Saints Row: The Third Review
The press packet for Saints Row: The Third promised that every mission, no matter what, would have a “holy Sh** moment”, a big, memorable, over-the-top scene guaranteed to wow the player and make them laugh out loud at the same time. The marketing has had the same theme, promising again and again that whatever else the game may be, it will be absurd, exaggerated, morally deplorable and, in every way that counts, the thematic opposite of the Grand Theft Auto games the Saints Row series initially cloned. I am happy to report that Saints Row: The Third is every bit as completely ridiculous as promised.
Think of it like the video game equivalent of kids wondering if Batman could beat up Luke Skywalker while having sex with She-Ra, and then actually drawing the comic making the case. Every single moment in the game – even the boring moments – feels like the developers were sitting around brainstorming the craziest stuff they could think of and then asking a 5 year old pyromanic to poke holes in it. The result is a violent, vulgar, profane to the extreme camp masterpiece that is difficult to believe until you play it.
It may not be be *best* game of 2011 – to claim otherwise would be to risk a flogging from angry Skyrim fans – but it is my favorite, and absolutely the most fun I’ve had all year.
Saints Row: The Third: – Xbox 360 (Reviewed), Playstation 3, PC
Developer: Volition, Inc.
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Saints Row: The Third picks up some years after the end of Saints Row 2. Having turned themselves into popular media icons, they hawk everything from an energy beverage (Saints’ Flow), a line of comic books, even a brand of condoms. The game begins with a ridiculous advertisement for Saints’ Flow, and then turns into the silliest heist ever. The Saints have been hired by a cheesy TV Actor to give him a crime ride-along for a role he’s trying to get. You and your crew almost pull it off. Almost.
The Saints are then kidnapped and taken aboard a cargo jet where they’re introduced to a shadowy criminal group called ‘The Syndicate’ that are planning to move into Stillwater. After escaping, you’ll engage in a firefight on the plane during which a critical series-changing event happens, jump from the jet without a parachute, have a free-fall firefight with equally parachute-free enemies, and somehow manage to land unscathed in the new city of Steelport, a decaying, former industrial city now hopelessly violent and corrupt, that serves as Syndicate HQ.
The important thing is that you’ve just enjoyed a 30 minute prologue during which you robbed a bank, blew up a plane, killed a bunch of skydiving gunmen and landed safely in a new city. All of which is tame compared to what you’ll get up to when the game begins proper.