Saints Row The Third Remastered Review – Beautiful but Buggy

Saints Row the Third Remastered promised us a beautiful but still faithful rendition of our batshit crazy adventures from the original. What we got was a surprisingly gorgeous game with updated NPCs, but I found myself hindered by a myriad of bugs and performance issues that still weren’t quite polished. Saints Row the Third Remastered comes with all three expansion mission packs and 30 pieces of DLC from the original version but is that enough to balance out the $39.99 USD price point of a 9-year-old game? This is our review of Saints Row the Third Remastered.

The Saints Brand

You’re the leader of the Third Street Saints, and your gang has turned their story of from “rags to riches” to a full-on Saints branded empire. You run the city of Stilwater, but the popularity of the Saints has drawn the eyes of other gangs around the area. Enter the Syndicate, a secret crime group that demands that the Saints pay up their fair share of their money and territory or face extinction. Naturally, we can’t have any of that, so the Saints take the fight to the Syndicate controlled city of Steelport.

The Syndicate looks concerned in Saints Row the Third.

Welcome to Steelport

Steelport has its fair share of gangs operating under the Syndicate banner: the Morningstar, the Luchadores, and the Deckers. The Morningstar are the ones to be the most concerned with at first because as the founding members, they call the shots and make the decisions for the rest of the gangs. As the leader of the Saints, you’ll have to make some difficult decisions in order to keep the streets clean of Syndicate filth and protect your name and reputation.

Matty, there's nothing to worry about in Saints Row the Third.

Witty Dialogue and Characters

While all of this sounds pretty serious, Saints Row the Third is known for its hilarious missions and witty dialogue. It has been years since I played the original Saints Row the Third, and all of the dialogue and voice acting still makes me crack up like it’s the first time I’m hearing the line delivery. Each mission is so unique with its approach to earning experience and respect, that they stand out on their own amongst almost 50 missions in the base game. It’s so refreshing to not feel like I’m grinding through missions, but enjoying the ride and the unique experience that each one offers in terms of gameplay.

The leader of the Saints is fed up in Saints Row the Third.

Bugs and Disappointments

Likewise, the DLC is just fantastic, with the exception of some performance issues that never seemed to be completely ironed out. With how much work had been put into the beautiful new lighting of the game, I had hoped some of these problems had been fixed.

Purple streetlamps line the streets of Steelport in Saints Row the Third.

Issue #1:

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT ALT-TAB OUT OF THIS GAME. I have played Saints Row the Third Remastered with three friends, all hitting a variety of different benchmarks, and each one has crashed when attempting to alt-tab out of the game-both in fullscreen and in windowed. This ended up in a day-long session of logging in and out, restarting, updating, uninstalling and reinstalling but still getting the same issue. It definitely hampered our fun for a little while.

Issue #2:

AI is still painfully unaware of their surroundings. There’s a particular mission from the DLC “The Trouble with Clones” where Jimmy gets stuck nearly every, single, damn time in an alleyway when fleeing the Steelport police in search of the Gat clone. I had to re-do this missions so many times that I lost count but eventually managed to blow our way through whatever he was getting hung up on.

Jimmy screws up his job again in Saints Row the Third.

I really wish that we were able to drive in instances like this, instead of being locked to depending upon the AI who just barrels through debris when you’re trying to protect the car. Saints Row the Third Remastered is filled with small frustrating situations like this that you just have absolutely no control over. The game is still hilariously fun, but it’s frustrating to experience blockers that prevent you from progressing because of an AI’s buggy pathing. I swear to God, Jimmy.

Issue #3:

Character textures look a little off for the main character. I play mainly female characters and noticed that my character just looked…slightly off when I was creating her. I’m not sure if it had to do with a botched surgery or what, but I had to angle her proportions just right in order not to have age-enhancing wrinkles carved out in my cheeks (even with the youngest age slider.)

The Saints are concerned about Johnny.

The look of the characters definitely felt different from when I created a character in the original. The freckles, for example, are now this really strange orange color that don’t look natural on any skin tone. Had I been able to change the color of the feature I might have been able to make it look more natural, but we’re locked into having Cheeto dust smattered across our cheeks. I may or may not be a little salty over this. I love my freckles.

If you can’t get your face to look just the way you want, there are tooons of customization options still available like glasses and masks. You can purchase any of these shops if you’ve got the money to gain some control of that territory and earn a little boost of cash every hour. This will come in handy when you’re steadily emptying clips in gang fights or need to purchase gun and ability upgrades.

Put on a Saints bandana to hide your ugly face.

Though I was a little aggravated with my character’s appearance, I found peace driving through the beautifully lit streets of Steelport. The Saints Row team really did do a fantastic job with the lighting in this version. Thunderstorms in Saints Row the Third Remastered were one of my favorite times to be out and about on missions. The reflections of water puddles in the streets, coupled with the sounds of rain tinkling on your car, and your favorite mixtape blaring is oddly therapeutic.

Cruising through the beautifully lit streets of Steelport.

Final Thoughts

While yes…there are still some performance problems, Saints Row the Third Remastered is a helluva fun game, especially with friends. The story missions will have you rolling with laughter, and there’s no setback if you find yourself in the middle of a shootout between all three gangs and the Steelport police. It’s just all good fun. And with all the craziness going on in the world, it’s nice to have a game to lose yourself in that makes you not take yourself quite as seriously and reminds you to be thankful for the time you have and tackle life one day at a time.

A copy of Saints Row the Third Remastered was provided for this review.

  • Gorgeous lighting
  • Hilarious dialogue
  • Great voice-acting
  • Includes all the DLC content from the original game
  • Connection issues
  • Mysterious crashes related to alt-tabbing
  • Concerning AI habits
  • A bit pricey for an older game
Written by
Avid lover of all things fantasy and stylesheets, Emily spends her spare time trying to balance her affection for both technical and creative writing. One day she'll get there, but until then, she'd rather lose herself in the wonderful stories to be found within tabletop games and rpgs.

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