Saints Row: The Third

Top shelf entertainment.

By Daavpuke, Posted 23 Nov 2011

Some games try to portray their violence with gritty realism or bleak outlooks on modern life. The glorification of crime and destruction can become a debatable point when seeing how little developers want to portray in an entertainment message. Saints Row The Third, whilst still glorifying crime vastly, is not one of those titles. If anything, it makes ‘over the top’ seem like an understatement and should therefore debunk any claims of enabling violence or crime.

The Saints are an incredibly successful street gang, to the point that their fame has reached movie star status. They own their own store franchises, people idolize them and they literally get away with murder. When they arrive in Steelport however, other gangs aren’t welcoming them with open arms and therefore, the Saints will have to create some elbow room. This will happen in true Saints style: completely mental and with ludicrous force.

It’ll take some time to tackle Steelport and bend it to the way of the Saints, because this city is rather large and there is much to do. From skyscrapers to an industrial zone, suburbs and the general city area; there are dozens of districts with each having buildings and activities scattered throughout them. And while Saints Row only has modest visuals in its characters or general finish, it does create a giant, expansive world with ample lighting and added effects. In addition, the slight blurring that comes with speed or camera effects has a cinematic feel, which enhances the movie-like experience of the game.

NoobFeed Review - Saints Row The Third

But the true winner, beyond just the tons of content and story, is the fully customizable playlist choice with the most versatile and generous track list ever to grace a game. Saints Row The Third doesn’t stick to safe choices, like its prominent dubstep or Kanye tracks, but sheds light on some underground favorites. Artists like Tyler The Creator, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Shai Hulud and even Shoolly D (which created the Aqua Teen Hunger Force theme song) are only some of the choices for all tastes in music. This is one of the only games that would’ve benefited from implementing a separate jukebox option to just chill to a selected playlist, but sadly that doesn’t exist. Though some radio stations are so fun to just listen to, one could just park their car and listen.

Luckily, there is more than just some awesome tunes; the game also extends this glory to some of the most varied sandbox experience to date.  Through a phone that allows choosing many different options, players can take up missions when not just out for random destruction. These then get pinpointed on the map, after which an ideal route gets displayed, complete with subtle racing guides. Missions vary greatly in objectives and as such Saints Row The Third will take players through a cornucopia of games. There are straight up destruction missions, strange shootouts in explosive rickshaws, fights with tanks and even huge VTOL aircrafts that take mayhem to new limits. But in particular, the virtual reality section is showing of some of the most creative designs in sandbox games. As Saints Row The Third is meant to be completely over the top, it does just that and screws any logic it faces. As a varying and differing experience, it is unmatched.

Unfortunately, the sense of exaggeration is sometimes taken just an inch too far and can also be found in wonky controls or camera issues. It’s one thing to want a game to be completely ludicrous at every turn, but adding this within the core makes it a little harder to digest. This is especially true during some of the later missions, where all sense is really hurled out of the window. Luckily, by then, most of its indiscretions are normally accustomed to, so they can be forgiven; certainly as some moments are even more hilarious because of it.

Truth is, Saints Row The Third is a ton of fun; literally tons. Sure, it doesn’t skimp on infantile humor and will reference genitalia and other pubescent material constantly, but even humorless people will enjoy the gameplay content. Beyond missions, there are loads of collectibles scattered throughout the city, as well as shops to customize cars, weapons and characters. But there are also additional mini-games, such as a section where fire and guns get a quirky oriental game show touch for cash prizes!

NoobFeed Review - Saints Row The Third

Further advancing the entertainment is the fact that the game uses a swift progression in both substance and leveling mechanic. At all times, new things get added, leaving no dull moments in the game. In addition, players rack up respect levels quickly, which unlocks special perks that can be purchased through the phone. These upgrades can be taken whenever players want, which doesn’t distract from playing or forces choices.

And to top it off, all this is also enjoyable with a friend, though the online section requires an unlock code. At any time, players can drop in other games and help out, but sadly, dropping out means loss of content, making this a tough decision with strangers. Beyond the campaign, the game also offers a Whored Mode that sends 30 waves of differing enemy scenarios in 3 maps. It’s a nice bonus, but Saints Row The Third is perfectly enjoyable alone. Though, as the game is more designed to be played cooperatively, it doesn’t hurt to have 1 trusted friend.

This new venture into the non-apologetic world of Saints Row is definitely top shelf entertainment. Saints Row The Third goes all out to create an experience vast in both length and content and creates no illusions on it being a crazy, over the top title. Even if it has very few indiscretions here and there, it’s hard to see any other developer keeping up with Saints Row The Third, as it sets a new standard that some franchises won’t be able to follow. Realism is highly overrated and as an entertainment title, this game needs none of it to make for one of the most fun titles ever built.


Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@Daavpuke)

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  • I want this game. So over-the-top, crazy, and not to be taken seriously. At all. Just the way I want my video games to be.

    Also, STRAP IT ON.

    Posted Nov 30, 2011


General Information

Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Publisher(s): THQ
Developer(s): Volition, Inc.
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Open World
Release Date: 2011-11-15

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