I agree completely! I was watching the Unreal V tech demo, and while I was blown away by the graphics, I also felt it lacked personality and the character they shown just didn't fit in such a realistic enviroment. I rather hope that games wont look to realistic, but just use the tech to create a unique looking game. And Saints Row always "kinda" looked good when they were released, it always had its own style. I wouldn't mind it a bit if they stuck to a more cartoony look. It's like watching Final Fantasy Spirits Within, which is still to this date a pretty impressive looking CGI movie, but then you watch How To Train A Dragon or Frozen, and I just think that looks more fitting for CGI. Because you can do so much more with how character move and look. If you make a Saints Row game, give it the most realistic graphics like God of War, it would look just off when you are flying around getting hit by cars in the most ridiculous physics, and it would just break the immersion of the game. Like watching James Bond riding a CGI wave. It broke the movie.I wouldn't call the art styles of those games cartoony at all. But Agents of Mayhem is definitely cartoony. I always liked the Saints Row games because of their graphical realism. I don't like cartoonish games like Fortnite.
Saints Row the Third, the game looks pretty good, though not for a 2020 release, but it is just a upgrade visually. To me it kinda feels like when you played Tomb Raider Legends on PS2 and then on XBOX 360. They polished it, and it works great at 4K resolution. What I think is a missed oppertunity is finetuning some other stuff in the remastered version, like better car mechanics, better animations, more NPC models in the city which stick to a certain point in the city, like in Saints Row 2, you could see what are you were not just by looking at the area, but also the NPC's walking around. There is also still a rather bad pop up. And while I still think Saints Row the Third is the 2nd best Saints Row game (Best will always be 2), I don't feel its worth the price now if you aren't a fan of the series.
If they changed some of the mechanics, redid the animation, the leveling system, created a more living city not just with the visual upgrade, but also the NPC's and stuff you can do, and added a full Dolby Digital support (Why is this game only stereo..?), added more clothing, hairstyles, etc, they could have sold this game for a full AAA game price easily and got a new generation hyped for Saints Row 5. Though, I hope the modding community can have a lot of fun with it too, and increase the fun even further for us players as well!
Also, can I be a complot theorist for a moment, is the reason they released SR:TTR beasue Saints Row 5 will be a follow up to to The Third? Because... How do you follow up on IV without using the time machine?