by Chris Davis
reviewed on X360
Who Wouldn’t Want to be Johnny Gat?
Much like the previous games in the series, Saints Row The Third continues in the tradition of waging a turf war against rival gangs with the added goal of wiping out the criminal organization that owns Steelport. The game also follows in the tradition of starting you out with nothing and forcing you to work your way up, putting you through tutorial missions initially to set up your first cribs as well as each type of activity you can participate in. While the variety of activities you can take on is small (on the same order as the previous two games) it is a varied enough affair to not have you coming back to them wondering what you need to do.
Returning to Saints Row The Third are several classic activities as well as a host of new ones. Snatch, the prostitute capture activity as well as Insurance Fraud, Trail Blazing and Mayhem return from Saints Row 2. Four new activities, Tank Mayhem, Guardian Angel, Trafficking and the curiously named Professor Genki’s Super Ethical Reality Climax bring the count up to twelve. Tank Mayhem plays out just like a standard Mayhem event albeit with, well, a tank and both Guardian Angel and Trafficking have you escorting someone throughout Steelport. Professor Genki’s event however is an entirely different animal all together. A Japanese game show, you are subjected to a Smash TV-esque point grinder where you have to shoot enemies dressed as mascots (furries, beer brands, what have you) as well as signs that litter the rooms while avoiding walls of fire and electricity. The end result is hilarious and really does a great job of spoofing the source material it is based on. If anything, this should be the first activity you complete all the way through.
One thing about Saints Row you will notice is that everything from the previous games has been upgraded, an enticing fact considering that Saints Row 2 was already a terrific game. The character creation system is even more powerful than before and rivals that of even Bethesda and Bioware titles. This customization factor also applies to vehicles and your gang, albeit at a smaller level. Weapons can also be upgraded to outlandish levels (visually anyway) so it is worth your time to spend that hard earned cash.
Outlandish is probably the best word to describe the Saints Row series and The Third is no exception. Nothing is sacred in the Saints’ tale of urban conquest and every single exotic taboo, fetish and otherwise deviant activity is either joked about, referenced, or utilized somewhere in the game. You name it, there’s a joke. Heck, you even visit a BDSM club early on in the game to rescue a principle character which ends with one of the most hilarious (and wrong) chase sequences ever conceived of. Volition certainly pulled out all the stops on this one.
Cooperative play, something that has yet to be implemented to its logical extent in a lot of Saints Row’s main competition, is back. While it is just as fun as you remember, one new item is probably the most outlandish - Whored Mode. Yes, you read that right. A take on the now classic Horde Mode, Whored has you facing off against increasingly harder waves of gimps, prostitutes, zombies and others using weapons such as the Fart in a Jar (quite possibly the deadliest grenade ever made), the Penetrator rubber dildo bat (I can’t believe I just typed that). Despite its raunchy nature it is surprisingly fun and extends the game a significant bit beyond the singleplayer experience.
Strapping It On
A lot can be said about Saints Row The Third but the only word that wouldn’t be used to describe it would be ‘subtle.’ Volition has refined their crime-riddled sandbox series to a fine point with The Third and it is a must have for series veterans as well as those who wanted GTA to have a better sense of humor. It definitely isn’t for everyone and much of its raunchy nature could be an automatic turn off for prospective gamers looking for something wholesome. If you are looking to test the limits of taste and have fun the whole time through you’d be hard pressed not to pick this one up.
Over the top, hilarious gameplay
Later missions lack the cinematic nature of earlier ones