When we started with Saints Row a month or two ago, we concluded that we had a good time in the four-hour introduction to these new Saints. Shortly before the gamescom launch this reboot of the franchise was released which put the game in our queue for a while but now we got to explore Santo Ileso thoroughly and make sure may our version of the Saints become one of the most powerful. gangs in town. The road was as you would expect from Saints Row: action-packed, colorful and surprising, but unfortunately also a bit ugly.
We played the preview on a PC and did the review on an Xbox Series X. Perhaps that’s part of the explanation why we didn’t notice two months ago that Saints Row looks graphically like a game from another era. This is a problem we ran into recently at gamescom when we watched Ubisoft’s Skull & Bones. Because some games already exploit the possibilities of the latest generation of consoles and video cards well, games that don’t really do so stand out in a negative way. Saints Row is one of those games. This doesn’t necessarily mean the game isn’t fun or good anymore, but it’s one of the first things you notice when playing.
Still, Saints Row does some great things technically. For example, it offers gamers with an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 a choice of five graphics modes, two of which also have the option to ray tracing ambient occlusion to light up. That’s seven ways to configure the game graphically. Options range from 1080p playback with full focus on the frame rate to 4k playback, where the frame rate isn’t locked to 30fps, but in practice it doesn’t do well either. above. For 1080p Ultra and 1440p High Quality settings, you can enable ray tracing as an option. The other way to simulate light and shadow pays off: shadows certainly come out much better with this feature, although we didn’t think the difference was so big that you couldn’t play Saints Row without ray tracing .
Light effects look great with it, but also without ray tracing. The makers have also nicely filled the game world with atmospheric light sources. Especially in the story missions, you will come across a lot of amazingly lit environments and that makes the game look nice. Saints Row is a game that stands out for offering a lot of action, which comes with a lot of chaos. You can break a lot, explode and so on. It’s safe to say that the game can handle all that chaos effortlessly. The frame rate certainly dips a bit in the desert environment from time to time, but even when playing in 4k mode it is still playable.
The reason for this may have to do with the problem we started with: the rest of the game seems outdated. Then we want to talk about how detailed the textures and characters are, how those characters move and how far you can look and how new textures and shadow effects are loaded. Shadows from trees or other elements sometimes only appear when driving a few meters away. Driving in a car and definitely flying in a helicopter, you see continuous pop-in effects. If you’re flying over Santo Ileso, sometimes the farthest parts of the city aren’t visible at all until you get closer. These are things we shouldn’t see on this generation of consoles.
This immediately gives Saints Row an Achilles heel, because while there are also things that are good, the whole thing just doesn’t look modern. In addition, Saints Row suffers from quite a few bugs and other rarities. You see characters in the game world doing weird things regularly and we had to restart the game no less than twice because our character stopped responding to all input making the game unplayable. The active mission then had to be replayed from the beginning and this is disastrous for your gameplay. Saints Row doesn’t make a good technical impression and that’s a shame.
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