Much better than it may seem, but hard to recommend.
I’ve spent the final week playing Saints Row on last-gen PS4 and Xbox One systems – and honestly? It is not that bad. The essential technological issues remain: the glaring shadow pop-in is back – and also a little worse here. The buggy NPC animations and physics return too. And finally needless to say, the 60fps target of the PS5 and Series X versions gives solution to something lower on last-gen machines – a sub-40fps frame-rate as well as sub-30 in stress-test scenarios. Performance continues to be unlocked too, whenever a 30fps cap really could have made a confident difference, but I went into that one with low expectations, that your last-gen versions comfortably exceed.
Much like Xbox Series S, the wealth of performance mode variations observed in the Series X and PS5 releases have died. You can find no graphics toggles of any sort. In addition, ray tracing features are absent, needless to say, but that’s fine. There appear to be fixed pixel counts on all systems without obvious dynamic resolution scaling, but what’s interesting is the way the HUD overlay actually does appear to change res. It is rather, very odd. In-game DRS can not be entirely eliminated, however the game looks consistent when it comes to image quality, with only the flickering HUD giving any sense of an answer change.
Considering the qualities of the last-gen versions, you’d expect Xbox One X to provide the very best rendition of the overall game – but that’s only partly true here. At the very least in image quality, you are getting an extremely decent turn-out at a native 2560×1440, up from the significantly less than stellar 1080p on PlayStation 4 Pro. THE MAIN ONE X’s 1440p also trumps Series S’s full HD output – but quality settings are dialled back (particularly with regards to foliage density) and the unlocked performance level is in fact worse compared to the PS4 Pro experience. With that being the case, there is no real ‘winner’ within terms of the last-gen machines as as the One X looks significantly cleaner, frame-rates can hit a 24fps nadir – Pro is smoother overall, if definately not smooth and consistent in its delivery.
Can last-gen consoles handle Saints Row? Well, up to now we’ve seen that the enhanced machines lose just a little detail and a large chunk of performance in comparison to their newer counterparts, but rough frame-rates aside, it looks similar with only minor tweaks to settings. On the bottom machines, however, developer Volition must cut deeper. Interestingly, the vanilla PS4 operates with exactly the same rendering resolution because the Pro – full HD 1080p – but grass density requires a hit, shadow draw distance is pruned back noticeably, while shadow quality itself and even effects quality are of a lower resolution. It comes as no real surprise to see those same compromises may also be deployed on Xbox One S, which also sees pixel counts drop to 1536×864, rendering it the blurriest version of the lot.
Possibly the biggest issue with base PS4 and Xbox One may be the frame-rate. Performance hovers at the 30fps line on the Sony machine, wavering just over and under completely. Sometimes the variance is by 2-3 fps, but it certainly is around that number. The actual fact it stabilises around 30fps does again suggest DRS could be in place but 1080p arises atlanta divorce attorneys single pixel count. So, one theory is that maybe there is a dynamic nature to the visual settings themselves – to ambient occlusion, post effects and much more – much like how Elden Ring works.
It’d certainly explain how, and just why, the frame-rate clings to 30fps, almost like it’s being guided compared to that 30fps mark also it would also explain how it can this with out a 30fps cap too. Cutscenes however, can easily see performance tank to a minimal of slightly below 20fps. Performance email address details are unexpected with Xbox One though, that actually runs slightly much better than PS4 in lots of areas, by anything around five fps. Despite having its resolution deficit, there’s the sense that there surely is more going on here than meets the attention, considering the bigger performance level on minimal capable last-gen machine.
All told, Saints Row is not a disaster on these four older systems, regardless of the inconsistent nature of the overall game running on the newer, a lot more capable machines. PS4 Pro supplies the smoothest frame-rate of the bunch, while Xbox One X gets the best image quality – but even the bottom Xbox One S turns in a frame-rate often above 30fps. The visual cutbacks are glaring, especially on base PS4 and Xbox One, but all releases are playable – and would benefit even more if performance was capped at 30fps with even frame delivery instead of the unlocked frame-rate seen here.
WHEN I said, I went into this with low expectations also to be clear, that is hardly the perfect solution to play the overall game – but it isn’t radically off the mark when stacked against the current-gen renditions we viewed previously. Beyond the resolution upgrade, the higher draw distances and improved shadows, the overall game can be compared and the brand new consoles aren’t exactly delivering a generational improvement. What we’re seeing in Saints Row is really a project clearly constructed with older PS4 and Xbox One-based limits at heart.
With Saints Row’s bugs and insufficient polish alongside the visual quirks present on every system, the overall game looks and runs much better than you’d think on last-gen hardware. However, it’s hard to wholeheartedly recommend the last-gen versions. Mostly, I went into this expecting the worst – especially on base Xbox One – nonetheless it turns out that four consoles run Saints Row sufficiently and you can find clear ways for the developer to whip this game into shape, beyond bug fixes (did we mention a 30fps cap?). You can find issues here, however they aren’t insurmountable – therefore i remain hopeful that further updates could yet transform the fortunes of the game.