Projector Reviews

Gaming On A Projector: Review Of Saints Row – Self Made

Saints Row - Self Made with BenQ x3000i projector

Saints Row – Self Made is an action-adventure, open-world, gangland shoot ‘em up Role-Playing Game (RPG). Saints Row – Self Made is set in the American Southwest in a fictional city called Santo Ileso. It’s a reboot of the Saints Row series. Saints Row can be played single-player or co-op online. Saints Row – Self Made is published by Deep Silver, a division of Plaion GmbH, Austria, and developed by Deep Silver Volition LLC. Saints Row – Self Made was released on August 23, 2022.

It is available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows PCs. For PS5 and PS4, Saints Row – Standard Edition can be purchased for $59.99 and is just the base game. Saints Row – Gold Edition has the base game, an expansion pass, and the Los Panteros American muscle bundle for $89.99. Lastly, Saints Row – Platinum Edition is $99.99. Finally, the Ultimate Edition has everything the Gold Edition has, plus Saints Row: The Third Remastered.

Saints Row Self Made Cover Art
Saints Row – Self Made is available across all main gaming platforms.

Saints Row – Self Made is the fifth installment of the Saint Row series, following Saints Row (2006), Saints Row 2 (2008), Saints Row: The Third (2011), and Saints Row IV (2013). The game follows the Third Street Saints, which started as a common street gang. Most of the gameplay revolves around over-the-top gameplay, including a bunch of shooting, driving, and flying while building up your criminal empire.

BenQ X3000i and TK700 gaming projectors
BenQ sent Projector Reviews demo samples of the X3000i and TK700 gaming projectors.

BenQ sent Projector Reviews demo samples of the X3000i and TK700 gaming projectors to write our monthly gaming on projector articles. BenQ is deeply embedded into the gaming world. BenQ owns ZOWIE, the maker of gaming monitors for eSports. ZOWIE is BenQ’s brand dedicated to developing professional eSports equipment. So, having a series of gaming projectors from BenQ is a win for us gamers.

I paired Saints Row – Self Made with the BenQ X3000i 4K LED gaming projector for this gaming on a projector article. Next, I connected my PlayStation 5 to the BenQ X3000i via a 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 cable. I then projected it onto my new 100-inch (16:9) Elite Screens Aeon fixed frame projection screen with Elite’s EDGE FREE® technology and Elite’s CineWhite® UHD-B screen material. The CineWhite® UHD-B (Tensioned Matte White) is a 1.3 gain flexible front projection screen material that is ISF certified for achieving accurate color reproduction and image fidelity.

BenQ proudly boasts the X3000i’s ability to reproduce authentic colors in games utilizing BenQ’s CinematicColor™ technology. Hence, an ISF-certified screen only made sense for my new reference screen for these gaming reviews. Spoiler alert, BenQ’s CinematicColor™ technology paired together with the ISG-certified screen beautifully and provided me with an amazing visual experience.

BenQ’s X3000i with CinematicColor Ultra-Reality and 100% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage provides a wide color gamut. The wider the color gamut, the more colors you can see in your gaming world and movies. BenQ states the X3000i was designed for use with PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Nintendo Switch. BenQ also says the X3000i 4K 4LED gaming projector is designed for cinematic immersion in gameplay with 4LED HDR-PRO™, for grand scenery in authentic colors with dynamic virtual 3D sound from various directions. Lastly, The X3000i’s 4LED light source brightness is rated at 3000 ANSI lumens.

The X3000i has many specifications that make up a good gaming projector for an action-adventure RPG like Saints Row – Self Made. The X3000i has dedicated game modes for FPS, RPG, and SPG modes with audio, visual, and optimized latency settings for action-adventure games like Saints Row – Self Made. Additionally, BenQ states the X3000i has UHD graphics with a speedy 16.67ms input lag at 60Hz and 4.16ms input lag at 240Hz when set to display 1080p.

Saints Row Self Made Played On BenQ x3000i
My nitrous boosted space car looked great projected onto a 100-inch screen.

The BenQ X3000i projects a 100-inch image at 8.2 feet, perfect for my new reference 100-inch projection screen. Keep in mind that you can go bigger; the X3000i can also project a 150-inch image at 12.5 feet from the projection surface. Would you rather see an RPG character in Saints Row as a character only a few inches tall, or would you want to see the character measured in feet?

The even better question is would you want to see your opponents in a shoot ‘em up RPG like Saints Row on a 38-inch curved gaming monitor or, say, a 100-inch projector screen? I bet most would choose the significantly larger projector screen if the space were available. The level of big screen immersion utilizing a projector and a massive projector screen is unmatched with a gaming monitor or TV. Projecting onto a 100-inch screen made me feel like I was really in the game!

I will provide my initial impressions of gaming with a projector while playing Saints Row – Self Made. While keeping this article brief, I will hopefully provide enough information to decide if gaming on a projector is for you, especially with a game like Saints Row. However, the game itself is not brief. Saints Row can be played for hours and hours without ever getting bored because of the mixture of waging war against enemy factions, exotic weapons, and incredible vehicle options, all mixed with a dose of comedy and humor. The wit and humor, however, are toned way down from the previous Saints Row games. It’s almost as if Saints Row – Self Made is a test to see if gamers prefer the hysterically crude humor from previous versions or this new toned-down humor.

Saints Row – Self Made is set in the American Southwest in a fictional city called Santo Ileso with nine different territories. To grow your empire, you must contend with Marshall Defense Industries and two competing criminal street gangs: Los Panteros and The Idols. Luckily, you’re “The Boss” which means you can call in backup in the form of NPCs that are fellow gangsters when the going gets tough.

