From firing out of man-cannons to fighting gangs with oversized sex toys, the life of a Saint is far from boring. Since the series first began in 2006, Saints Row has continuously outdone itself with each new entry, crafting gameplay that is just as unbelievable as the characters themselves. The third installment of Saints Row is looking to define “insanity” by showing just how psychotic an open-world game can be.
Saints Row: The Third follows your created character after overcoming the gangs and Ultor Corporation in Stillwater. Having gained superstar status for their actions, the Saints pretty much do what they want when they want, which leads to a bank heist. As you might expect, this robbery doesn’t go as planned and they idolized gang finds themselves behind bars as well as having gained the attention of another large crime organization, The Syndicate. From here, things get out of hand, as they tend to for the purple-wearing gangsters, leaving the group stranded in Steelport where they must rebuild their forces and fight back against their new-found foes.
Has Saints Row: The Third become king of all that is crazy? Or is it just crazy for thinking it could be?
Let’s talk about that melee system for a second. You have three options, as mentioned above, when it comes to beating down enemies with your bare fists. Sprint at an enemy and press the “fire/attack” button and your character will do a one of many different satisfying actions. You may find the leader of the Saints body surfing his target (a much shorter, more comedic version of what you’ve seen in Prototype) or he/she might hop over the unsuspecting foe from behind only to turn around and slug them in the face. Don’t forget about those testicle-oriented combat options. A click of the right stick turns your fist (and any other weapon for that matter) into a nut-buster. Finally, you have the most in-depth option. QTEs can be activated on individual people, allowing you to experience each pummeling through consecutive button prompts. Also, it’s worth noting that the melee weapons themselves (bat, penetrator, etc.) have all seen improvements in handling, making the act of swinging them violently at random pedestrians even more enjoyable.
If you decide to overlook the side-missions, which you’d be crazy to do, Steelport is teeming with ongoing events that are incorporated into areas more seamlessly than missions and activities. Sometimes you’ll come across an area where you can start a survival-type mission against waves of gang members, which results in the extermination of that gang operation. Other times you’ll notice a car outline highlighted on your mini-map, informing you that it is a car you can steal for a reward. These missions come to you via SaintsBook, the small social network that shows you what to steal and who to kill. I believe you’ll find this much more fun than our current social networks.
Cash and Respect are nothing new to Saints Row, and while they are both gained in the same manor as before, the way they are used in The Third is different. Respect levels up your character and opens up new abilities in the “Upgrades” menu. After selecting “Upgrades” from your phone, you can purchase various enhancements to further customize your virtual persona. Want to dual-wield pistols? Go for it. Need better protection from explosives? A no-ragdoll perk awaits your purchase. Literally every aspect of the game can be changed through these upgrades, which, in turn, alters how you play the game. Cash can be spent elsewhere, however. Businesses can be purchased for greater territory control and hourly income gain, cars can be customized from the inside out and guns can be upgraded several times to maximize the firepower at your disposal. All of this stems from the two enhanced components, Respect and Cash.
[Editor’s Note: Saints Row: The Third was reviewed on the Xbox 360 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]
Saints Row: The Third Review,
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