As I crash my hoverbike into a house, I parachute down onto a car. I surf car the to my destination. My destination? A crack house at the end of the island. I clear out a nearby gang location, buy the crackhouse, and suddenly I receive a phone call. I finished the game already? Where did the time go? Saints Row: The Third makes time go by, but is it any good?
After the success story that took place in Saints Row 2, the player, the head of a street gang, starts off with a bank heist. It doesn’t quite work out the way it should. An actor is following the player to start in a movie that’s based on the 3rd Street Saint’s lives. However, the bank heist doesn’t quite happen as it should. The opening scene wasn’t that great. Once again, it feels like I have to build up a city. Something I have done twice already in the other Saints Row games, as well as countless other sandbox-based games. While there is some humor in the scene, referring to movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey to references about Batman, it just wasn’t all that great. It comes to light after the opening sequence that a criminal organization named the Syndicate is after you. It wants all your money, all your guns, and all your whores. Are you going to do something about it?
The characters are just right for what kind of game this is, but there just wasn’t a whole lot to the story for me to care. So what if there is another gang that thinks they are better than us? To be honest, the story was going everywhere and didn’t really have much focus. It was rather dull. The humor also seems missing from this game. The first game was decent, but the second game was just downright hilarious. I was laughing almost my entire way through this game. Saints Row: The Third was different for me. I laughed the most when Autotune Pimp was talking, but that was about it. Where did the humor go? Were they trying to make it more serious?
The missions can be started through your phone, which is in your inventory. Just press the back button, and you are given many options, such as your bank, missions, map, stats, and more. You can even call your homies, just like in the previous games, and have them swing by your side to save your ass. In order to take over this city, you need to destroy the opposing gangs and earn cash.
Around the city, there are plenty of things to do. With many creative guns, such as the Fart in the Jar and Satellite Air Strike, you can pretty much take over the city with a flick of your wrist. While there are a variety of activities to do, such as tank mayhem or picking up hookers around the city, there isn’t a whole lot to them. They are all the same activities as the previous games and are rather boring to be honest. While I did 100% the game, I was rather bored with it all. Achievements kept me going through it.
Without a doubt, this is one of the best customization systems for characters I have ever seen. Right after the opening heist, you can customize your character: hair color, tattoos, piercings, breast and penis size, everything. There are very few things you can’t change. There are a few voice options for each gender, as well as a zombie voice. It’s quite hilarious, but it should only be used on second play-throughs. You have no idea what's going on in the story if you do. As the player finishes missions and makes more money, they can buy properties around Steelport. Some of those properties are stores which have different clothes to buy. There is a plastic surgeon in town so you can change your looks whenever you pay the fee. Sex change anyone?
The graphics are a hit and miss for me. I love the dark feel of them, the look of the city at night, and the way the lights reflect over everything. It can look great at times. However, it breaks the emersion of the game. NPCs can disappear out of nowhere, some lampposts are unbreakable and some aren’t, and enemies sometimes never die. There were a few times where the main character’s face was messed up. It took me out of the experience completely.
The soundtrack is simply wonderful. While I wasn’t a big fan of the rap or hardcore rock channel, I still enjoyed the choices thoroughly. I, for the most part, kept it on the classical channel. Nothing is better then flying a airplane into a group of gang members to some "Flight of the Bees” playing.
The sound effects in the game were decent. There were a couple instances where sound from the weapons just never came. Also, the game could have used more voice overs. I heard the same thing over and over again for the entirety of a mission. I shut off the console and didn’t start it back up until the next day. It was that annoying.
The game isn’t that long. I 100%ed it and I’m only at the 20 hour mark. There is an achievement for 30 hours. I doubt I will get it. There is just nothing to go back for. It has little replayablity after it’s done. There is a horde-type mode called Whored Mode, which puts you against different waves of giant whores, gun wielding midgets, and tanks that shoot dildos but even that is boring. The online community for Saints Row is almost dead already.
Happens to me all the time.
The game has a co-op aspect to it. It gives the ability to play through the story and activities with one friend. While it is a nice feature, it doesn’t offer much to the game’s little replayablity. I just didn’t have as much fun messing around in this game as I did GTA IV, which also had the ability to have many friends on rather than just one.
I conquered Steelport. I defeated everyone, bought all the properties, saved the city from zombies, and flew through a plane and lived! I did countless acts of awesome. At the end of the day, I’m still unsure about all that I did. It was a fun ride, having a blast destroying massive gunships and countless members of gangs, but it was still rather boring. The story was uninteresting, the humor seemed to be missing from previous games, and the gameplay wasn’t much different from the previous installments. I’m hoping in the next Saints Row that they bring back the humor, and put some more life into the game. All in all, it’s a good game to spend some of that leftover Christmas money on.
Lasting appeal: 6
This game was reviewed on the Xbox version.