Recently we’ve seen a trend of popular games from the last generation finding second or possibly third life on later consoles. Among the many games is Saints Row: The Third, which found initial success, landed on Switch and was remastered for PlayStation 4 and Xbox. Given the sheer amount of content and fun these games can deliver, is it something players should consider in these trying times or is it a quick port to make a buck?
For those new to the franchise, Saints Row: The Third Remastered takes place after the events of Saints Row 2. In that adventure your gang, known as the 3rd Street Saints, was able to take control of Stillwater and received all the fame that goes along with it. Eventually this hits a turning point when a heist goes wrong, which is where the story begins. Due to a miscalculation or possibly just simply hubris, they find themselves in jail. Seeing an opportunity to take over Stillwater, a crime organization known simply as the Syndicate, arrives, ultimately forcing the Saints to fight off these threats and reclaim the city as their own.
Needless to say, the rather vague premise works very well to introduce players to this whacky world. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you approach the problem, be it story missions, side missions, random events, with your only goal being how ridiculous can you make it. But, before you worry about looming threats, you need to create your own Saint.
Unsurprisingly, this is an extremely robust character creator. Not only can you change basic things like eyes, gender, hair, and color, you can even alter the way cheekbones look. As a result, players can make a copy of themselves, fun references, or just make the most absurd creature that has ever roamed the streets of Stillwater. The choice is yours, as is the option to just rush to the end, but it’s nice to have.
Upon entering the world of Saints Row: The Third Remastered you’re hit with an overwhelming amount of content. You have a lot of control in these streets and how you want to exert it is entirely your call. As a result, it can seem overwhelming or liberating knowing this is your adventure, but it’s hard to distance this experience from the ever-popular Grand Theft Auto.
Where both titles are a crime simulator that showcases things in their own unique way, Saints Row: The Third Remastered is more of a parody than anything else. This is probably best understood in the optional whored mode. With the original taking place when hoard modes were the rage, whored mode takes the core concept and adds silly modifiers to waves of dubious and silly characters. Maybe you defeat a bunch of men in gimp suits with a dildo and perhaps you’re drunk shooting down prostitutes in a casino. This sense of humor is really the guiding logic behind this world and makes the adventure so engaging.
Excessive use of purple, silly weapons, and equally random enemies give this franchise an untold amount of charm. You might not remember that time you shot that guy in a suit during a bank heist, but you might remember driving around killing people dressed like animals with a baseball bat while drunk. And, for those willing to invest the time to get to know this world, there is legitimately so much to see and do it can be easy to get lost. Even if you just want to mindlessly fight and defeat thugs.
Given this is a remaster, it can be a bit rough around the edges. It is undeniably a better-looking game and the experience runs fairly well, there are some parts where you can see texture problems or more dated elements. Fans of the original or just like the franchise likely won’t be bothered, though it’s certainly something to consider. Especially if you’re used to tighter combat or sharper details. But still, it is enough to stand out and the sheer amount of things to do can often outweigh any brief shortcoming you encounter.
Saints Row: The Third Remastered Review – Verdict
Often times experiences like Saints Row: The Third Remastered can be hard to gauge. Where the original was undeniably special, at least for some people, in some ways it shows its age. Things like loose gameplay and rough visuals can take you out of it, yet the world really is engaging. There are very few games that can implement a concept like whored out and not only make it work, have it stand on its own. As a result, odds are you’ll find enough charm to overlook what it does wrong. Especially since there is a little something for everyone and like a bad B movie, sometimes you just have to embrace the cheese.