Saints Row: The Third Featured Hot
Saints Row: The Third is a nonlinear third-person shooter video game, being developed by Volition, Inc. and published by THQ. It is to be released on November 15, 2011 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is the third and final title in the Saints Row series, after the release of Saints Row 2 in 2008. As in Saints Row 2, the player controls the leader of the Third Street Saints. The game world is the fictional city of Steelport, and the story centers around the gang war between the Saints and The Syndicate, a rival criminal group.
The Third's game world is the fictional city of Steelport, which is stylistically influenced by Chicago, USA. It is presented in open world format, allowing it to be explored at the player's will. In The Third's premise, the Syndicate had taken over and rebuilt certain areas of the city to a modernized downtown, while the city's industrial areas remained rundown. The city was not planned with zoned areas; as art designer Frank Calvert described in a March 2011 interview with Game Informer, there are skyscrapers built adjacent to steel mills. Art director Chris Claflin also described the studio's design goal for Steelport, which was to make it easy-to-navigate so that the player would not have to always rely on the mini-map and GPS systems. As such, the city has been specifically designed so that the downtown area can be viewed from any position on the map.
The Third retains the blend of third-person action and driving sequences in open world, urban warfare format that is traditional in the Saints Row series. The player, as the leader of the Third Street Saints, can explore the city of Steelport, performing main missions that progress the game's story, and side missions. These side missions include Activities, mini-games initiated at various points in the game world, Strongholds, rival gang bases that can be taken over to control a section of Steelport and; Flashpoints, on-the-spot gang warfare. Successful completion of missions can earn the player in-game money, weapons, cars, and gang respect. Previous Saints Row games used respect as a way to unlock story missions; The Third uses respect as experience points which the player can then spend to improve specific attributes of their character, such as melee combat or firearms skills. A leveling system is introduced, and the player selects these attributes, or 'perks', each time the player character is leveled-up. Money can be used to purchase clothing items, weapons and cars, or may be used to upgrade weapons and cars with unique features, such as adding scopes or extra barrels to a weapon, which are then stored in the player's arsenal. Money can also be used to upgrade the Saints gang, customizing their appearance, outfits, and headquarters. The "Initiation Station" system allows players to upload their character creations to The Third's online community, and download other players' creations to use with their save-game. Within The Third, the player can set up to four different appearance styles for their gang. Finally, money is also used to purchase shops and other properties within Steelport, which in turn will become a steady stream of income for the gang over time.
While completing some missions, the player may be given a choice of options to finalize the mission. For example, they may opt to destroy a rival gang's boat, including the prostitutes aboard, or instead capture it, and sending the prostitutes to the Saints' headquarters to boost the gang's morale. In another case, the player has the option of using a gigantic bomb to demolish one of the skyscrapers in the city; though they will gain a great deal of respect for the action, it will alter the city's skyline for the rest of the game and cause non-player characters to react differently to the Saints, while leaving the building standing allows it to be used as a headquarters for the Saints. New Activities have been introduced alongside many from previous Saints Row games.
The player's arsenal is presented as a pop-up compass through which weapons are equipped with the analog stick. Novelty weapons are introduced alongside the traditional arsenal of handguns and automatic weapons. Players will gain the ability to call down airstrikes on encamped enemies, or to use a remote control electric bug to control vehicles remotely. Unlike the first two games, there are no health recovery items in favor of improving the grenade throwing system; in exchange, the player's health will regenerate at a faster rate as long as they stay out of the line of fire. Nearly all actions in the game can be sped up by holding down a second controller button, dubbed by Volition as the "awesome button"; for example, when carjacking, holding down this button will cause the player character to missile-kick the driver out of the seat in short order.
In addition to the single-player mode, the game can be played co-operatively with at least one other player. As in Saints Row 2, the second player can participate in all missions and activities, earning credit for their completion. Certain activities provide different rules when a second player is present; for example, in the Guardian Angel activity, the second player will have to control the tiger in the backseat while the first player drives. Because of their focus on the single player and co-operative experience, Volition has removed competitive multiplayer from the title.
Last updated: October 17, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer - View all my reviews
The best Saints Row Yet?
There's a lot to say about this game, from the world, the characters, the story, the improvements, and the pure ridiculousness that this game series has been well known for. So, let's get started.
Welcome to Steelport!
The new world you explore in SR3 is a different one from the Stilwater of SR1 and 2. The 3rd Street Saints are a worldwide sensation and media empire thanks to the takeover of Ultor, and every other gang in the world is interested in being the new kings of the hill. Steelport is a very large area to explore (though nowhere near as big as the worlds in Skyrim or WoW), but somehow it feels less varied than Stilwater. Don't get me wrong, the world is as silly and perverted and gross as Stilwater was, but the divisions of the city are less varied, where in Stilwater there were recognizable suburbs, ghettos, parks (both trailer and nature-y), Steelport seems much more of a business center. As for plot, don't expect Heavy Rain or Portal 2 quality, but what do you want out of a open world action/shooter? Depth? Basically, there are again three rival gangs, and you need to take them all out while gaining control of territory through purchasing businesses, performing activities, and playing through the story. You know the drill if you've played any other Saint's Row before.
An interesting addition to SR3 in the story department are scattered branching storyline choices. Though they don't make that much of a difference in the end, they do give you some options in long term versus short term rewards.
How does it look?
SR3 is graphically very good, but I wouldn't call the graphics groundbreaking by any means. Facial animations and character animation are a bit improved, and the character creator has kept it's great depth, but Volition has removed some features in place of others. We weren't able to keep our green-and-pink hairstyle that we had on our ninety year old crackhead Latina princess monster character, Strawberry Kiwi, but we COULD make her eyes solid black.
How does it play?
Well, let me tell you. It's a goddamn blast. Create havoc, use unnecessary force, beat up hookers, dress yourself as a furry, or actually play the game. Unfortunately, the hot dog suit is gone. :'(
The main open world gameplay has not changed much from previous iterations. Buy businesses and complete activities to increase your hourly revenue, then use your money to unlock new abilities, upgrade your weapons, make sexier cars, get plastic surgery, buy clothes, or use it to make more money! You can also take assassination missions or steal cars for some quick cash.
The main story is activated through your phone. Take a mission, and you'll more than likely get thrown into a ridiculous situation that you have to shoot your way out of or drive your way through to succeed. I promise, you'll laugh the whole way through.
The list of activities have been changed slightly. Back are several classics like Trail Blazing (firey 4x4 goodness), Heli Assault, and Mayhem. But the greatest new addition is clearly Professor Genki's Super Ethical Reality Climax. Shoot mascot characters and targets in a maze while trying to get to the end room in time in this parody of wacky Japanese game shows. ETHICAL! Gone are the street races and hit-the-buttons-in-rhythm-to-have-sex activities. But I don't care. Those sucked.
What else is new?
New vehicles, new weapons (dildo with a bat in it, anyone?), new planes, new characters, more silly outfits for your gang.
I feel there are less clothing options than before. Only one of your cribs you will unlock is upgradeable. Less strippers, less varied environments, less boats.
In the end, you will absolutely enjoy this game if you like dirty, absurd comedy, open world shooters, explosions, and specifically finding new, fun, and creative ways to make havoc in Steelport. It isn't perfect, but it doesn't have to be. I will be playing this game for a looooong time. There's so much city to take over, even when the story's over.
Saint's Row, BITCHES!
- With love,