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Saint's Row: The Third - The Full Package Review - A Weak Port

In a surprise move, Saint's Row: The Third makes its way to the Nintendo Switch 8 years after its original release, but does it still hold up today and what sets it apart from its original release?

Originally released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Saint's Row: The Third has just released for the Nintendo Switch and includes all DLC bar the Bloodsucker and Unlockable Packs. The question is, was there really a need to re-release Saints Row 3 so many years down the line?

Having reviewed the original release of Saints Row 3, I'll be talking specifically about how the Switch port compares in terms of controls and overall experience. To see our original Saint's Row: The Third review, click here.

It was quite interesting when this was announced and I guess the first question on everyone's mind was, why 3 and not 4? Correct me if I'm wrong but the Nintendo Switch does not currently possess a open world/GTA kind of game so perhaps this was a way of bringing this kind of genre to the platform in order to appeal to the more hardcore of us?

Otherwise the only other thing I can think of is that there were talks of possibly making a new Saint's Row but there was doubt that it could fit in with the releases of the current consoles and therefore porting Saint's Row: The Third was a way to test the waters. Regardless the winners are those who have not experienced the series before, however this port does not do it justice on which I will explain my reasons further below.

First thing to note would be the visual quality. What we are essentially looking at is a port of the PlayStation 3/ Xbox 360 version with no touch ups done to make use of the slightly more powerful Nintendo Switch.

The main issue with the game is that it still looks and feels like a game from 2011 rather than something that should have been updated or refined for 2019. Visually there has been no change and in docked mode, all the cutbacks used from back then is staring you in the face making for a not so pleasant experience.

Its really weird to see objects and buildings pop in when close up and at one point certain billboards had textures that did not clear up until I was really up close to it. Its a real shame because the use of colour in the game is fantastic when it comes to the different factions and buildings you'll come across so having this updated could have really worked in its favour. 

The controls felt awfully heavily even after messing with the sensitivity it still didn't feel right. This is something I got used after a little more time, but during the action heavy opening it made aiming extremely difficult. Now I am unsure if this is because of the Joycons and the heavy feel of the actual stick, however the experience was a little better using an actual controller and in this case I used the official Hori wired controller for Nintendo Switch.

I believe in this case it just wasn't tuned enough for the Joycon and in some instances, button presses are not registering, I found this most notably to happen when I attempt to run and in some cases I would have to press the button down a 2nd or 3rd time before something happens

If anything the best way to play would be in portable mode as it offers a full 720p - making it a pin-sharp native experience on Switch's six-inch screen, while performance seems to be more consistent than the docked mode. As usual, the smaller screen does a good job of hiding some of the cut-backs and compromises and to all intents and purposes, it is indeed the PlayStation 3/ Xbox 360 we have been presented with.

I'm unsure if you will be whacking random civilians with a dildo while sitting on the bus or train, but having a large scale title like this on the go is impressive. Yes we have had big open world games like Breath of the Wild, but not one as densely populated as this.

What I mentioned so far may seem like I've had nothing but a bad experience, but in the end I still had fun playing it despite its issues. What really grinds my gears is that this was definitely a port that was just thrown on to the system without much touch up and I believe the Saint's Row games deserve a lot more respect than this.

Its yet to be seen if this will be updated with a patch that will fix graphical errors or fix performance, but this is something I highly doubt. It seems the purpose of this was to get it on to the system and that was simply it.

If we do end up getting a patch that can fix these issues than I would be more than happy to give it another go, but until then it'll be gathering digital dust.

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