Developer: Deep Silver Volition, Sperasoft
Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One (Reviewed)
Publisher: Deep Silver
The open-world madness of Saints Row: The Third is remastered and brought back to Xbox One, PC and PS4. This is an enhanced version of the 2011 release of the Saints Row: The Third, this primarily consists of updates to maps, textures, guns, cars and improvements of lighting too.
This is an open-world game with a huge emphasis on ludicrous, fun and mayhem. The core theme is gang based violence with varying degrees of the ridiculous thrown in for good measure. You are head of the Saints, the gang who want to control the city from multiple other factions. To gain control and power in the city there is a mixture of story-based game-play and activities such as trafficking, mayhem, trailblazing and insurance fraud. Completing the main story and activities will help you gain control throughout the city. As you navigate the main story you will encounter the other factions and their leaders, the story is purely driven by trying to take over the “Syndicate” – a conglomeration of gangs. You play as the boss of the notorious Saints, you can customize your character (if you wish) and level up throughout the game while trying to earn money and respect on the streets. It’s fairly formulaic in many aspects of this genre of game, go out rob, kill, maim and take over the city the way you want. Saints Row: The Third actually does quite a good job of balancing the story mode and the sheer madness of the activities in the game, I think this dichotomy of the ludicrous and a decent story is why this version of Saints Row was remastered. It’s a very well rounded game and despite being 9 years old the majority of game-play is solid and fun. I did enjoy the absolutely crazy and fun activities throughout the game.
The controls are intuitive and if you have played any open-world games in a similar genre, you will be able to pick up and play almost instantly, the learning curve is low and the in-game instructions will guide you through the controls. I found the driving mechanics clunky in parts but I have been playing super realistic driving sims lately, so it’s hard to compare against them. The driving is fun with the usual radio options available as you drive through the city and the controls for driving are simple too. The soundtrack is fairly packed with lots of songs I know which is always a plus and you can flick through the stations as you drive. The visuals, characters, maps and vehicles are beautifully rendered. There is a fantastic colour palette in use that enhances both the dark and brighter parts of games. The character design is realistic and lifelike. The general over the top nature of the game really works well in tandem with the presentation, soundtrack and effects in the game. It’s a really well put together a game that will have you coming back for more.
A couple of issues I encountered were mainly map rendering issues that occurred a couple of times when the map turned into a scene from Inception which was fun but ultimately jarring.
The game crashed once during a trailblazing activity, these are fairly minor issues in the multiple hours of game-play.
Saints Row is awesome, lots of fun and just bizarre in parts. It’s the mix that makes the game so much fun, you can spend endless hours doing activities and driving through the huge map. When you get bored of driving you can fly a helicopter or plane.