Saint’s Row The Third

8.25 Overall Score
Gameplay: 8/10
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 9/10

Lots of fun | Great music and sound | Fun co-op

Offputting difficulty spikes | Poor endgame

Game Info

GAME NAME: Saint’s Row The Third

DEVELOPER(S): Volition



GENRE(S): Action

RELEASE DATE(S): 11/15/11

“This makes perfect sense,” I say to myself as I jump out of a plane wearing a cat mask, flip-flops, bike shorts, and a hoodie.  I spin around, shoot a fighter jet a few times, and watch it crash into a building.  My parachute opens – I land on an overpass.  Cars are honking at me, and a girl wearing next to nothing flicks me off.  I do the dougie for her, then punch her into the ocean.  Saint’s Row!

Everyone has at least 5 of those kinds of stories in Saint’s Row 3, and each one is entertaining.  Boiled down to its core, SR3 is just that – entertaining.  Although it has a disjointed plot and not everything hits its mark, Saint’s Row 3 is definitely a fun game and worth a look.

Your character, the leader of the Third Street Saints, has become glut with fame and fortune.  After the events of the second game, the Saints are a parody of themselves now – it’s all energy drinks and sponsorships.  Then, on a routine business trip, you and a few members of your crew get taken hostage by a new gang.  You’re transported to a new city with new havoc to wreak, so have at it.  It grows from there, though.  There are a few other gangs to deal with, including a group of Mexican wrestlers that you’re against for some reason, a bunch of hackers you hate, and eventually the military.  Zombies make an appearance too, because it’s 2012 and if a game doesn’t have zombies in it then the game is listed as incomplete. There are fighter jets, police chases, a part where you’re riding a rickshaw that’s being pulled by a gimp, tigers in cars, and a weird insane cat creature only vaguely aware of its own fame.  It all gets a little confusing, and by about halfway through the main storyline, it all just stops making sense.

But that’s okay.  The story missions are mainly there to teach you how to play the side missions, which are generally a lot of fun.  But in these open-world style destruction simulators, the most fun usually comes out from what trouble you, the player, can get into.  It’s a lot of fun for the first 75% or so of the game, with the last quarter slogging down into a long series of increasingly tough free-for-alls.  Because at that point, you’ve bought all the damage reduction abilities, so you and your crew are just a walking group of bullet sponges.  The game tries out some creative ways of dealing with that (a gun that pushes you!  now you’re a toilet!), but these trials are, again, disjointed.  And after taking over most of the city towards the end, it gets a little lonely.  Almost no bad guys are around to torment, and when they do show up, you’re so powerful that it’s barely a challenge.

Side missions are prevalent as well.  A few make their return from Saint’s Row 2, like Insurance Fraud, but some are woefully absent – you won’t get to dress up as a cop in SR3.  There are also little mini missions, where, for example, you’ll get a list of cars to steal and return to a garage.  Of course, some are more fun then others.  Driving around town with a tiger in the back seat is annoying, while Professor Genki’s missions are worth the price of admission just for the commentator’s dialogue.

The game looks and runs well, with cut scenes involving your character letting you show off your weird style choices. Character creation is pretty fun as well, and there are lots of options to make your guy or girl look like a background extra from Jersey Shore.  Graphical glitches do pop up – sometimes your car will be invisible, and that’s that – but they’re rare in single player and very uncommon in multiplayer.  It’s sharp, glossy, and slick all around.

The sound is where it shines, though.  Celebrity voices abound, and they’re really given open license to chew the scenery they inhabit.  Even the main character has 6 different, fully realized voices., and an additional 2 gimmicky zombie voices, which is funny in small doses.  A stellar playlist adds to the game as well, with stuff from KMFDM, Kanye West, and everything in between.  Remember Sublime’s What I Got?  That’s here too, and early in the game, your character and a buddy sing along to it.  It really sets the tone for the whole experience – moreso if you’ve got the zombie voice.

Co-op returns to the game as well, which is very nice.  The voicechat is vastly improved over SR2, with nearly no lag. Connections are pretty robust, and I’d never experienced any dropped connections or other internet goofiness that can plague open-world games.  Also in the game is “Whored Mode,” which you can ignore.

Saint’s Row 3 is a game worthy of its pedigree.  After all these years of being called a GTA ripoff, the series has really come up to the goofy, gleefully stupid romp that we’ve been expecting.  As they say, strap it on.  Blow up some stuff, have a couple of laughs, and make sure that if you see Professor Genki roaming about, you say hi with a silly dance.



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Author: James View all posts by
Dangerously fat. Twitter: @hypersaline