Version Reviewed: PS4 (Standard) / North American
Saints Row The Third Remastered is an enhanced edition of the nine-year-old classic. It is a welcome reminder of just how refreshingly entertaining and crazy Volition’s open-world sandbox game can be. Hearing Tory Baker yell-out, “get the **** out of here!” as you punch a policeman in his junk is still pretty funny.
Generally, games take themselves quite seriously, and Saints Row The Third is the complete opposite. The game actively promotes you to be reckless and dumb as possible. When you’re clotheslining random pedestrians, you can hear your character say some smart remark like “that’s gonna leave a mark.” If you’re open to the game and embrace its foolishness, you’ll enjoy it for what it is, and the game still offers up some grin-inducing fun here, and it’s enhanced well in 2020.
For those unfamiliar with the game, Saint’s Row The Third follows the story of a criminal organization named the 3rd Street Saints. During this time, their deeds have catapulted them to stardom, and now they’re treated like Hollywood celebrities. They could be stealing cars, robbing banks and performing wrestling moves on the elderly, and no one will bat an eye. Well, unless you do it in front of a policeman. The 3rd Street Saints even have their very own brand of energy drink.
Naturally, their life of luxury comes shattering down within the first couple of minutes of the game. The Saints are forced to escape from a failing aircraft after a rival gang captures them. Your first mission will undoubtedly set the tone for the rest of the experience, which is the over the top action and crazy one-liners. You play as the Saints’ boss that parachutes into a penthouse and casually has a shootout with a rival gang while Kanye West’s ‘Power” plays in the background. Sure, there’s no cover system, and the shooting feels a bit ropy, so you’re just awkwardly running about trying to dodge bullets, but it’s undeniably fun. Also, the songs that play on the radio are top-tier.
Sadly, the penthouse mission is so fun and bombastic that Saints Row The Third struggles to catch that high note a second time. It also doesn’t help that the controls are a little bit wonky. The rest of the game starts to feel dull and basic compared to today’s standard. The issue is how the game was structured: missions you need to progress the story are in-between side activities that stop being fun and entertaining after you completed them the first couple of times. Don’t get me wrong; some minigames are fun, but it isn’t enough to carry the game, especially with remastered titled on it.
It’s just a bit disappointing that a lot of the title doesn’t hold up well after all these years, and, sadly, the game’s visuals also. This remastered did get some things right: polygon count for characters, cars and weapons have been bumped up significantly compared to other iterations of the game, the overhauled lighting and weather effects do look great, but you can still see those last-gen browns and grays of the city.
Although, this new Saints Row The Third Remastered didn’t live up to my expectations with its wonky controls and mission design straight out of last-gen. There is still fun to be had here, even after all these years, this game offers some memorable moments — just a shame that it’s overshadowed by its basic gameplay by today’s standards and the tedious activities and missions you must complete.
Saints Row The Third Remastered gets a…
Not Bad 3/5