It’s time to join up with Saints and kick some more ass as Deep Silver, Volition, and Sperasoft Studio have brought back Saints Row: The Third now remastered for current generation platforms. The original game released all the way back in 2011 and this remastered version brings that game along with all of the DLC to 2020 all wrapped up in a surprisingly well done improved visual package.
For those new to Saints Row: The Third the game is very much alike to a Grand Theft Auto except much crazier and over-the-top. The game takes place in the city of Steelport and has you playing as the leader of the Third Street Saints. Steelport Is home to an enemy faction known as The Syndicate who is made up of three different gangs. These gangs are the Luchadores, the Deckers, and the Morningstar. Over the course of the game you have to wipe out each of these gangs from the city districts that they control.
After an opening mission you get to create your own character and what is still a pretty good character creator. You can play as a male or female and edit things such as your hair, skin color, clothes, and the size of your sexual parts because why not? After you get your character how you want them it’s off to the streets of Steelport to play a variety of main and side missions. The game has a fun cast of characters and while the story isn’t that deep, I still had a lot of fun with it back when it first came out and again with this remaster. The core premise of the game is to have fun doing all the wacky things in it and that still holds true all these years later. You can do missions where you’re blowing stuff up with a tank, flying a helicopter, participate in Professor Genki’s game shows and so much more. Also just like the original you can play the whole game in online co-op with a friend if you want. You can join on a friend directly or use the matchmaking to find a game. In my time with this remaster the games I joined all ran well.
A couple things about the game that haven’t aged well though are the controls and AI. When I played this game last generation it didn’t control the best and now nine years later they are even more noticeable. Whether it be the on foot or vehicle controls they all feel a bit stiff and not as responsive as I would like. They didn’t prevent me from having fun with this game most of the time but there were moments where their outdated feel made certain missions more aggravating than they should’ve been. Likewise the AI in the game is also a bit disappointing whether it be the enemy AI or your teammates. Both are prone to doing stupid things or failing to register your presence. If the controls and AI would’ve been updated like the visuals were then this would’ve been a far better overall package.
Speaking of those visuals let me talk about them for a bit as what the team has done here is quite impressive. I honestly expected this to be like most remasters and just go the route of making the game look just a little bit better. Instead what I found was that almost every area of this game has seen a drastic improvement visually. Most of the main characters have had their models vastly improved so much so that they almost look like different people when compared to the original version. The lighting in the game is another huge area of improvement and it makes the whole city look so much better at all times of day. Textures have been improved, vehicles and weapons look better, and so on. Considering this is a remaster and not a remake I have to say that it is one of the best remasters I’ve played this generation.
The audio work in the game is also enjoyable. While some of the dialogue is hard to take seriously that is due to design really. Actors like Troy Baker, Danielle Nicolet, and yes even Burt Reynolds all deliver great performances.The soundtrack from the original game returns as well so anytime you’re in a vehicle you can jam out to some pretty good hits on the radio. Of course, one of my favorite musical moments is at the end of the game when a certain song plays during a mission. The trophy list still remains the same as well so expect a meaty list here with the optional DLC lists being included as well.
Whether you’ve played Saints Row: The Third before or not the work put into this remaster makes it pretty easy to recommend. If you want an over-the-top open world game to dive into then I think you’ll have a lot of fun with this one whether you play it solo or online with friends. Not everything about it has aged well but the fantastic work the team put into improving the visuals is commendable and makes it one of the best remasters around.
*Saints Row: The Third Remastered is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.