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- Saints Row: The Third Remastered
It looks like 2020 will be the year of the remaster and we just got a surprise: Saints Row: The Third Remastered has been announced by Deep Silver Volition. Saints Row 3 Remastered promises better graphics, prettier lighting, and souped-up visual effects. Those are certainly nice, but will it fix the game’s more fundamental problems?
I really enjoyed Saints Row: The Third. I fondly recall jumping out of a helicopter to Kanye West’s ‘Power’ with one of my very good friends and dismantling a penthouse full of mooks in a hail of gunfire and groin punches. Nearly every waking moment of the game is a blast and the announcement of a remaster will surely be welcome by fans of the franchise — but that’s not to say it doesn’t have its problems, ones which will hopefully by the resolved in its remaster.
Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back
Saints Row: The Third served as my introduction to the franchise. I had a passing familiarity with Saints Row, but the THQ Humble Bundle that appeared a few years ago was far too good of a deal to pass up. (This, incidentally, is where I also began my journey with the Metro 2033 franchise.)
Several years later, I picked up Saints Row 2 — and it served as a huge surprise. The level of clothing and character customization blew the newer game out of the water, and I was frankly disappointed at the offerings available in the new game.
I’ll happily concede that clothing customization choices are a tiny flaw, but that’s not all that was wrong with the original. It’s just one of many problems that could be fixed in Saints Row: The Third Remastered.
Saints Row: The Third Remastered DLC Could Be Troublesome
Unlike some other open-world games, Saints Row: The Third baked its cheats into the gameplay. As you progressed through the story, you could eventually become a nigh-invulnerable killing machine with infinite ammo. It was fun for about five minutes. I soon realized that it threw the game’s balance out of whack and I desperately wanted to go back.
Here’s the problem: once you unlock these upgrades, there’s no way to turn them off. Changing your ammo capacity or your maximum health on the fly could have been a great way to fine-tune the game’s difficulty to your tastes, but the developers made the silly mistake of not allowing you to turn these upgrades on or off.
This wasn’t the only missing toggle. Another issue was with the game’s DLC. The “Bloodsucker Pack” is a piece of DLC that fundamentally changes the game, turning executions into a DOOM Eternal-style health regeneration system. If you tried this out and didn’t like it, your only option was to uninstall the DLC. Again, this could have (and should have) been an in-game toggle.
You can’t see me
One of my biggest bugbears by far was the camera. I preferred a high view from a certain angle, but the game’s camera stupidly keeps shifting back to an uncomfortable perspective. This makes high-speed driving a pain in the butt and yet another of the game’s many issues that could be fixed with an in-game toggle.
While some of these bugs may be easy fixes, others are more substantial. The infinite grenade launcher glitch, for example, is a heck of a lot of fun but downright game-breaking. Spewing out a high-speed stream of grenades is basically unstoppable once you have infinite ammo and should be converted to an in-game cheat at the minimum (if not removed entirely).
Character customization, too, has more severe problems beyond its lackluster clothing offerings. You’re able to make your own custom player character just like the previous games. Volition smartly included a way to upload (and subsequently download) your creations, so you could start a new game with the same character or even bring it into other titles like Saints Row 4.
It sounds like a good idea in theory. In practice, this cloud storage was a glitchy, awful mess that didn’t work half of the time. It was a frustrating experience that may have had something to do with THQ’s financial troubles around the time of the game’s release. I can only hope that the devs have spent some time getting this system right.
Saints Row: The Third Remastered will inevitably be a heck of a lot of fun. It looks gorgeous, too — there’s no doubt about that. I can only hope that the developers have done more than prettying up the graphics. This cavalcade of tiny flaws makes what could have been a great game much more difficult to manage than it should have been.