OK, if I told you that I was about to review Saints Row The Third, and it was going to be a very serious review, I would expect you to jot down my IP and have me assassinated with a rocket launcher that fires small hairy animals covered in blue goo and I would not blame you for a second, because if there is one thing that Saints Row The Third ISN’T it is serious.
The opening FMV provides comedic value from the off and prepares you for the humor the game has to offer. Within the first 15 seconds in I already developed a hate for one of the characters, I think this is due to the tone of voice said character uses and the way he is displayed to the player. I feel everything in the game contributes to the overall feel and impression of the game apart from when in combat , the characters seem to think that if you are not talking to them the there is no point living and so subsequently decide to wander into a nearby wall or an annoyed ‘Morning-star’ member who just so happens to be decorating the wall behind you with gunfire and grenade shrapnel I agree that the talking (and there is a lot of it) is very necessary to contribute to the understanding of the plot-line to the player however I feel the dialogue is not necessary during combat, I don’t know about you but when I am trying to line a head-shot up on a guy who is bobbing up and down in 300 yards in front of me, the last thing I need is someone shouting in my ear that they need help or that their pies are overdone or whatever such nonsense the game decides to throw at you.
The feel of the game is overall crap but the thing that stands out for all the good reasons (for me at least) is the aesthetics of the game, the Graphics are quite impressive, as you may know Volition aren’t really known for their attention for detail, unlike other RPG focused developers such as Bethesda, but the third installment of saint’s row has come through shining (graphically at least), a lot of care has gone into the development of the environments and the characters as anyone with half a brain can tell.
Now I will talk a little about the mechanics of the game, Even though the game generally seems to be fantasy based, there are some scenes, wherein realism does seem to have been used. The best example of this would be the first level where we find ourselves hanging off a vault (which has suspicious holes on the top of it which any sane man would determine have been put there so it could be deliberately stolen by a helicopter) and with only one hand one cannot change their weapon which is directly related to the fact that one needs two hands to swap a weapon but as this is not the case, it is not possible.
The game opens into a fairly similar looking city to Stillwater (The city in which Saints Row 2 was set), but this city is cleverly named Steelport, this is my first issue with this game, I mean would it have been so hard to think of a name that didn’t make us think of Saints Row 2?. My suggestions are blacksea, industryville and portcity, they are all better than Steelport, it is almost like the developers have had railroad spikes driven through their skulls just to stop them being ‘intelligent’ anyway I digress.
The game’s story (if one can call it that) is that the third street saints are now media celebrities who owned Stillwater and have become worldwide sensations (apparently murdering little old ladies with two-foot dildos is a charming way of gaining fame and a huge following of loyal fans) however now a new group called ‘Morningstar’ have begun to move in and systematically take all of the Saints businesses, followers (how fickle are these people?) and most importantly, money. The point of the whole game is just to basically fight back against ‘The Morningstar’ and reclaim what you rightfully earned (by murdering, kidnapping and car-jacking) in the first place.
Now you know the story and general gist of the game I will delve into a little detail about the game-play and it’s mechanics.
The first thing I will talk about his customization, as with the previous games, one can make their character look like almost anything from The Joker all the way down to Agent 47 however the one thing that has been taken away is variety, whereas in the first two games one could choose whether they wanted their character to be flimsy or built like they had been breastfed steroids in this game we cannot do that, we are given the option of making them look like were given steroids a week ago or a month ago. The other thing is that the clothing is very limited now, in the second game we could choose undershirts, over-shirts and then jackets however in Saints Row The Third all of these options are bundled into the label of ‘Upper Body’ which I think is very presumptuous of Volition.
Keeping with the tone of customization, I think I should mention the weapon system included in this game, I would firstly say that the weapon(s) customization is more of an upgrade system than actual customization due to the fact of limits and restrictions. The player is allowed to choose which upgrade to apply to each weapon however we do not get the choice of what is included in said upgrade which I think is once again wrong because I like to be able to apply a Suppressor to my weapons without first having to make a larger clip for said weapon (you don’t need many bullets, they are everywhere DO NOT BUY THEM this also applies to guns).
Lastly I say customization but again I am telling a small lie there because, yes SR2 may have more possibilities than it’s predecessor(s) it is still rather limited to the style of the gang’s clothing and means of transportation, I just think that they could have let your upgrade each and every one of your gang to your heart’s content, I mean EA’s The Godfather 2 did it and that was three years ago, what’s SR3′s excuse?
I have told you everything that I want to about this game so now I will close this review and let you go back to your lives, but before you do, I just want to say, Saints Row The Third is not in any way, shape or form a good game, it is indeed FUN but that does not make it good, the game achieves it’s goal of being a silly, fun and seriously whacky game but if you are anything like me and your idea of fun is juxtaposition and pacing then avoid this game at all costs, the fun doesn’t save the game from the bottom of my septic tank I am afraid to say.
Saints Row The Third achieves a 4/10 from me because if you Take a turd, polish it, paint it gold and cover it in diamonds it still doesn’t make it beautiful, it will always be a turd. Sorry Volition better luck next time.
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