The Boss is a fully customizable character who leads the Saints. But that’s not where the customization ends. Head over to Jim Rob’s chop shop to customize over 80 different vehicles. You can change everything from the paint job down to vehicle tires.

Saints Row Self Made Played On BenQ x3000i
With the BenQ X3000i’s Fast Mode set to On, the X3000i minimizes the response time between the input source and the displayed image.

Placing the X3000i’s Picture Mode into HDR Game instead of HDR10 allows you to go into Game Settings, where the projector gives the choice of turning Fast Mode On or Off. With Fast Mode turned to On, the X3000i minimizes the response time between the input source and the displayed image. I, like all other gamers, want to minimize lag input. So, I, of course, set the X3000i’s Fast Mode to On for Saints Row -Self Made.

If you attack rival gang members, they’ll call for backup if you do not dispatch them quickly enough. If that cellphone call for help goes out, you’ll soon find yourself in a full-on running and gunning battle on the streets of Santo Ileso. When I pressed R2 on the PS5 remote to attack, I needed it to happen quickly without a laggy response because the rival criminals dodge attacks. You’ll get taken out quickly if you are not using a low-input lag gaming projector/display. You’ll appreciate the BenQ X3000i’s low 16.67ms input lag at 60Hz (4K) and 4.16ms input lag at 240Hz (1080p); it will help keep you alive in Saints Row.

While low lag is great, you won’t get very far in any game with dark and bright scenes if you can’t see what’s happening around you. As I like to say, nobody wants to be killed by an enemy they had no chance of seeing. The good news is that many games in 2022 have enhanced graphics with HDR. The human eye is more sensitive to color and contrast than it is to resolution. The inclusion of HDR support in games means you see everything in the bright and dark areas. Having a projector with HDR game mode like the X3000i is a good bonus because it allows you to take advantage of these new games with enhanced graphics.

One of the key features of Saints Row is the ability to customize your character, “The Boss,” with seemingly endless options for styling (clothing) down to their underwear. In addition, you can head over to the nearest Friendly Fire weapon store to purchase and even customize an insurmountable amount of firearms, bats, swords, and other weapons. Of course, you could also just attack your enemies and pick up whatever weapon they may happen to drop once you defeat them.

If you truly want to fully immerse yourself into a game, you will need the audio to match the visuals. Your projected image can be spectacular, but if the audio is uninspiring, you won’t really feel like you are being drawn into the game. Some projectors have enhanced audio capabilities for those who want to ditch built-in projector speakers for an even more immersive sound from the game. The X3000i, for example, has eARC support. Even though the HDMI-2 port on the rear of the X3000i simply says ARC, the X3000i most definitely has eARC support.

With eARC’s added capacity, the X3000i HDMI supports multiple audio outputs, including 2.0, 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos, to an external audio system. In addition, the following audio output formats are provided to achieve your desired audio performance: LPCM supports 2-channel audio output, RAW supports 5.1 channel audio output, and RAW+ supports Dolby Atmos audio Output. So, grab a projector that supports eARC to fully take advantage of the cinematic sounds built into many games.

My newly remodeled projector lab has a Definitive Technology Studio 3D Mini Sound Bar and Wireless Subwoofer with Dolby ATMOS and DTS:X specifically to test out ARC/eARC HDMI ports on projectors.

Game developer Deep Silver Volition LLC did a fantastic job with Saints Row’s music tracks and sound effects. Saints Row draws you into the gaming experience. The developers went out of their way to get licensed music added to the game. While operating a vehicle, you have your choice of ten in-game radio stations for a variety of music. Rap, Rock, Country, EDM, and traditional Mexican music are some choices. The sound quality of Saints Row, when played through a gaming projector with a capable integrated sound system like the X3000i, is excellent.

After all, the BenQ X3000i has treVolo tuned full-range speakers built-in, virtual 3D surround sound via Bongiovi DPS technology, and dedicated audio modes fine-tuned to bring out the sound details and directions of various game types and scenes. As expected, Saint Row sounded great whether played through the X3000i integrated audio system or through the X3000i’s HDMI eARC port connected to the soundbar.

I broke out a tape measure and took character measurements; My main character, “The Boss,” was over 30-inches during regular gameplay. The NPCs ranged from six to over thirty inches, depending on how close they were to my main character. The best part was that my aiming reticle was between two and six inches, depending on my firearm choice. It’s pretty darn hard to misalign your sights when your aiming reticle is six inches tall and your adversaries are thirty inches tall.

Saints Row – Self Made and a gaming projector goes hand in hand. Bigger is better for this game. A capable gaming projector and a large projector screen allow you to easily see your surroundings and the in-game mini-map that is ever present in the bottom left corner of the game screen. The mini map guides you to everything of interest near your character and helps you efficiently navigate the area. As you can see in the picture above, the mini map has a blue line to guide me to my next “Networking” mission at the train depot.
Gaming with a projector and a big screen is one of the most immersive gaming experiences you can have, minus having it on a Virtual Reality (VR) gaming headset. Still, those get heavy and hurt your head and eyes after a while…ask me how I know. It does not matter if you are a casual or competitive gamer; gaming with a gaming projector is an excellent way to make yourself feel like you’re in the game. It’s a blast, and you get to draw in a crowd of your closest friends and family to watch you as you game.

Saints Row Self Made Played On BenQ x3000i

We have covered Rainbow Six – Extraction, Tiny Tina’s Wonderland, Horizon Forbidden West, Elden Ring, Gran Turismo 7, Dying Light 2, and now Saints Row. Stay tuned for more initial impressions of gaming on a projector in 2022 with games like Warhammer 40,000: Darktide and Halo Infinite. Keep checking back for more gaming on a projector articles; you don’t want to miss a thing!