Over the past year, Volition has released both Saints Row: The Third and Red Faction: Guerrilla on the Nintendo Switch. The studio is also reportedly hard at work on the next installment of the Saints Row franchise. While the series initially started out as a “grounded” gang-focused third-person shooter, it has rapidly evolved into an over-the-top, alien-shooting affair. And as the game slowly shifts towards a more futuristic setting, we can’t help but wonder if Saints Row is somehow related to the Red Faction universe.
The largest similarity between the two games is the Ultor Corporation. In Red Faction, the Ultor Corporation is in control of the planet Mars before being overthrown by the Red Faction. Its reign is marked with the enslavement of the population and the creation of a dystopian atmosphere.
In Saints Row, they aren’t quite as nefarious, even though they were the main antagonist in Saints Row 2. In fact, the gang teams up with them on multiple occasions and are still working with Ultor during Saints Row IV. Ultor has a large, overarching presence in all the Saints Row games, and they are clearly a powerful organization.
Because of this, fans have speculated that the organization in Red Faction is the same as the one in Saints Row. After hundreds of years of growth, the company has become powerful enough to rule over the entire planet of Mars. While Saints Row doesn’t directly try to make this connection, it does make it clear that Ultor isn’t the most ethical company around.
No Official Connection
We are working on something, but don't have any details to share just yet. Regarding your other question about links between RF and SR, these are more easter eggs rather than official canon.— Volition (@DSVolition) February 28, 2018
Volition itself has said that there isn’t any connection between these two universes. Multiple quotes throughout the years have dispelled a wide range of fan theories — but some have only added fuel to the fire. For example, Luke Scneider, the lead multiplayer designer for Red Faction: Guerrilla stated that, “Whether or not it ties into Red Faction is sort of up to the player’s imagination.” However, the DSVolition twitter account responded to another user by tweeting, “Regarding your other question about links between RF and SR, these are more easter eggs than official canon.”
So then, what Easter Eggs can be found in these games? In the Saints Row titles, players can keep an eye out for the “ReadFiction” Used Book Store. Not a direct link, but a nice tongue-in-cheek reference — the series is littered with these tiny references.
However, in Red Faction, players can open up their Guerrilla Handbook and discover a picture of Shaundi from the Saints Row universe. She is listed as a Colonist from New Verona. While the two series do feature some crazy technology, it’s a bit of a stretch to see this connection as anything more than a simple Easter Egg — the Shaundi from Saints Row being in Red Faction just isn’t possible.
Other connections include some dialog that is shared between main characters in both games, references to the other game’s storyline, and vehicle models that can been seen in the two worlds. These are clearly meant as simple Easter Eggs — but it’s always fun to speculate.
I Want A Cross-Over Episode!
That’s not to say these two games won’t collide as some point in the future. While nothing currently indicates they take place in the same universe, Volition may surprise us and find a way to merge the two games. Both are third-person, open-world adventures that love over-the-top action, however trying to merge the tone of the games might prove challenging — one features an oppressive authoritarian government while the other lets you leap over building hold a… phallic melee weapon. If Volition really wants to combine these worlds, then there is a lot of work to do.
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