Saints Row The Third Remastered Review on PS4
Though not every part of Saints Row: The Third has aged perfectly, it remains one of those games most anyone can enjoy thanks to its dedication to what it wants to be. The same is true of Saints Row: The Third Remastered on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC: While some elements show the title’s age, the majority is made better thanks to some graphical polish and stability improvements.
For those who haven’t played it yet, the game’s premise isn’t too complicated. The notorious 3rd Street Saints find their dominance threatened by the emergence of The Syndicate, a shadowy organization made up of several different gangs.
In the blink of an eye, they’re left on the run and out for revenge against its devious leaders, out to rob, kill or blow up anything that gets in their way.
There’s honestly not much more to it than that. Sure, there are twists and turns – and a slew of new, over-the-top characters to recruit into the titular Saints – but for the most part the story is just a vehicle to set players loose on a chaos-filled open world.
Given what one is able to do with this freedom though, that’s not such a bad thing. As a created character with a suite of customization options to choose from, players can engage in a variety of activities centered around tightly refined third-person action and shooting gameplay.
Want to do missions for allies that’ll open up more of the story? Queue up the mission menu and choose whichever one seems like the most fun. Feel like causing havoc and racking up a combo based on how long the carnage lasts? Just go to any of the activity markers on the map. In the mood to hijack a car and drive the wrong way on the highway for miles? Choose from the many vehicles available to steal and get to driving.
Admittedly, it’s pretty standard stuff for open-world games nowadays. Given that it’s all from a title that came out in 2011 though, it’s impressive to see just how far one’s choice of gameplay goes.
It also helps that Saints Row: The Third’s particular style still shines through more than ever in the remaster and helps set the series apart as more than just a GTA clone.
Everything, from the writing and dialogue to the character models and violence, is so over the top that it’s a breeze to turn one’s brain off and revel in the chaos, and the fresh coat of graphical polish only makes it that much more engaging.
Factor in a laid back soundtrack and stellar voice acting, and there are more than enough high points to the remaster that make the game worth revisiting or even diving into for the first time.
It won’t all be smooth sailing though. For all of its strengths, Saints Row: The Third Remastered carries over some of the game’s weak points as well.
Certain missions and challenges can be a pain to complete; less because they’re difficult, and more because of glitchy enemy spawning and odd object physics. Helicopter on-rails segments, in particular, can get quite buggy, with the copter itself obstructing the player’s view because it collided with a structure or object players can’t see.
The same applies to NPCs and their chaotic behavior patterns. As fun as it can be to see random pedestrians ram each other with cars or break into fights for no apparent reason, it becomes less fun when they run the player or a crucial NPC down inches from the end of a mission.
Saddest of all, however, is that some of the game’s humor is showing its age more than ever. While the Saints Row series has – and probably always will – be known for crude and referential humor, it’s hard not to notice how far this entry has fallen behind titles and series with similar humor.
For every great moment where two main characters sing along to an old pop song, there are references that lost all relevance a year after the original game’s release.
Likewise, the raunchy jokes and dialogue are still funny for those who enjoy them, and fans of the series will still get a laugh out of them. Those who don’t, though, will have to groan their way through a metric ton of humor that isn’t as clever or edgy as it used to be.
These flaws are to be expected from a nearly ten-year-old game though, and while they can be a hindrance, they never drag the experience down for long.
Saints Row: The Third Remastered brings the classic three-quel back warts and all, and that’s ok. Even if some elements haven’t aged gracefully, the majority of the experience still retains the chaotic fun of the original and provides an experience most anyone out for some mindless fun could find hours of enjoyment in.
- Over-the-top style
- Tight and fluid gameplay
- Wealth of things to do
- Glitchy enemy spawning
- Erratic gameplay physics and NPC behavior
- Outdated jokes and humor
May 22, 2020
Deep Silver Volition, Sperasoft
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
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