Saints Row: The Third - 2 Years Later ReviewGuest_Jim_* - August 6, 2013
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Being an open world game, the graphics are not going to be as spectacular as a more linear title, but they are not lacking in quality, even after almost two years. Detailed textures make the road look real, along with the curve to its model, but apparently the town of Steelport has an amazing team of road workers as you will never find an unpatched pothole. After some rainfall an attentive eye will notice that the wet pavement is reflecting the light of nearby buildings and cars. The cars themselves will reflect buildings too, at least with their windows if not their paint.
Take to the air and you will find the city rendered out beneath you, mostly. The more major landmarks will be loaded, but other, less contextually important models will not be visible, such as cars and houses. While on the ground you may also notice cars just appearing not only within your camera's view, but very near the vehicles. During missions these cars may actually be enemies coming to kill you, so stay on your toes.
Explosions are quite beautiful and large, which makes causing them all the more fun! They will even cause the screen to blur from the shock, which I feel adds a nice touch. Of course not all the damage you cause results in an explosion (immediately). Cars are made of multiple parts, so they can become progressively more damaged over time. Tires can be shot out, wheels completely broken, panels caved in, and, with the help of a tank, everything can be crushed. If they were just a little faster, I would very happily drive around in a tank, leaving a trail of car-pancakes behind.
Cutscenes in the game are all rendered in the game engine, which is useful because this allows it to put the character you have designed and customized into the scenes. Whether you are playing as an obese black man in a business suit or a rail-thin white woman in a suit of armor, your character is in the scene. Also, because you can control the voice and personality of your character (zombie is one of the selections, by the way) the audio of the cutscenes will be different to reflect your choices.
Time to talk about performance, so here are my specs:
- Processor: AMD A10-5800K @4.50 GHz (45.0x100)
- Cooling: Corsair H110
- Motherboard: ASUS F2A85-M PRO
- GPU: EVGA GTX 570 1280 MB
- PhysX: MSI GTS 250 1 GB
- G.Skill Ripjaws 4x8 GB (32 GB total) at 1866 MHz 10-10-10-27
- PSU: OCZ Fata1ty 750 W
- OS: Windows 7- Professional 64-bit
With this configuration I was able to run Saints Row: The Third at maximum settings without any performance issues, under normal playing conditions. If I enabled the video-record mode, the performance would drop some, but not to an unplayable level. Of course I had that set to the highest quality, so maybe the performance hit could be removed entirely by changing a single setting.
Two years of age have not hurt the looks of this game. In one respect it may have helped, as the hardware to run it at max settings is now more available than at release. Flame, sparks, debris, blood, bullets, and more all look great and are definitely satisfying, which is important for this game. If the explosion did not look as good as it did, then where was the fun in causing it?