Epic Games Store made a surprise announcement last week that Saints Row: The Third would be available for free on the storefront until September 2. The Epic Games Store has released a ton of free games, with new titles rotating in and out every week. The games given away by the Epic Games Store have ranged from smaller indies to big AAA titles, and have also covered a wide range of genres in an effort to attract customers.
The Epic Games Store also has spent a lot of money securing timed exclusives, and has already revealed the first free game Epic Games Store players can expect in September. The store typically gives away two games at a time, although it sometimes only offers one. The current offering was Automachef from publisher Team17, but the surprise addition of Saints Row: The Third brought the week up. The announcement was exciting, as there are many fans who love Saints Row: The Third, and it being offered for free is a great way for fans or new players to jump in and check it out.
Why Fans Love Saints Row: The Third
Saints Row is an open-world series that closely resembles Grand Theft Auto. However, the series has always prided itself on maintaining a more jovial and ridiculous tone. Saints Row: The Third, in particular, was the entry in the series that doubled down on more absurd aspects that had sporadically emerged prior. This led to the game having a crazy campaign and side activities filled with game shows about killing people, wacky characters, and insane character creation. There were some things that Saints Row as a series did better than Grand Theft Auto, and Saints Row: The Third largely doubled down on those aspects.
For many, Saints Row: The Third was also a sweet spot for the series, as many found Saints Row 4 to take its absurdity a step too far. Saints Row 4 saw the player character becoming President of the United States at the start of the game, before being abducted by aliens and put into the Matrix where they had superpowers. The superpowers made using many of the game’s guns feel underpowered and made driving painfully slow. This left Saints Row: The Third as what some consider to be the high point of the franchise thus far, especially when Saints Row: The Third Remastered released last year.
What Saints Row: The Third Remastered Includes
As one would expect, the remaster of Saints Row: The Third drastically improves upon the original game’s visuals. This includes not only dynamic 4k resolution but also a stable frame rate of 60 FPS. The remaster also includes improved texture fidelity that makes the cars and environments more natural and realistic. At the time of the game’s release, it did suffer some technical issues, but the game’s community seems to largely report those having been patched out. Some fans do still think that the improved graphics on the characters throughout the game look weird when compared to the originals, but the graphics and effects on some of Saints Row: The Third‘s wackier weapons are drastically improved.
Saints Row: The Third Remastered also comes with all of the DLC for the original game. This includes the larger expansions Genkibowl 7, Gangstas in Space, and The Trouble With Clones. Each of the expansions offers roughly an hour of additional gameplay. The three of them received a lukewarm reception upon release, but they do offer some fun additional missions, weapons, and abilities for players to mess around with. However, none of the missions in the expansions get very close to the quality of some of the best Saints Row missions. The other DLC packs included focus on adding more vehicles, weapons, customization options, and abilities to the game. These include a wide range of options, suuch as a gun that shoots sharks and a pack themed around vampires.
Why Saints Row: The Third is Free
Saints Row: The Third released for free after a new reboot of the series was unveiled during Gamescom 2021’s Opening Night Live. The newest entry in the series seems to be trying to take Saints Row back to its roots with a more grounded sensibility and realistic approach to gameplay. The new reboot has been met with some skepticism from fans, although there is surely more of the game that the developers are waiting to show off.
The developers of Saints Row have said they will not back down amid backlash, and a follow-up to the reveal trailer did receive a warmer welcome with its focus on explaining what players could expect from the reboot’s gameplay. It will be interesting to see what else the new Saints Row has in store for fans of the franchise, and the team behind it has already revealed some exciting new features.
It will also be interesting to see where the Epic Games Store’s free game offerings go from here. The store’s free games program has been well received, and it doesn’t seem like Epic Games is planning on slowing down anytime soon. It could be that Epic Games will try to continue offering free games at a time when interest in the franchise is particularly high from a fresh announcement or update, or the store could go back to just giving away different games each week with no association to current announcements. Either way, the Epic Games Store has given away thousands of dollars in free games so far, and the strategy may or may not pay off in the long-run.
Saints Row: The Third Remastered is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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