Saints Row: The Third Remastered Preview – The Best Returns, but Fancier

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Well, Saints Row: The Third being the best is certainly subjective. I personally prefer 4 for just how completely out-there the game went. I know a lot of people prefer the second and others the third. This is quite plainly a philosophical debate that will only be resolved when the likes of Plato, Aristotle, Marx and Nietzche are reborn and make the call for us. Until that point, we know precisely what the team at Volition believe is the best, Saints Row: The Third.

Nine years after the original release, it's time for Saints Row: The Third to get the remaster treatment and what a makeover it is, with massive improvements to the aesthetical quality of the game. More than that, the game will contain each and every single piece of DLC that was released for the original title. That's over thirty pieces of DLC, for those who are counting.

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Within the first second of seeing the game, the improvements were noticeable, with lighting, shadows and the detailing of every single texture being brought up to the same standard as modern-day titles, with so many models having been completely remade too. Let's talk lighting first because this is where the real improvements are by far the most striking.

With a brand new lighting engine that brings with it physics-based rendering and global illumination, Saints Row has never looked better. It's fantastic to see the lights of Steelport, particularly during the night time, with enhanced reflections and more all glistening off of the tarmac, vehicles and - just a second, is that a tank behind that beautiful, glistening, explosion? Yes, it is, this is Saints Row after all.

Enhancing this further and linking into the explosions, Saints Row: The Third remastered comes with enhanced fog, smoke and more with volumetric effects. Even the clouds in the sky look better. Combining these with the physics-based lighting and the global illumination from the big giant ball of fire in the sky, you get some scenery that genuinely looks great, with god rays and more adding a whole new level of atmosphere to the game.

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In the preview event where I recently got to see the game, I was also able to hear from the Lead Art Director from Koch Media, Nikolay Stoyanov, and the Art Director from Volition, Frank Marquart. Sperasoft (Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII, Mortal Kombat Halo: Infinite to name a few) has worked on the update to Saints Row: The Third, with thousands of assets having been remade from scratch, textures revamped and sections of the city having been transformed.

When going through the action of the game, other new features like motion blur have been added, but in a way that doesn't make it intrusive and doesn't take away from the new look of the game. Adding to the atmosphere generated by the improved visuals, with the improved technology you can also have a denser Steelport. As such, more pedestrians, more cars - just more - will be found within the remastered game.

Likely worth noting is that the game will run at just 30 frames per second on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The PC version will, naturally, not be capped. At this moment in time, there are no plans for next-generation platforms like the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X. Releasing on the 22nd of May, just over one month away, you're going to find yourself in a much more attractive, vibrant and likely enjoyable Steelport and Saints Row: The Third.

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