Saints Row: The Third
Genre: Open World Adventure
Release Dates: November 15, 2011 (NA) / November 18, 2011 (EU)
Price: 10,63£ (Amazon)
Saints Row: The Third takes you out of Stilwater, the city where the action took place in the previous titles, and drops you into the new city of Steelport, where it is your job to take over and show everyone that the Saints are made to rule. There is little story to uncover here and even that can probably be resumed in a sentence or two, but the most important aspect of your purpose in Saints Row: The Third is that you have been put there to kick ass, and not just anyhow, but in style.
The story is only meant to introduce you to the characters and the mechanics of the game, giving you access to the tools, vehicles and weapons that you master later on in the game to use how you see fit. While the plot does give a little of background to each one of the three gangs in Steelport: The Morningstar, The Deckers and The Luchadores, most of the missions will be all about the unique ways in which they manage to entertain you, and less about the actual reason for why you just blew up an entire building. While Saints Row: The Third barely tells you anything about the community of Steelport and even the gangs themselves, it does tell you a lot about the Saints, and even if you haven't touched a Saints Row game before, it will almost instantly grow with you and transform you into a fan of the Saints just by being a part of an explosive and unscripted way of life.
While some will remain with you longer than others, all characters have something of their own, from a pimp that only speaks using autotune, to a friend that makes you drive around while sitting next to a tiger, Saints Row: The Third is above all, a moshpit of craziness. To understand the logic behind this game you must not take it seriously, because it is not meant to be that at all; instead Saints Row III provides you with the same gang fighting scenery as its predecessors in a city that serves as your playground, filled with crazy characters, vehicles and missions to satisfy your thirst for endless destruction. 7
If there's one thing Saints Row: The Third does well that is variety; aside from the campaign missions which will take on all sorts of crazy and explosive adventures, there are numerous other activities such as Escort, Mayhem, Snatch, Guardian Angel, Professor Genki's Super Ethical Reality Climax and many more other activities and challenges including Car Theft Missions and Assassination Contracts. Everything that you do in Saints Row: The Third will earn you cash and respect, which can be used to unlock and respectively buy upgrades and powers not only for your character, but for your crew and your strongholds as well.
There is quite an impressive inventory of cars and aircrafts that you can play around with, and spending more time in Saints Row: The Third while advancing the game will only unlock more toys for you to play with, including an insane retro-game tank. This game wants to make one thing clear, and that is that the Saints are here to take over, and while the game doesn't offer a struggling story to get there, it does offer insane and pure fun in every single moment down the road, starting with a character working with a couple of Saints from a small apartment in the beginning, only to have the entire Steelport as your playground by the end of the game, leaving you free to use all the tools and weapons at your disposal in which way you best see fit.
The campaign can also be played cooperatively, and aside from the missions themselves, you are free to roam around the city of Steelport with a friend, trying out new things and leaving aside any preconceived notions of multiplayer games for some good entertainment in which you will set your own objectives and goals in the heat of the moment. As fun as it is, the game doesn't come without its problems, as there are numerous glitches and sometimes mission freezes that will require you to reload the last checkpoint in order to continue, and while those appear way more often in multiplayer for some reason, you will still encounter some of those while playing alone as well. 7.5
While it isn't the prettiest game of its time, Saints Row: The Third does a decent job keeping up with the times, and even though it doesn't have anything that will shine out of the ordinary, the city of Steelport feels like a great playground for all the toys you'll get to try out in the game. The character models aren't the shiniest ones either, but the fact that you can customize your own character with almost almost any piece of clothing you can think of and even add tattoos makes up for it. The visual effects can feel repetitive at times, as explosions will most likely look the same no matter the objects or environment; there are also numerous weird animations that can be hard to ignore and occasional visual glitches. 7
From electronic to rap, 80's pop hits and even classics such as Bach, Saints Row: The Third has something for everyone when it comes to its soundtrack, and thanks to its customizable playlist it is up to you to create your own tunes mix to accompany you along the road. The voice cast is quite impressive, with Troy Baker providing the default player voice, while Danielle Nicolet gets to voice Shaundi and Hulk Hogan providing the voice of Angel de la Muerte. They even had Sasha Grey from you know where voice brothel owner Viola DeWynter and Burt Reynolds voice himself in the game as Mayor Burt Reynolds. The sound effects are top notch and fit the action on screen perfectly and even when the visuals disappoint for a moment, there's always good audio to make up for it. 10
The main campaign can be finished within 10 hours, but you can easily spend 20 more completing activities, challenges and looking for collectibles; the story itself is only an introduction to what you can expect from Saints Row: The Third, and with all the tools and weapons it has to offer the possibilities are practically endless. The entire game can also be played cooperatively which is always a great reason to jump back into the game and complete whatever you missed the first time alongside one of your buddies while trying out new things and basically having a good time. 10
Saints Row: The Third is above anything else an endless source of entertainment, whether you choose to play alone or with a buddy, as there is an enormous amount of activities, missions, challenges, weapons, vehicles, tools, gang fights, proprieties to buy and upgrades to unlock, ensuring that no matter what, there will always be something fun and refreshing to do in the city of Steelport as long as there will be Saints in it. 8.3