With a new and rebooted Saints Row on the way, now's a good time to check out the silly GTA-esque sandbox murderzone series for free. Saints Row: The Third Remastered is free for keepsies this week on the Epic Games Store, offering a fancied-up version of the third game plus honestly more DLC than you need. I think 3 is the awkward midpoint in the series between gritty and tomfoolery but hey, it's fun - and free.
Saints Row: The Third debuted in 2011, then scored a remaster in 2020. Yeah, it wasn't really old enough that it needed a remaster, but it was touched up and did wham in all the expansions and DLC packs and bits. That's a whole lot of crimes.
I do like SR3 fair enough, I'm just less keen in the context of the series. Saints Row 2 was a decent daft take on GTA, then The Third veered too far into wacky for me while removing a load of thigs I liked in 2, before 4 steered hard into wacky and kept on going until it punched other side as full-on delightful superhero nonsense.
Alice Bee wasn't wholly enthused in her Saints Row: The Third Remastered review either.
"If it sounds like I'm struggling to describe any standout hilarious bits, or muster much excitement, that's because I am," she said last year. "For all the bravado and bombast, playing Saints Row The Third in 2020 felt dated. Not in an 'Ooh, you couldn't get away with that now! Political correctness gone mad!' way. The explosions, the tits, the hilarious dildo... all of it just washed passed me. I felt like a teacher staring wearily into space as, around her, her charges throttled each other and shat on the desks. It was weirdly anaemic. The guns all felt the same, the missions all blurred into one. Exploding a bunch of alien spaceships seemed no different to punching a pedestrian in the face."
But for free? Yeah, well worth a look if you enjoy sandbox murder and big set pieces. You have until 4pm on Thursday, September 2nd to grab SR3R free to keep from the Epic Games Store. Oh, also free this week is food-making assembly line puzzler Automachef.
As for the Saints Row reboot announced this week, it sounds like it's going in a direction I might dig.
"The impression is that this new Saints is cleaving more closely to the original, back when it was less wacky and more obviously trying to compete with GTA," Alice said in her preview yesterday. "A little less Professor Genki, a little more action please, as Elvis would have sung about his favourite third-person, run-and-gun crime game franchise."
It will still have jokes and wingsuits and hoverbikes and hoverboards, mind. Grand.