Saints Row: The Third Review

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Oh, those wonderful Saints are back, and boy are they back with a bang. After Saints Row 2, we were left very happy having defeated all our rivals in Stilwater. Indeed, the Saints were number one. So what happens next? Well, if you love mayhem, chances are you’re going to love finding out.

Saints Row: The Third is an all-out fun fest of a game, there are so many insane moments that you’re literally are never bored. It’s an open world game with a twist, fun is at its heart and over the top ridiculous moments are a dime a dozen. Volition has taken the genre to new heights, this game will give you a good 30 hours of fun in campaign mode and once that’s done the multiplayer will blow your mind (literally). Bring on the gangs, thugs, pimps, hookers, cats, dogs, dominatrix’s and other filth, we love it.

We join our Saints after a botched bank job lands them in jail, Phillipe Loren (leader of the Syndicate) bribes the cops to let the Saints out, but then asks the Saints to turn over most of the loot they gathered in Stilwater. Of course, the Saints tell him where to shove it, leading to a gun fighton an aeroplane of all places. It’s from here that you’re introduced to the game’s new city of Steelport, and man is she pretty. The Saints begin their mission to takeover the city from the Syndicate and hence are forced to do battle with more rival gangs (Deckers, Morningstar, and Luchadores).

Controls are standard here and getting the hang of the game is very easy, there are also little tutorials that pop up and show you what to do, so everything is taken care of. You move your character with the left analogue stick and move the camera with the right one. You can run, shoot, drive, swim, thrust (ha, ha), and any other bodily movements you like. Shooting and blocking is standard and everything you need to know you are told during play.

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First thing on the agenda is your character and what they look and sound like. There are literally hundreds of options here from choosing their gender to what they wear. ‘Oh my god’ is a phrase that comes to mind, as you can be a bald, fat, huge man or a sexy, large bosomed lady that speaks in a zombie tone. You can wear as much or as little as you like, this is the only game I know where you can actually play the whole thing naked. In fact the more naked you are the better as you get more respect.

Now, respect is the currency in Saints Row: The Third that you need (along with cash, of course) to take over parts of the city. How do you earn respect? Easy, you ride people like they are surfboards, thrust your crotch in peoples’ faces whilst they are driving, slap pedestrians with a dildo baseball bat and other fun and insane activities as well as the standard taking part in missions and other activities, buying shops and, of course, taking out the competition . This game actually rewards you for being crazy, and you can act out anything your mind thinks of. It’s truly an open world where you can be who you want and do what you want.

Another point about respect, is that the more you have the more you unlock. Health, abilities, vehicles, extra damage and combat aids are just some of the perks respect gets you. This is a game all about customization, and not only can you tinker with your character but your weapons, vehicles the bases you take over. How many times did you want to make a super baseball bat and take out everyone? Well, you can. You like exploding rounds, they are just the beginning. How about plastic surgery? You can even have a sex change should you be so inclined.

Vehicles are big in Saints Row: The Third. You can ride anything and everything from cars, tanks, bikes and skateboards to, oh, pedestrians. You can even dive through the windshield of a car karate kick the driver out and take it, it’s so much god damn fun. All the vehicles handle very well and feel solid on the roads, cornering is fun, as is driving round and performing drive-by shootings. This maybe a little too close for some GTA fans, but Saints Row: The Third is no GTA, it’s better in my opinion.

The graphics are pretty good and very smooth, sometimes you will see some blocky appearances and characters sometimes get stuck in boxes, but for the most part they are done quite well and are pleasing to look at. This is no RAGE, but it’s not trying to be. The characters all look fun and detailed, while the costumes are funny and bright. Steelport is alive with jokes, vibrant designs and nice structures, everything in the city is busy and usually it’s doing something rude or loud.

The sound in the game is also fantastic, the licensed soundtrack that is heard on radios in cars plays everything from classical tunes to hip hop to punk. Every taste is catered for and if you don’t like what you hear you can, of course, turn the radio off. The voice acting is just funny, with all the moaning, grunting, shouting and swearing perfectly brutal. This is not a game for kids so play when they are in bed safe away from the utter mind fudge that is Saints Row: The Third.  Also, can you say celebrities? This game features wrestler Hulk Hogan, porn star Sasha Grey and Lost actor Daniel Dae Kim, mega-bucks must have spent on these voices and it makes a big difference in game.

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There is also the fun option of co-op play here. The moto ‘drop in and out’ is taken up and its super fun as your friends can drop in help you commit unspeakable acts then pop off again. Some of the missions don’t seem like they are designed to be tag teamed, but still you lose nothing playing with friends. You know horde mode is in all games nowadays, right? Well Saints Row has a ‘whored’ mode in which wave upon wave of whores come at you and it’s your job to kill them all, and, once again, you can tag team in this mode as well. Seriously, how fun is it to fight off whores?

The crazy characters you make will also be available to upload to the community site and have the world look at and score. It’s another area where Saints Row shines as there are truly insane people out there with sick minds, but, wow, it’s also fun and adds miles onto the life span of this game.

Overall, Saints Row: The Third is fun. Simply put, it’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Well, actually, if you’re like me, your character will be naked all the time so that’s not completely accurate. The missions are varied and never repetitive, and while sometimes you may not think your actions have consequences, they do. Everything you do in the game changes the way other gangs and pedestrians see you.  This game is not a GTA clone, it has similar concepts, but I believe it improves on GTA and gives you a white knuckle ride of a game. It’s hilarious how many, ‘What the fudge?’ moments there are in this game, so get in, strap it on and go have a good time.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 3 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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