Saturday, 16 July 2016

First Impressions: Saints Row: The Third

In-between catching many Pokémon in Pokémon Go, I decided to carry on with my other hobby - completing the backlog of games I have on Steam with my new PC. First was Watch_Dogs, then Dishonored (review coming soon) and now we have Saint Row: The Third, after much deliberation, I might add, as I wasn't sure which game to start with. I haven't got Saints Row 1, so that was out of the deliberations and I didn with the last one as story points would've been lost. In the end, I chose the 3rd game in the series as I've heard good things about it and it has achievements. It's really fun.

Not many games make you rob a bank so that the actor that is playing your character in a film has some experience to act with. Not many games either make you do it with a mask modelled on a bigger version of Johnny Gat's (one of the characters) head. And that's just the opening mission, in my 2 hours of play I've jumped through one end of a plane and out the other end, defeated a Brute (modelled after a Tank from Left 4 Dead) and listened to my main character and Pierce sing their high school song at the top of their voices.

The gameplay is your typical GTA-esque affair but more fluid, combat rolls and all. You can tackle people to the ground, pick up riot shields, use human shields - all things which would've been great in GTA. While the melee and movement are great, I wasn't too sure about the guns. I'm not sure why but they didn't seem to have the correct weight and the sound effects were a bit quiet although this is only a mild complaint - I was riding a vault hanging from a helicopter after all. The driving is playable (which is always a good thing) and the customization... Well, I'll have to devote a paragraph to that.

Customization in this game is both deep and ludicrous. Yes, I can make my car a particular shade of orange but I can also make my main character have red eyes, a giant scar and talk like a zombie. I mean, you can even change their, ahem, sex appeal...Now that's some options. Something I haven't tried yet is uploading my character to the (still working) website, which I have had a quick look at and people have made characters like Nathan Drake and Lara Croft. I made a dude with red eyes.

Talking about characters, they are as unique as the set pieces, from the near-indestructible Johnny Gat to method actor Josh Birk - they are all memorable and humorous in their own right. The world, on the other hand, doesn't seem nearly as much with pretty standard buildings (although the size of the buildings is nice) and the all-to-common train tracks above you. But then again, I've only been playing for two hours. 

Before I get back to playing, I must mention the DLC's, of which there are many, and a quick warning to anyone who is new to the game.Turn off the Unlockable's Pack if you want a clean start, otherwise any choices you make in the game don't matter, you have to take over a hood (effectively completing all challenges) and you get a lot of money at a time where you should have none. Other than that though, the DLC's look interesting and I'll look at them once I've completed the main story.

Overall, I've really enjoyed my time with Saints Row, and it's hard to find another game which I've really laughed out loud to in recent memory.

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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