Review: Saints Row The Third Remastered
This generation has seen its fair share of remasters and remakes, but I'm one of those people that actually welcome them with open arms - there's just something special about getting to play them again in a higher resolution, better framerate, and possibly some other improvements. The latest one to hit the market is no other than Saints Row The Third Remastered, a better looking, running, and more importantly, content-packed version of the original. Is it worth the $40 price it's asking for, though? We'll see!
Platform: Xbox One S.
As the game is a remastered version of, and really at its core the same exact game as the one that launched back in 2011, the content stays the same. So, as expected, Saints Row The Third Remastered starts just like it always have - the Saints tries to rob a bank and steal a safe from it, while disguised as mascot Gats, but fail and are apprehended by the police. Now in custody, the group spends time in jail, though with it only lasting a very short time, as someone bails them out.
The next cut-scene shows the Saints in a plane, tied up and surrounded by an organization called The Syndicate, which, of course is the owner of the bank they just messed up, as revealed by the group's leader himself. The purple-colored trio finds their way out of the plane in a very interesting way after not coming to terms with The Syndicate, and they soon arrive in the city of Steelport, ready to build their empire up again.
Visuals & performance
The original 2011 game wasn't visually bad looking in any way. In fact, I remember it being a very attractive experience, so going in with somewhat high expectations for the remaster was a given.
To my surprise, the remaster is more than that; to start off, the remastered version gives the player the choice of either an unlocked or locked framerate, with the former resulting in 60fps gameplay, but also a more varied one as well - though only in very demanding scenes. Not only is the game running in a sharp native 1080p resolution across the board, it's also packing some extreme punch with its highly improved beautiful lighting and texture work.
It's almost like the game is an entirely different one, as that's how good looking it is, even looking a lot better than the re-elected version of the fourth game. Some smaller changes exist, like character model changes, being able to turn a weapon while using a Friendly Fire store, and the phone layout design is slightly altered, for example. The audio seems to be the same as before, only offering a bit more clear voice-overs, I presume.
Character models are as detailed as ever, the explosions are even more majestic & colorful, and load times are faster compared to the original. The reflections, however, is probably the best looking part of the game; the streets (though not limited to) in Steelport are filled with reflections that almost seem like they're of ray-tracing origin, and really do make one hell of a difference in terms of visuals - including reflections on cars, floors, the ground in the form of puddles & more, and in general.
Saints Row The Third Remastered is basically the exact same game, but with a new layer of visual goodness, while running at up to 60 frames per second instead of 30. Pair all this with the smaller but still appreciated bonuses such as better draw distance, more defined shadows, no jaggies (thanks to the anti-aliasing), and you've got yourself a remaster that really lives up to what it's trying to do. Also, the new art work is amazing.
It wouldn't be a remaster if they'd change the gameplay in any way, and they haven't (obviously), so it's the same old but gold hilarious and wacky Saints Row experience as before. It's a third-person shooter that has online co-op, with an open world to explore, and a very interesting story to go through.
The story is of course the same as well, and is just as good as it's always been, with its amazing cut-scenes, voice acting, performances, and awesome characters. Steelport, a city full of opportunities - activities where driving a tank in the streets while demolishing as much as possible, throwing yourself towards cars, and being part of a twisted show that's all about killing, is normal.
Saints Row The Third is the sequel to the second & first games, but is in all honesty a bit different compared to them, as the third game has a focus on being as crazy as possible, while the former games are a bit more serious. The gameplay is fairly simple; we've got a big city to explore, full of story missions as well as activities that each help generate money as well as XP.
That XP is what brings my level up, which in turn means a stronger, more efficient and all around better character to use, as that's fairly important the longer you progress. Between missions, I'm able to enter stores that are all over Steelport, stores that lets me change clothes, buy tattoos, customize cars, modify the character, and buy guns. These stores are accompanied by the option of buying them in order to get more money every hour.
I see Saints Row as a different version of Grand Theft Auto, but with its own unique feel. There's a great amount of different vehicles, weapons, clothing items, and tattoos to choose from. The bottom line, really, is that there's no change to the gameplay in any way, and that it's the exact same game, just with a much better look - there's no need for any change, either. The great thing with the remastered version is that you get all the previously released DLC included.
All in all
Saints Row The Third Remastered is truly a worthy remaster, and comes with some serious visual changes over the original version. With a native 1080p resolution this time around, at up to 60 frames per second, it fails spectacularly at looking bad in any way at all - pairing it all with some game-changing improvements like substantially better looking lighting, high-resolution textures, superb anti-aliasing & character models, as well as a lot more. When comparing the Xbox 360 version to the Xbox One version, it's hard to believe that we all actually played the former one at all; that's how big of a difference there is. Not only does it look like an entirely new game, it also contain every single DLC that ever released back in the day, but...is it enough to justify spending as much as $40? Sadly, no. Pricing the game at either $20, $25 or $30 would work a lot better, as I really can't see myself spending $40 on the remaster of a nearly 10 year old game. Other than that, Saints Row The Third is amazing in every way, and is practically the same exact game, with the same exact awesome gameplay and story, just better looking and running.
Saints Row The Third Remastered is available digitally on the Microsoft Store for the Xbox One, and is priced at $40. Are you interested in buying it? That can be done here: https://microsoft.msafflnk.net/9703Q
A review code was provided by Deep Silver/Koch Media for review purposes.
This review is written by Jesper Ingemansson and is based on his honest opinion about the game.
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