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Game review: Saints Row: The Third - Remastered

03 Jun 2020

When Grand Theft Auto III came out for the PS2 way back in the year 2001, it changed the way we played open-world video games forever. Due to the insane popularity of the GTA series, we saw an influx of clones trying to capitalize on the game’s success. 

While franchises like True Crime and Driver have come and gone, the one series that managed to survive all these years is the Saints Row franchise. The series started in 2006 and has managed to spawn four games that spanned for several years. 

The first Saints Row and Saints Row 2 were the more “realistic” games in the franchise while the wackiest one remains to be Saints Row IV. Saints Row: The Third is the game I’m reviewing right now and it sits between the first two games and the fourth one. It still features wacky elements, although it’s not as trippy and out of this world like the fourth game. 

While fans usually call Saints Row 2 to be the 'best' one of the series, publisher Deep Silver has decided to remaster Saints Row: The Third instead since it remains the best selling game of the franchise. After releasing the game on the Nintendo Switch last year, fans can now buy Saints Row: The Third -Remastered for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. 

Personally, I’m usually not a big fan of games that get remastered because they usually look and play the same way they did years ago. Most remasters are lazy as games just have a resolution bump and the gameplay remains the same. 

Remakes are usually much prettier because they have been built from the ground up. This year’s Final Fantasy VII Remake is a good example of a game that has been remade from scratch and it looks and plays brilliantly. 

To my surprise though, Saints Row: The Third – Remastered is more than just an ordinary remaster. While the game hasn’t been entirely remade, developer Sperasoft Studio has done a pretty excellent job of making this remaster look much prettier than the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions from 2011. 

One of the biggest changes is the huge improvement on the character models. In the original game, characters looked like they were made from play-dough. However in this remaster, character models have more realistic skin tones and look much better than before. 

The entire region of Steelport looks great too offering better lighting effects that make the city brighter and livelier than before. The original game’s dark and foggy aesthetic is gone and it’s replaced with a much cleaner and smoother look in this remaster. 

Saints Row: The Third – Remastered is also the most complete version of the game that you can get. You get many of the DLC mission packs that were released for the game as well as instant access to a ton of cool DLC items. Some of the costumes you can choose include the likes of Mexican wrestlers, Samurai outfits and more. You also have access to a lot of vehicles inside your crib like tanks, helicopters and fast cars just to name a few. 

Aside from the main missions, there are a host of side activities that you can do in Saints Row: The Third – Remastered. One of them is a deathstyle game show where you have to kill enemies and avoid deadly traps and obstacles. My favourite activity in the entire game though is the insurance fraud missions. In these missions, you have to gain money by becoming a ragdoll and getting hit by oncoming traffic. It’s similar to the wacky bailing missions in Skate 3 which were a lot of fun to play too!

As fun as some of the game might be, the biggest issue I had with this game is that it feels really outdated playing in 2020. The core gunplay feels clunky and unsmooth especially when you compare it to more modern style action games. I also did not like the fact that this game doesn’t even have a cover system at all. 

This is a shame since shooting enemies is what most of the main missions is all about. The game gets really repetitive and not very fun after several hours of playing through the mediocre shooting segments. That being said, the game can be a little better if you’re playing via online co-op with friends or family members. 

Another issue some other gamers might have is that Saints Row: The Third is the start of the franchise adding wacky elements to the gameplay. As I already mentioned, you may want to play the older games in the series on other platforms if you want a more realistic experience. 

 Anyway, Saints Row: The Third – Remastered is surprisingly a good re-release because this remaster looks way better than the 2011 original. The only thing holding the game down is its many outdated gaming mechanics. If you loved the original though, this remaster is worth getting for big fans of the Saints Row franchise. 

Verdict: 7.0/10