Although they’re as crude, belligerent and violent as can be, there’s something endearing about the Third Street Saints and their lack of caring. That essence, if you will, has allowed them to not only forge a special place inside of gamers’ hearts, but also achieve success in United States politics. Sure, we’re not talking about the real-life White House or Oval Office, where Barack Obama currently resides, but let’s not get hung up on that fact.
Following the events of Saints Row: The Third, which saw the purple clad gang take over Steelport, business started to boom. First the organization invaded pop culture, and then an energy drink called Saints Flow took the nation by storm. After that, they were household names, and well on their way to making their user-created leader the President of the United States of America. It’s at that stage that we were reintroduced to them at the beginning of Saints Row IV, which hit store shelves back in August of 2013.
With two ‘next-generation’ consoles now on the market and gaming development costs rising to astronomical numbers, it’s no surprise that companies are looking to remastered ‘classics’ for extra cash to put towards new projects. It’s the state of the industry these days, and it doesn’t look like it’ll change any time soon.
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected is the latest in what may end up being a lengthy line of next-gen remasters, following in the proverbial footsteps of games like The Last of Us Remastered, Metro Redux and Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition. However, unlike the rest, it features badass super powers that turn sandbox gaming on its head and contribute to a thoroughly memorable experience. A slightly flawed one, sure, but one that is undoubtedly tough to forget.
You may recall that this particular sequel started its life as a stand-alone expansion for Saints Row: The Third, called Enter the Dominatrix. It wasn’t long before those plans changed, though, once Volition realized how much fun its super sprint, super jump and other super powers were. Of course, Enter the Dominatrix was eventually released in director’s cut format as Saints Row IV downloadable content, and is included in this package alongside the rest of the game’s DLC and an assortment of additional customization options.
If you’re new to the game, I recommend taking a break and reading my in-depth reviews of Saints Row IV, Enter the Dominatrix and How the Saints Saved Christmas. This review will only discuss Re-Elected and how it runs on next-gen hardware, specifically the Xbox One.
Although it didn’t end up being the perfect sequel to Saints Row: The Third, I never bored of Saints Row IV and enjoyed almost every second of it. So, when I heard that it was getting the remaster treatment, I became rather excited. There’s just something about this series — Saints Row 2 notwithstanding — that makes it hard for me to stop playing.
High Voltage Software was given the plum job of remastering this unique title, but was unfortunately unable to do so perfectly. Overall, the final product is merely an okay port, which is imperfect in that it suffers from occasional visual glitches and also has an uneven frame rate. You’d think that with better hardware at their disposal the developer could’ve avoided these issues, but that didn’t end up being the case.
Now, I don’t want to make it seem like Saints Row IV: Re-Elected runs terribly and suffers from copious amounts of glitches, because that wasn’t my experience. In fact, the several hours that I spent with it, running through its digital version of Steelport and messing with Zinyak’s plans, were pretty solid. The fact that such performance issues exist is a problem, though, especially when what is supposed to be an enhanced version of a game is unable to maintain its target frame rate.
That said, Re-Elected does look a bit better than its predecessor, although not by leaps and bounds or anything of the sort. It’s more than just a simple re-release, but falls in-between that and being a remaster worth showing to friends. Thankfully, its core gameplay is still as fun as it was back in 2013, which is the most important thing, after all.
If you’re a huge fan of the Saints Row franchise, or happen to be a newcomer, then it’s easy to recommend putting down thirty dollars and snagging a copy of Saints Row IV: Re-Elected, or adding an extra $20 to purchase its Gat out of Hell combo pack. However, if you happen to be the kind of person who can’t stand any sort of performance issue, especially when it comes to re-released games, then you’ll likely want to save your money for something else.
This review is based on the Xbox One version of the game, which was provided to us.
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected is a middling port that mixes thoroughly entertaining gameplay with the odd technical issue, including an imperfect frame rate. Those who love the series and can overlook the odd issue should still pick it up, but technophiles will likely want to stay clear.