The Third Street Saints are at it again, and this time they’ve taken their seedy antics from Stilwater to the streets and skies of Steelport for the third installment of the series, entitled Saint’s Row: The Third. Boasting over-the-top gameplay and a new city to act as a playground, Saint’s Row: The Third looks to exceed previous chapters in the Saint’s Row universe. It’s time to paint the town purple.
We aren’t in Stilwater anymore
Saint’s Row: The Third starts off with a bang. Shaundi (who’s been made over), Johnny Gat, and you attempt to rob a bank with an actor named Josh Birk (who’s in love with himself and Shaundi), who’s “researching a part for a movie”. The heist goes awry, and the gang is caught by the police. From there, you create your character. The story unfolds as the Saints are bailed out by Phillipe Loren, a Dutchman who leads a group called The Syndicate. Loren negotiates a deal with the Saints on his private jet; however, the Saints refuse, starting a war with The Syndicate, who is comprised of three other gangs in the city.
Alongside that, a government agency known as S.T.A.G. (Special Tactical Anti-Gang unit) makes the Saints fight a war on dual fronts. The game starts off with a bang and keeps that pace up, at least until you start roaming around. For fans that have played the previous installments, Saint’s Row: The Third maintains the familiar controls seen in the last game, with only minor adjustments. Combat in the game works very well. Shooting enemies in different areas will cause them to react in different ways. A lot of fun is to be had just running up and triggering the quick “low blow” trigger. Driving in the game is quite a bit of fun, thanks to the cars’ ability to stop on a dime and excellent handling. Flying is simplified, unlike in many other game franchises. In fact, all modes of transportation make exploration easy and intuitive, and they don’t over-complicate the controls, which is easy with a game like this. All this is wonderful, because there is a lot of Steelport to explore.
Yo Ho Ho And A Bottle Of Saint’s Row
As I said, it is a sandbox-style game. Fans that have played the previous installments should feel right at home; it’s the same concrete jungle under a different map. However, Steelport is a vibrant city, full of colorful areas to offset the usual concrete ones. The people of Steelport will entertain you if you compliment them, but if you degrade them with a taunt, they’ll flip you off.
The voice acting lends itself to an entertaining cast. Pornographic actress Sasha Gray plays Viola DeWynter, who, together with her twin sister Kiki, runs the Syndicate’s financial empire. Daniel Day Kim reprises his role as Johnny Gat, and (my personal favorite contribution) Hulk Hogan plays a luchador named Angel De La Muerte. Every character met along the way is likable, and each character has their own personality. The voice acting makes the story better,thanks to the strong performances all around.
Murder Time Is Fun Time
Along with the story (which runs about 14 hours), Professor Genki’s Super Ethical Reality Climax is a game show where you kill mascots for cash and make it from point A to point B, while avoiding hazards such as fire, electricity, and the mascots with weapons. Alongside that, there is an online co-op where players can drop in and out of your game. Also, there is a hoard mode in the game, dubbed “Whored Mode”. It’s premise is surviving wave after wave of enemies; however, you are put in different situations, such as having a tank, or fighting off zombies with a chainsaw, or fighting off gimps with a giant dildo… I wish I was making that up.
My Momma Don’t Know, That I Play Saint’s Row
Let me say this about the game: with all due respect to the other great games that came out this year, Saint’s Row: The Third might just be a sleeper for “game of the year”. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and includes a lot to offer the player. Zombies, guns, giant dildo bats, a Johnny Gat head as a costume, gimps, pimps, gimps and pimps rickshaw racing, superheroes, spacemen, atomic ATVs, farts in a jar, destroyer jets, reaper drones, fast cars, sex dolls, and Burt Reynolds… what doesn’t this game have?
Saint’s Row: The Third does indeed live up to the “over the top” nature that the developers were aiming for. It’s a very fast paced game, and slows down when traveling. This is a strong recommendation to buy this game. It’s got just about everything a gamer could want, and with its creation system, players can put themselves, or something from their own imagination, in the game.
The few flaws in the game include a few minor glitches, and the fact that it gives ammunition to the people that hate video games. It’s crude, lewd, and, thankfully, rated M for mature audiences; with all the vulgarity in the game, I don’t think my grandparents are old enough to play this game. With that said, don’t miss out on this game. Everything included in it reminds me why I love playing video games.
Final Verdict: Saint’s Row: The Third gets 10 giant, purple, rubber dildo bats out of 10.
This review is based on a retail copy of the Playstation 3 version of Saints Row: The Third by THQ