Review of Saints Row: The Third Remastered for PS4, Xbox One and PC, an update on the adventure that differentiated itself from GTA betting on humor, madness and pure absurdity. But is it worth it today?
Launched in 2011 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, Saints Row The Third was the installment that gave the final accolade to the saga, thanks to a more casual and crazy tone that made the difference, forever, with the game style of GTA, thus marking a style that no longer made him a copycat. A game that was subsequently reissued with all the additional content, with the subtitle The Full Package, and that in 2019 also came to Nintendo Switch .
Now, as we are going to see in this review of Saints Row The Third Remastered, PS4 and Xbox One receive an updated version that, as the title itself warns, is a remaster. But, far from being a mere improvement in textures and resolution, we are in a case where it has gone further, in the style of the Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy and can be considered a “remaster plus”.
Saints Row: The Third Remastered does not move one iota, modifies it or anything. In it, the band the Saints, saviors of Stilwater, the city of the previous game, build their empire in a new Steelport city, where they lead a life of excess and are considered stars.
But soon everything goes wrong when the Syndicate, a criminal megacorporation, sets its sights on Steelport. The deal is very simple: either they pay high interest rates and work for them, or they kill them. Can you imagine what happens next, right? Well, it’s time to face the Union, starting almost from scratch (our accounts are frozen and we lose all the money).
Like other similar games, the development is very simple: through our mobile and our contacts, we are accessing the missions, which take place in parts of the city. And we can reach on foot, by car or in any of the flying vehicles out there. Some of these missions advance the story, others lead us to activities, which are nothing more than small amusements of all kinds, some more inspired than others, ranging from causing the greatest possible destruction aboard a tank to defrauding the insurance simulating accidents.
The same goes for the arsenal, which has room for all kinds of cheating, from a giant sword-like dildo (of which we still have a life-size replica in the office) to a kawaii octopus spear that dominate the mind, for mention a couple. This level of wacko continues with the dialogues, with the video scenes and the situations of many missions. As an example, one ends up fleeing a sadomaso club in a cart pulled by a “slave”. A trend that has gone further with Saints Row IV Re-Elected.
Here we are going to focus mainly on what this remaster offers, especially on the technical plot , which has been carried out by Sperasoft (with the supervision of Volition), because the content you already know. And if not, what we remember apart from the base game, it includes all expansion packs, both for history (three in total), and for cosmetic items, including costumes and vehicles. As the title advances, it is “the complete package”.
What does change, and a lot, is the facade. Thousands of assets or elements of the game have been redone from scratch: vehicles, weapons, models of the characters. It is not a light washing of each, but a deep work of sheet metal and paint, which really brings the game up to date . At the level of other open world games like GTA 5? It depends. In some ways yes, and in others not so much.
If we start with the bad, it is a deep facelift, but not all parts have been worked the same. The models have gone up quite a few integers in detail, including video scenes, but aspects such as facial animations or the faces themselves do not manage to be at the level of other games, such as the aforementioned Rockstar game. They still look like “dolls” despite the improvement.
Neither have their animations evolved, nor their response to controls, nor what we can do with them. When it comes to playing, it is, as in the Crash trilogy, exactly the same game, no matter how much everything has changed. That is, if you are looking to relive the game from almost 10 years ago, it is what you will find, but with a new suit, for good and bad.
The erratic behavior of enemies (the AI goes from silly enemies to killing machines in some cases without prior notice), from the strange physics of some objects, from collisions or the appearance of enemies on the screen, from some dialogues that are not translated. All the glitches are still here to preserve the experience as is.
So if you expect to find a more sophisticated or updated game in mechanics, you will not find it: melee continues to offer the same options, such as control, which has not changed one iota either and can be somewhat old for certain palates. Not to change, not even the original soundtrack, full of licensed tracks, has changed: it is exactly the same. And it is something to be thankful for, in fact.
Review: Saints Row: The Third Remastered for PS4, Xbox One and PC
If we go into detail on all the improvements regarding the visual change, the facelift is more than remarkable. The modeling of the cars, the reflections, the light effects, the buildings themselves, the materials that make up the objects. Everything is much more detailed and impressive and, as we said before, they bring the game up to date, at the level of many of the great open worlds of the current generation.
Driving at night on a rainy day is a good example of this: real-time reflections on puddles and the car, lights that realistically affect objects , neon lights, and skyscrapers with animated ads joining the show. Not to mention the sunrises and sunsets, which now also offer their best face, or the weapons that equip a flashlight and that, when used in dark areas, create interesting shadow games.
That does not prevent there from being certain buts, such as explosions, which although they are also improved, sometimes have small defects (we have played with patch 1.04 installed), or some minor lighting failures here and there. But nothing that affects the overall result. At this point of generation, your jaw will not dislocate, but it is true that you can see improvement, and a lot.
Even more if you play on a PS4 Pro: Saints Row: The Third Remastered works at 1440p rescaled to 4K and 60 fps, and with HDR (the video that you can see above is captured at 4K with HDR, so in a monitor that does not have these characteristics the colors you can notice more rare, like off).
Review: Saints Row: The Third Remastered for PS4, Xbox One and PC
We have not practically noticed frame drops, except that you mount the San Quentin with explosions and a multitude of enemies stalking you. Saints Row The Third Remastered also has an option to block frames, although as it has been fine in our case we have not used it (or perhaps it is intended for base models, where it goes at 30 fps and lower resolution).
All of these changes mean that playing Saints Row The Third on PS4 Pro has won many integers visually . Not to get to dislocate the jaw (we are already at the end of the generation), but if they represent an obvious improvement that results in the spectacularity of the game. A game that, everything is said, is still immense, with thousands of things to do, businesses to buy and improvements to our character and gang to unlock. Also, you can always waste time making wrestling keys and other nonsense to passers-by.
Of course his humor is still as absurd as it was 10 years ago, and he touches on topics that today may be sensitive for a part of the players. Prostitutes who are not (as in the “Harlots of Troy” mission), the aforementioned sadomaso, masses of naked muscles with pixelated genitalia and similar nonsense, scattered with profanity, foul language and characters that border on the absurd, like a pimp with voice modulator “autotune”.
But if you know what you’re coming for, one thing is undeniable: Saints Row The Third Remastered is still a fun open-world adventure , long and full of moments as spectacular as absurd. Perhaps some jokes have lost their grace over the years, but if you are looking for a good alternative to GTA V it is the best there is, with permission from Saints Row IV, which takes madness to a new level.
A Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy-style “remastering” that keeps the original content intact (gameplay, missions and even glitches), and renews it with a superb facelift, highlighting the light effects, reflections, models. A good update of an adventure that continues to amuse like almost 10 years ago.