Developed by DS Volition and published by Deep Silver, Saints Row The Third remastered is a welcome blast from the past. Originally released in 2011, this game has gone through some cosmetic surgery and has been airbrushed to make it presentable for Xbox One; from the first impression, it looks like they have done a decent job too. The enhanced graphics are very clear to see, and it will only be those with keen eyes that will see elements of it still looking like an Xbox 360 game.
For those unfamiliar with the Saints Row series it is, in short, GTA, but with less emphasis on reality and more on having fun and being wacky. Don’t get me wrong, in GTA you can do wacky and cruel things to old people with cars and your fists. However, in Saints Row you can kick them in their groin or beat them with a giant dildo on a stick (as you do – ed).
The game isn’t purely about being vulgar or crass, there is still a storyline thread being carried on. You are the leader of the Third Street Saints, a gang with strong affiliation to the colour purple. Since establishing yourselves as one of the top gangs in the first two games, the third instalment has you morphing your gang into a big consumer brand. So, to kick things off you’re trying to grow your brand by robbing a bank to promote a film, only for things to take a sour turn. A massive organisation called the Syndicate step in to foil the robbery and try to take you and your top lieutenants out. You manage to escape in an extremely cool way, but your coolest lieutenant Johnny Gat sacrifices himself in the process; so revenge against the Syndicate is high on the agenda. The game can be played at your own pace and you can either take part in the many different activities for money and respect, or stick to the main missions.
The gameplay is still as crisp and robust as it was before. As a 3rd person sandbox game, it does stand up to GTA as a decent alternative. The voice acting is good, while the musical choices on the radio stations in vehicles are interesting and cater to a variety of tastes. The combat was always a little less polished than GTA, but it’s still decent. The driving mechanics are simple and handle well. With the variety of land and air vehicles on offer, it is fun trying them all out.
The weapons go from the basic to the absurd. As I mentioned before you can wield a giant dildo on a stick, or a rocket launcher (from the included DLC pack) which fires mind-controlling octopuses. You can still use your standard weaponry also which can be upgraded, so you can improve the size of the magazine, or increase the reload speed. As you gain respect for your actions, you can also upgrade your character in a variety of different ways. You can improve health, combat abilities, the amount of ammo you can carry or even some gang abilities like how many followers you can have with you and what weapons they use.
So along with the graphical improvements, the remastered version comes with all the DLC that was originally released with the 360 version. This includes more missions, side activities, weapons, characters, outfits, vehicles and even cheats. That is a lot of extra content and it is all ready for you straight away. This game is as fun and wild as I remember, and the extra content does enhance the gameplay. It does make the game a lot easier starting off when you can equip some decent guns and use cars with weapons, but it is down to you to choose whether to use them.
One of the key main features of being able to play through the missions with a friend online is also still an option, which is nice to see. There was so much to customise when the game was originally released, but with all the DLC content there are even more options to play around with, including walking around in a witch outfit or a hot dog costume. You can customise your gang vehicles and your followers to put your touch on everything.
Saints Row The Third Remastered has done a good job of touching up the original. All of the DLC content that has been added to the title should encourage those interested to pick this up. Fans of the series that missed this one would definitely enjoy this instalment. Those interested in GTA style games should give this game – or at least this series – a try as there is a lot of fun to be had here.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.