Saints Row is a saga that has enjoyed great popularity over the past generation, especially with the arrival of its third installment. What was born as a kind of GTA clone but with a more hooligan approach ended up becoming, game after game, a true madness in which anything was allowed, from superpowers to battles against aliens and giant dildos as weapons. And all surrounded by a very particular and irreverent sense of humour, heir to a time when developers had more creative freedom, the limits of comedy were much wider and the public was not as easily offended by a simple joke. After a very mediocre conversion from Saints Row: The Third to Switch, now Deep Silver is trying again with the premiere of Saints Row IV: Re-elected on the Nintendo hybrid, and although this time things have turned out much better, the end result still leaves something to be desired.
The Saints against the aliens
To make things clear from the beginning and that no one is wrong: this new version offers us exactly the same game that we were already able to enjoy on the other platforms, so don’t expect any kind of news in terms of script, gameplay or content, Well, you won’t find them. For this reason, we recommend that you take a look at the analysis that we dedicated to it at the time when it was released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC seven years ago.
Thus, we are faced with an open-world action game in which we will have to escape from a virtual simulation in true Matrix-style and end an alien empire that has invaded Earth and abducted humanity. We, of course, will reincarnate the leader of the Saints, who becomes President of the United States after ending a dangerous terrorist group and avoiding a world-wide nuclear catastrophe in what is, without a doubt, the best initial mission. of the entire saga, where all the clichés and clichés that we have seen in the most serious title campaigns, such as Call of Duty, are parodied.
Unlike the rest of the installments, here we will enjoy a game with an approach similar to what could be expected from sagas such as Crackdown or inFamous, since, being in a virtual simulation, our hero or heroine (we can customize our protagonist With a complete, although outdated editor), you will have access to a series of superpowers with which we can move at full speed and make giant leaps, among other skills that will be very useful to us.
With this, the driving of vehicles loses almost all its sense and the exploration gains a lot of verticalities, giving us very high mobility to get anywhere in a matter of seconds while we destroy everything that is put in front of us. In general terms, it is an entertaining game, especially in a local cooperative (each with its own console) or online, and with many things to do, but it was less inspired than its direct predecessor, with much weaker mission design, some really poor shootings, some very improvable controls and a crazier script, but also more boring and with less hook that was only hidden in its irreverent and hooligan sense of humour to maintain our interest.
The problem is that if at the time it felt like a somewhat limited and outdated game, you can get an idea of the experience that playing it in full 2020 can mean. In these last seven years, video games have evolved a lot and within the titles, In the open world we have seen real savages, so the constant feeling that it conveys is that of finding ourselves before an obsolete and unsatisfactory product on too many fronts.
Make no mistake, it continues to amuse and entertain, and it is still a worthy pastime with which to disconnect the brain and enjoy unleashing chaos while making us laugh with jokes that today would be impossible to see in a modern game, But it wouldn’t have hurt if the development team had tried to iron out their rough edges for the occasion. In fact, with just a few tweaks to things like controls, gunplay, or AI, it would have gone a long way.
Regarding the Nintendo Switch version as such, its great attraction is obviously found in its portability, although some graphic sacrifices have had to be made to do so. In general lines, the title looks good on docked mode thanks to a dynamic resolution that ranges between 480p and 720p depending on the number of elements on the screen, although when it reaches the lowest numbers we tend to be so busy breaking everything that rarely is done appreciable.
As expected, the missions that take place indoors look very sharp and work smoothly, although in the open-world sections things change and we will see the seams, such as a high level of popping or a somewhat more image fuzzy and with very prominent saw teeth. Luckily, most of the game takes place at night, something that the conversion team has intelligently used to hide many of these defects and that they are barely noticeable when we play on the console screen, although at the moment that there is some daytime lighting all it is very visible. The good news is that it moves smoothly at 30 frames per second with just a few occasional drops that never bother you.
On the other hand, the docked mode is quite the opposite: the image quality is quite good, the popping is not very appreciable and the saw teeth are conspicuous by their absence, but the performance suffers too much for it with constant drops that become very notorious and annoying. It is not unplayable, far from it, and the lows are not particularly pronounced, but they are so frequent that it is never possible to maintain a stable rate of images per second, something inadmissible if we consider that it is a conversion of a game from seven years ago and that Switch has been able to with authentic graphic beasts like The Witcher 3.
What has remained intact is the sound, keeping its fantastic soundtrack full of original and licensed tracks. In fact, the latter uses them impeccably, turning some missions into real moments just for the chosen musical theme. The effects are somewhat more discreet, while the voice acting is simply outstanding.
As with many other game ports for the Nintendo Switch, Saints Row IV: Re-elected would only be recommended if you are eager to play it in docked mode or don’t have another platform to enjoy it., since this version is more expensive and worse on a technical level than those of PS4, Xbox One and PC, with very irregular performance on the desktop. The game as such is still entertaining and knows how to entertain within its limitations, but its seams are more noticeable than ever and its crazy sense of humour is no longer enough to sustain an adventure that the years have not done much good too. Of course, within the catalogue of the hybrid, there are not many similar proposals, so it can serve us as an alternative if what we are looking for is an open-world title of these characteristics.
We have prepared this review with a digital download code for the Switch version provided by Koch Media.