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    Saints Row: Re-Elected, Review

    Re-Elected, if nothing else, is a timely reminder of what a daring game Saints Row IV was and almost 18 months on, it still seems quietly radical in its own way. The series has come a long way since the GTA-aping original; by its third outing, Volition’s open-worlder was finding its own voice, but the fourth saw it take a superhero-sized leap away from Rockstar’s sandbox motifs, with few traces remaining. It’s certainly not shy of pilfering ideas there are obvious nods to (and sly jabs at) Mass Effect, and as you leap around a simulated Steelport collecting data clusters to level up your otherworldly skills,you’ll be acutely aware of its substantial debt to Crackdown. But it has a tone and feel that it entirely owns: it’s frequently inventive, often tea-spittingly funny and genuinely warm-hearted. Quite the feat for a game featuring dildo bats, gimp suits and a stint where you play as a toilet.

    Re-Elected brings together the original game alongside DLC episodes Enter the Dominatrix and How the Saints Saved Christmas. The add-ons are arguably less essential than the core game, though each features a clutch of inspired ideas. Dominatrix in particular has a novel setup where its missions are presented as deleted scenes with cast commentary, which more than compensates for a selection of rudimentary quests.

    For a game so reliant on the element of surprise, its humour stands up remarkably well on a repeat visit, only because it’s so determinedly committed to its bizarre conceits. There is something truly admirable about a game that wants nothing more than to entertain you, and as such it’s easy to overlook the occasional stickiness of the controls, technical wonkiness and generally ramshackle nature. It’s a pity, though, that this port fails to eradicate any of the original’s flaws; as with Gat out of Hell, a higher resolution fails to mask significant framerate drops and a worrying tendency to freeze.

    As such, if you’ve played Saints Row IV before, we’d advise caution before you consider upgrading. It’s a pity Deep Silver didn’t invest in a more thorough facelift as remasters go, Re-Elected is a pretty shabby update of a legitimately great game.


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