Saints Row: The Third Remastered 2

Reviewed: 25th May 2020 - 15:01

Being known for its ridiculousness and pulling in a lot of players into the franchise, it was only a matter of time before a Saints Row-title would receive an update. Queue in Saints Row: The Third Remastered; coincidentally the first time I got to play a Saints Row-title. I was aware of the franchise’s existence and how over-the-top it is but never played any of the instalments. I decided to take the plunge with Saints Row The Third: Remastered, wondering if it indeed is as great and zany as people have always said.

Updated yet Outdated

One thing was painfully obvious from the start; the humour and sexual jokes – while it is meant to be a dumb, harmful joke all together – are incredibly outdated. The game clearly objectifies women – being disregarded as whores and always wearing very revealing outfits - and there is simply no place for that circa 2020. This may have worked back in 2011, but the standards have changed a lot of the past few years and I honestly cringed more than I laughed. The game made me feel uncomfortable due to the depiction of women. When comparing it to current-day media (not just games but movies, TV shows and more), where women are (finally) being depicted as heroes, strong, independent and more, Saints Row: The Third Remastered slides right off the table into the embarrassment-bin.

The original version of the game is nine years old right now; I did not play the game before this, so I took to Google to look up some footage from the original game. Truth be told; I was blown away by the major difference between the original title and the remaster, as the difference is as clear as night and day – even to someone who has no previous experience with the franchise. This remaster is as good as any remaster can get without turning into an actual remake. The complete visual overhaul of the title most definitely makes this title worth the purchase for those who love the franchise.

Graphics

The game was played on a PC at a resolution of 1080p and running at 60 frames per second, which overall was a smooth experience. I had set the game up with the highest settings, which ran flawless and were not affecting my gameplay itself, however, it had quite a blurry look due to TAA; luckily, there is a sharpening filter available. When it comes to the cutscenes, I had a rather disappointing experience; despite having VSYNC enabled, I had a horrendous case of screen tearing. The Vsync-option had no effect on the cutscenes either; I tried both on and off but they were equally horrendous to look at due to the screen tearing, making it an uncomfortable experience.

When it comes to the game’s loading times, I have absolutely no complaints. I did not notice a single loading screen while playing; there is a quick transition screen when I entered the hideout by using the elevator for instance, but I could easily jump out of the hideout afterwards and parachute down with no loading screen or loading issues at all. It didn’t take long for the game to start either when loading a save either.

Story

When it comes to the story of the game, I was mainly confused from the start. Never having played a previous game in the franchise and getting thrown into the deep end with not really any explanation on what happened beforehand, I had to quickly search for what the story of the game is so I could properly follow. Turns out, you’re basically trying to gain full control over Steelport and make it your city while fighting against rival crime syndicates and – of course – the police and military.

Character Creation

When the game took me to the character creation menu, I was caught by surprise by the extensive customisation options. Many games offer a fair amount of customisation already, but Volition took it a few steps further and they even put some big MMORPGs to shame, which usually have a broader assortment of customisable options than the average game.

Gameplay

Once I put together a character, I started familiarizing with the controls and in doing so, I discovered that you could take down anybody that is walking around in WWE-style. After messing around with that for about half an hour – I had to see the variety of takedowns – I went on to playing the actual game. As the first mission was to steal a car and drive to a store, it stood out to me that driving around feels very comfortable and smooth. Oh, and Grand Theft Auto, take note; driving in this game has the option to use Cruise Control, which allows you to drive without having to hold down the forward-key all the time. It’s a small addition but hey, it is more than welcome!

The game – much like Grand Theft Auto – uses a phone as a central hub where you can start new missions, check the map, buy upgrades, and more. For upgrades, you will have to reach a minimum respect level before you can purchase one with cash. There are a variety of upgrades, such as an increased reviving speed, pickpocketing, longer sprint durations, dual-wielding weapons, and probably most useful; faster decay rates for the various notoriety levels. Others include upgrades for weapons, your health, the damage you deal and take and many more. Most can be purchased through your phone but there will be specific ones that are only unlockable through playing the story.

Upon continuing the game and progressing through the story, it was surprisingly easy to breeze through the missions; it did not feel like there was a challenge, even on a harder difficulty. In no time, I made it through Act One of the game and as someone who never played the franchise, it felt disappointingly easy. Not only is it rather easy to fly through missions, but they’re also quite boring and stale and felt more like a chore at some point rather than an enjoyable game. Besides the main story, there is a survival mode named Whored mode and it literally entails what you think; you try to survive hordes of enemies. Both the main story and the game support co-op, so you can easily get together with your friend.

Summary

While there is a lack of intriguing gameplay for me in Saints Row: The Third, it’s definitely a remaster that shines – visually. The overall graphics have been brought up to speed, making the game look absolutely stunning compared to the original. However, the humour is more than just outdated and does not belong in 2020. A stunning visual update for a very outdated game.

Positives

  • Gorgeous remaster
  • Useful mechanics, like Cruise Control

Negatives

  • No place for the ‘humour’ in 2020
  • Repetitive gameplay
  • Cutscenes were uncomfortable to watch
  • Story can be confusing for newcomers