Saints Row: The Third Review
The story is enhanced by the excellent voice cast, which includes Hulk Hogan, Sasha Gray and Burt Reynolds, and the funny script that never takes itself seriously. Characters banter, comment on the situation and dis each other, and everyone in the game is fully aware of how incredibly F’d up things get, which makes cliches, like Zombies that show up late in the game, end up being freakin’ awesome.
One nice touch is how present the soundtrack is. Inspired by the GTA series, previous SR games had tons of licensed music and humorous radio banter only accessible whenever you were in your vehicle. SR3 ups the ante by actually including soundtrack music in critical, non driving scenes simply because it makes the scene even better. When it happens, you get the sense that you’re not playing in anything like a real world, but are instead actually in a ridiculous blockbuster crime movie.
Really, the story missions are just ridiculous all day, every day. This needs to be said again and again. There’s a mission set in a video game that includes a text-based adventure parody. One requires you to fight completely naked while high on drugs. Another rewards you with a hoverbike. At every turn, just when you think things can’t get any more incredibly, awesomely absurd, the game tops itself, right up to a hilarious retconning of Red Faction: Guerilla. Not all missions are a equally great, but as promised, all of them have at least one holy Sh*t moment that rewards you for playing, even boring escort missions.
Unfortunately, while huge, with 8 islands total, Steelport isn’t heavily populated. There’s also the fact that certain story events – I won’t spoil them – are left underveloped. A few key cut scenes feel as though the most important information was presented just before you arrived on the scene, leaving the player to fill in the blanks. The story is also slightly shorter than Saints Row 2. This is, I suspect, because Volition wants to monetize DLC as much as possible; They’re already selling DLC and the game has only been out a couple of hours!
Cheap? Yes. But F*ck it. We’ll forgive them this once because they didn’t make us pay extra for the Dildo/baseball bat