Saints Row: The Third is and remains to be one of my all-time favourite open-world games ever. I mean, it may not rise to the heights of the masterpiece it is inspired by, by that I mean GTA V, but it’s a classic in its own right. It never takes itself seriously, it’s hilariously over-the-top, and it just provides a hell of a good time.
My man Jes Taylor reviewed the Nintendo Switch port, which holds up pretty well. He also goes over the game’s fundamentals, which I won’t repeat here. I pretty much agree with him as Saints Row: The Third is a game you must play. When I heard the game was getting a full-on facelift, I had to jump on it. And so, we have Saints Row: The Third Remastered, a polished-up reworking of the 2011 classic, and it’s one of the better remasters I’ve seen in a while.
From the moment I fired the game up and relived the game’s opening of the bank robbery in a Gat suit, it was instantly evident how much better the game looked. The textures were sharper, the sun rays shone through the windows, the explosions and gunfire has been completely beefed up and looked awesome, it left my mouth agape. Playing on a 4K TV definitely ups the ante with regards to visual fidelity, but a 1080p experience will give you just as much to admire too. This remaster is the full package, nothing is lost here. You still get all the DLC packages, such as the hilarious Gangtas in Space mission and The Trouble with Clones, along with all the gifts you earn upon completion, all looking better than the initial release.
Exploring Steelport in all its newfound beauty is fantastic. The buildings have been retextured, allowing you to really see the brickwork and window reflections, the vehicles have been remodelled and look much better, as do the character models, but the best of the visuals come from the sunset. When the sky glows orange as the sun peers over the horizon, it reminded me of the first time I entered Majula in Dark Souls II.
Saints Row: The Third has some awesome moments during its runtime. You’ll hang off the side of a building as you provide sniper support, parachute down to the penthouse suite of a skyscraper before laying waste to an opposing gang, unleash drone strikes on enemy tanks, this game is full of spectacular moments, and each one is a great way of showing how much destruction you can cause. The enhanced visual effects mean the destruction is amplified tenfold. Explosions look much better and really carry much more weight now. The gunfire effects now make fights more exciting too.
Saints Row: The Third Remastered isn’t as polished as it could be though. There are still issues with clipping and texture dropping, and even though the draw distance has been improved, cars and environments still pop into view unrealistically, and facial expressions are pretty much absent. These problems don’t ruin the experience though as they are relatively minor.
Developer: Volition (Original Game), Sperasoft Studios (Remaster)
Publisher: THQ (Original Game), Deep Silver (Remaster)
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 22nd May 2020