Saints Row: The Third Review

In addition to those tweaks on old favorites, SR3 has some new Activities that are as fun as they are nonsensical. Tiger Escort has you drive around town with a live tiger in your car. There’s also Professor Genki’s Super Ethical Reality Climax, a reality game show in which the contestant – that’s you – fights their way through a ridiculous obstacle course, dodging fire and electricity traps and killing enemies, with color commentary provided by Hulk Hogan.

The only problem is that there are slightly less Activities than in Saints Row 2. I could have spent hours doing increasingly difficult runs through Professor Genki’s without ever getting bored, and there really should have been much more Tank Mayhems. Hopefully, the promised ‘ton’ of DLC content will include new instances.

Co-op

Though co-op in Saints Row: The Third is inessential – there’s nothing in co-op that can’t also be done in single player – it is also wonderful. You and your friend can play through the entirety of the story missions and team up for activities, and the instant drop in/drop out guarantees if your friend decides to leave the game, you can continue without interruption. The only problem is that, unlike Saints Row 2, you can’t simply choose levels to play, which means that your friend needs to have reached the same level as you in order to proceed through the story with you. However, they can still mill about and help you complete activities, blow things up for the sake of it, and battle with you in Whored Mode.

Oh, Whored Mode. What a ridiculous and wonderful idea. An obvious pun on horde, it’s similar to any other game’s horde mode, especially to the survival co-op in Modern Warfare 3′s Spec-ops. You, or you and a friend, survive wave after wave vicious enemies. The twist is that your enemies are prostitutes wearing exaggerated sexy outfits, and the rules change from round to round to provide maximum carnage, and hilarity. One round has you using the Penetrator against an army of gimps. A later round, called ‘Hank East’ has you fighting zombie-prostitutes. ‘Vegan Nightmare’ pits you against dozens of fast food mascots (corporate whores, I suppose), and more than one round forces you to fight waves of tiny little enemies who tear you down, Gulliver’s Travels-style. Brilliant.

Whored Mode allows you to choose from 3 maps drawn from the game, each with a high degree of verticality and space allowing for some interesting variety in how you tackle your enemies. They’re never truly challenging – I managed to get through all 30 waves on all 3 maps playing by myself – but that isn’t the point. The point, much like the rest of the game, is to make you laugh as much as possible while doing absolutely terrible things, and also like the rest of the game, fantastic success is achieved.

The Last Word

I said above that Saints Row: The Third isn’t the best game of the year. It hurts to say that, because one wants one’s favorite thing to be the best thing also, but OK, it’s not the best game. However, it is absolutely glorious, and for all its faults, it’s always fun and always insane. Buy it. Buy it now. In fact, stop reading this review and open your wallet, OK?

I’ll just add this brilliant moment from early in the game sums up everything that makes Saints Row: The Third wonderful. Even for a game in which, by this point, you’ve already robbed a bank, skydived without a parachute, jumped through the cockpit of an airplane and then continued skydiving sans-chute, killed dozens of other skydivers with a machine gun while free-falling, it still comes completely out of nowhere. I considered not spoiling it, but since everyone already talking about it, here goes – you and your homie Pierce, singing along to Sublime’s “What I Got” while exploring your new city:

Pros:

* Constantly hilarious
* Varied missions, activities
* Even boring missions have incredible moments
* Great voice cast
* Great dialogue
* Literally the best array of weapons possible
* Unapologetically vulgar, violent and yet good natured

Cons:

* Short(ish); Some critical story elements are underdeveloped
* Too few Activity instances
* Universe feels underpopulated
* The most incredible weapons and abilities aren’t unlocked until near the end of the story

I emotionally wanted to give the game 105 out of 100, but I’ll be less effusive and give it-

Final Score: 90/100

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10 Comments on Saints Row: The Third Review

fg

On November 15, 2011 at 12:39 pm

TL;DR

no

On November 16, 2011 at 12:09 am

intersting comment

Ok...

On November 16, 2011 at 12:32 am

The game itself is actually pretty fun, aside from the fact that my particular version seems to have a pretty serious glitch. The Escort mission for the guy who’s every line has been autotuned seems to be unbeatable because as soon as I start it, the game claims I have failed the mission before even hitting any buttons. I even tested it by starting the mission and then not pressing a single button and within 1 or 2 seconds the game claimed I had destroyed the vehicle. Also, the Guardian Angel Mission for the hacker chick (not Shaundi) also seems to be unbeatable, though that may be due to my own incompetence with a rocket launcher while sitting on the edge of a helicopter piloted by a fellow gang member. I hope that Xbox Live releases an update for the game soon to fix these problems, otherwise I will be out $60+ that I could have used for something much more useful.

Zee

On November 16, 2011 at 10:09 am

As an immature, perverted 12-year-old at heart, “Saints’ Flow” just makes me giggle too much.

Seema

On November 16, 2011 at 10:24 am

I can’t wait to play this game. Batman? She-Ra? SEX?

Faisal

On November 16, 2011 at 11:00 am

Great review. Thanks for giving us something other than the formulaic reviews we see so often on other sites!

Nick

On November 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm

When I’m in Guardian Angel mode, in the helicopter, I can’t get the guy I’m protecting to get in the car. He keeps hiding. What am I doing wrong?

shay

On November 17, 2011 at 10:45 am

To user Ok….
im having the same issues!! I can’t beat the helicopter mission for the hacker chick, and i am having the same issue with the escort mission- I wont even press anything and the second it begins I fail because I’ve “destroyed the vehicle”. This is annoying, I really hope they come out with some patches quick. Ugh.

PAL-18

On November 30, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Should i play either of the previous games before playing this? Will i lose any major storyline?

Okkkkk

On February 4, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Wtf.!!!!! Wat do I do wen it claimed ive failed the mission as soon as it startes on the mission Escort for the guy that uses the auto tuner (Zimos)!?!?