to temporarily be styled like a 1920s silent film.
  • Broken Base:
    • The game drew contempt from some people for being a tangentially related Spin-Off of Saints Row rather than the direct sequel they wanted. Others welcomed the new story and gameplay elements as a refreshing change of pace.
    • Continuing a pattern that started with Saints Row: The Third, some fans embraced AoM for carrying on Volition's newer tradition of cartoonish and over-the-top whimsy, while others scorned the game and would have preferred a return to the early SR games' more realistic style.
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  • Complete Monster: Dr. Babylon, real name Osman Timur, is the ruthless and ambitious head of the Ministry of Pride within L.E.G.I.O.N. (League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Nations) and the mastermind behind their operations in Seoul. In charge of mastering dark matter for L.E.G.I.O.N.'s weapons, Babylon takes part in their numerous attacks, such as the worldwide attack known as "Devil's Night". One of Babylon's achievements is mixing dark matter with a weaponized virus that was loosed onto India, infecting and killing countless innocents, with children and babies being seen among his victims. When Babylon learns that one of his scientists is also working with the Ministry of Greed, Babylon kills said scientist and enslaves his daughter Ariadne with a microchip that drives her insane. Babylon seeks to extract a giant dark matter crystal for its power, and sends his lieutenants to distract M.A.Y.H.E.M. (Multinational AgencY Hunting Evil Masterminds) from his operations, causing trouble for both M.A.Y.H.E.M. and Seoul. With his plans finally ready, Babylon launches a final attack on the city and on M.A.Y.H.E.M.'s Ark. When he gets his hands on the crystal, Ariadne tries to drive Babylon insane as revenge, resulting in Babylon deciding that since he has the ultimate power in L.E.G.I.O.N., he should rule the whole organization and usurp Morningstar, the head of LE.G.I.O.N. Babylon then goes on a final rampage to destroy and rewrite reality in his own image.
  • Demonic Spiders: L.E.G.I.O.N. Snipetroopers. They have fairly average stats, but their attacks are devastating even without back up troops supporting them. A single hit from them will likely take away all of a character's shields and about half of their hit points, even if the agent is at level 20 or higher. They also have a move that can temporarily bind the player's weapon, preventing any form of counter attack. Worst of all though, is the fact that these guys are common enough that they can show up in pairs or small groups in several levels and side activities. As if all that wasn't bad enough there are even a few outposts in the open world were they have set up shop that the player can easily overlook... right up until they get hit with a surprise attack from a nearby rooftop.
  • Ear Worm: Pretty much all of Gaunt's and AISHA's songs, but the biggest example is Gaunt's "Get the Fuck Away from my Car", which is specifically written to annoy the agents and the player.
  • Most Annoying Sound: The agents' various "enemies are near" quotes, which thanks to a bug in the game, the active agent will repeat over and over regardless of whether there are any enemies around.
  • Pandering to the Base: Johnny Gat's return as a playable DLC character could be seen as this to those who don't really like him or think his status as The Ace and the unstoppable badass is getting tiring after Saints Row IV and Gat Out Of Hell hyped him up.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Legion Outposts. More specifically, how Legion quickly manages to recapture them, taking away your sources of income until you go through the trouble of taking them back. The game was eventually patched to a 90 minute cooldown between Legion retaking each outpost, so you won't be recapturing outposts every time you return to Seoul, as well as making it so you don't have to repeat Relic's quests each time you recapture an outpost to maintain your income.
    • Even without comparing to the Saints Row games (in which starting from the third game, the vehicle handling are pretty good), the driving mechanics are annoying, since the cars handle sluggishly and are easily sent careening out of control by the lightest tap while enemy-driving vehicles are able to plow through buses and trucks. Being helplessly slammed into walls by LEGION cars that never have trouble catching you and being unable to attack while driving can induce controller-throwing bouts of rage.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: This game is pretty much the Suicide Squad game we never knew we wanted. Others see it as a spiritual adaptation of G.I. Joe or Evil Con Carne.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The main theme heard in trailers sounds an awful lot like "America, Fuck Yeah!", doesn't it?
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: A very vocal portion of Saints Row fans were calling the game a flop even before it was released, just because it wasn't a Saints Row game, despite being one. It's just that God retconned the universe. Not to mention that the story just about ended after 4, with the only remaining plots being time- and/or space travel.
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