Just when you thought the Nintendo Switch had pushed the limits of “inappropriate” content with the likes of Doom and an abundance of questionable visual novels, along comes the classic Saints Row The Third - The Full Package. Hide the Switch from your kids, because things are about to get weird.
Saints Row The Third is, for those of you who don’t know, the 3rd entry of one of the craziest, most over-the-top action game series out there. You play as the leader of the Saint, a once small street gang, now a massive brand and ruler over the city of Stilwater. When all goes wrong, however, you must build your Saints back up from nothing, and regroup into the organisation that you were before. Made by Volition and published by Deep Silver and THQ, the Nintendo Switch version of this game will have you shooting, driving, skydiving, and dancing your way all across the weird and wacky city of Steelport.
The first thing to mention with the Nintendo Switch version is, of course, how does it fare? The game runs impressively well on Nintendo’s handheld console, with only what seems to be minor slow-down in heavy shootouts,where there are a lot of enemies on screen at once. Luckily, this is none too common, and you’ll have smooth sailing for the most part. As for controlling the game, it feels relatively good to handle in both docked and handheld modes. Personally, I prefer driving in handheld, and shooting with the Pro Controller, but it’s an either-or situation that won’t cause you any issues.
As for the graphics, the game doesn’t look any improved upon from its initial release, which isn’t the biggest problem in the world. Saints Row The Third still has its own unique style and is an absolute joy to play. While the visuals are nothing special in comparison to what we're used to now, they are by no means bad, and you’ll still be enjoying yourself regardless.
I enjoyed playing Saints Row The Third again, and it almost feels nostalgic, even though it was only released nearly eight years ago, making it the same age as the likes of Skyrim and Dark Souls. However, even if you haven’t played it before and are interested, I highly recommend trying it as it’s an incredibly fun experience to be able to jump into on the fly via Nintendo Switch. Even if you only plan to play in docked mode, Saints Row The Third is a classic and is highly held by fans of the series, most regarding it their favorite in the series.
The Full Package version of the game also includes all of the DLC, so there is no shortage of fun to be had with this experience. Become the most fearsome gang leader, or just dress up as a hot dog and go kick all the citizens you like, it’s your choice. I mean, you can even shoot your opponents with an octopus that can possess the minds of those whose head they land on, making them dance and fight for you. Not the weirdest thing in the game by far, but certainly a highlight.
While I could criticize the rare performance slowdowns of the Nintendo Switch port, I understand that things are complicated when porting older games. It all comes down to optimization and the engine and foundations upon which the game is build upon. When I heard about Saints Row The Third coming to Nintendo Switch, I expected the experience to be just that; nothing more, nothing less, and that’s exactly where it lies.
All in all, I’m happy with the experience of having the option to play Saints Row The Third - The Full Package on a modern console again, and even to have the option to go handheld. It’s worth bearing in mind that the game is in no obvious way improved upon compared to the standard version, but is also no worse for wear. As I mentioned, however, there is the occasional slowdown in certain situations, but nothing that causes too much of a hassle, and could even possibly be patched out in the future.
With all of that in mind, I absolutely recommend Saints Row The Third to anyone who is interested. Whether you have played it in the past, or if this will be your first time, it’s a solid experience that is a pleasure to have on the Switch. Guess there’s no going back to innocence now, huh, Nintendo?