The popular third part of Volition returns to the market with a face lift for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. A change that really suits the product, although with its respective “but”.
Live in the shadow of Grand Theft Auto it’s a problem. Having a title whose latest installment has more than 130 million video games sold makes any competition that comes out always be compared to this franchise. It’s almost mathematical: open world action title and direct comparison with GTA. It does not fail. And in the case of Saints Row It was not going to be less, of course.
The difference with this particular game lies in a key point: when Saints Row The Third was released, the team behind the development, Volition, knew how to give it enough personality to see that we were not facing the umpteenth direct clone of the people of Rockstar Games. Yes, it had cars, a big city, shooting, etc., but enhanced the badass and casual look that was sometimes lost in its previous installments, to such an extent that the game’s press kit in 2011 came with the full-scale Penetrator, that kind of sword that is a giant phallus and appears in the game. All a declaration of intent of what it is Saints Row The Third. Now, almost a decade later, the title returns to the fore thanks to its remastered version for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
The old remains intact
There is an eternal debate on the definition of concepts such as “Remastering” and “Remake”. Beyond the number of meanings that each one can receive, it is clear that this Saints Row The Third welcomes the term wonderfully “Remastering” And we explain ourselves. The base game, along with its downloadable content, remains intact. All their missions, weapons, cars, etc., are recreated as the first time we played.
Did you like a weapon in question? You have it on the menu. Did the crazy character editor make you tick? Well, it’s the same too. Everything that made Saints Row The Third a hilarious title is still there. Now this also has a handicap, and it is that the bad thing has hardly been corrected.
We do not refer to how the open world genre has evolved in the video game, be careful. It would be absurd to criticize a formula that worked nine years ago and that now returns as a remaster. In fact, although you can see the seams and observe an approach typical of the beginning of the decade, the game is still a lot of fun. What we mean is that many of original flaws have not been rectified (And a decade later, the ideal would have been to fix them).
For example, enemy AI remains the same. Playing on normal or hard difficulty hardly presents a challenge. It is enough to equip a weapon and shoot regularly. The enemies are still standing, they are not able to look for you, to engage in combat without the need to locate you, etc. And unfortunately, this stiff artificial intelligence makes the game still a ride today.
To this is added that other things like the targeting or driving system have not undergone a bombastic improvement. They continue their pros and cons, as weapons that control smoothly others with more complexity (see sniper), including control of the erratic character at times (with rough movements).
So far the “but” that can be put to this remastering. However, it also does many things well. The main one is the face lift that has suffered so much. According to Sperasoft himself, the studio in charge of this remastering, over 4,000 elements of the city have been reworked, from weapons to cars to buildings and characters.
The graphic change is a true wonder, of the best remasters at this point that the market has right now (and we are not exaggerating). It does not give a feeling that we are facing a game that came out in 2011, far from it, but one of this generation of consoles. This is also achieved, beyond the new textures, thanks to the incredible lighting system it owns. Driving at night and seeing the reflections of buildings, lampposts, etc., on the car body is more typical of these current photorealistic game mods than of the companies’ own productions.
Just as AI or character control is criticized, the work that has been done graphically must be praised (and praised). Further, technically it also performs well, although again with one of lime and another of sand. On current generation improved consoles (PS4 Pro and Xbox One X) the game usually goes to almost 60 frames per second (In the analysis the PS4 version has been touched and the ratio was a little lower, but always above 40 – 45 on average). In contrast, the base versions do stay at 30 images per second, unfortunately. Nine years later, all versions should have gone to 60 frames per second, more in the case of a remastering.
Saints Row The Third Remastered has remained on the verge of being a huge remastering as a whole, since it is outstanding in some of them. Recover everything that made the game succeed in sales and criticism with a new dreamy graphic section and lighting that surpasses even current-generation titles, but is dwarfed by past problems such as erratic AI or consoles base run the game at 30 FPS.
- The Remastered lighting system is a blast.
- Huge face wash.
- The same fun as the original.
- The same mistakes of the past: AI problems with enemies, who seem like inert dolls at times.
- That the game does not go to 60 FPS in all the versions of consoles.
It meets the expectations of what is a good game, it has quality and does not have serious flaws, although it lacks elements that could have taken it to higher levels.