Friday, 23 December 2016

Review No. 125 Saints Row: The Third - PC (18+)

Strong Points:
Varied weapons
The opening couple of missions are awesome...
Variety of missions
Some standout missions
Activities are mostly fun
Great voice acting
Ludicrous story lines...
Buying up the districts is fun
Music choice is overall good
Decisions don't serve too much purpose - doesn't get bogged down
Whored Mode is fun

Weak Points:
...starts to run out of steam
Writings inconsistent
Can be confusing
Difficulty is inconsistent
...although sometimes plays it safe
The world isn't particularly varied or alive
Decisions don't serve too much purpose - makes them meaningless/annoying
Insurance fraud is more frustrating than fun

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
North America: November 15th, 2011
Australia: November 15th, 2011
Japan: November 17th, 2011
Europe: November 18th, 2011

Controls: can be reassigned

General Part 1
General Part 2

On Foot Part 1
On Foot Part 2

In Vehicle Part 1
In Vehicle Part 2


Saints Row: The Third is insane. It just is. But in a good way. Mostly. However, the main word I'd use to describe the game is variable.

The opening has you rob a bank, while dressed up in Johnny Gat bobblehead masks and a method actor watches your movements so that he can portray you in an upcoming movie. The ending of this particular mission has you being lifted on top of a massive safe before finally being captured. I haven't played the original 2 games in the series so some of the backstory is lost on me, but still, a strong start if there ever was one. Next mission you end up parachuting out of and then back through a plane, so as to save and catch Shaundi. A thrilling couple of missions which set up the style of the game nicely. Not particular the pace, though.

The pace is an odd beast in this game, sometimes barrelling through, sometimes taking its sweet time to get anywhere. After the first couple of missions, the pace slows right down as the game teaches you the mechanics of the game. This isn't particularly bad but just a shame that we couldn't have the prologue all the way through (I really liked the intro if you didn't get that). Maybe it's because a certain character died, perhaps it's just what has to happen but it's a shame either way. The difficulty is also variable in this game, with my advice to you being to stock up on weapons, equipment and upgrades constantly. You will need them. Also be prepared to get frustrated but then laugh at how the little people fall to your weapons.

Humour is one of the greatest strengths of this game. It is funny and it know's it needn't take itself too seriously. There's one section where the characters pick up on what's on the radio and just sing it, with nostalgia to their schooling years. It's a great piece of dialogue and shows the comedic strength of the writers. However, as with all things in the game, the writing is variable. Some of it just left me confused, with parts just seemingly missing or hidden in a piece of visual description. But hey, the last mission has you complete it with 'Holding Out for a Hero' blasting in your ears, so it's got that going for it.

The gameplay is like any other open-world crime shooter, that is it has a lot of weapons and vehicles to play with. It's polished and fun to play, with some truly inventive weapons from the Sonic Blaster to the Reaper Drone and the *ahem* Penetrator. All add layers to the game as do the vehicles (especially the STAG ones which can transform between helicopter and aeroplane/bike). There's plenty to do as well, with lots of collectables to find, districts to take over (by buying real estate) and activities. 

These mini games again are variable in inventiveness and fun. There's Tank Mayhem which puts you in a tank and tasks you with blowing stuff up (a lot of fun) as well as Heli Assault which tasks you with defending someone while in a helicopter (again, a lot of fun). There's Professor Genki's Super Ethical Reality Climax which is a reality show which tasks you with killing mascots, shooting the tiger targets and avoiding the panda targets. Really inventive and funny with the commentary, although can get frustrating and repetitive. More activities include a Tron-esque racer, escort missions (with added tiger), more protection missions, another Mayhem mission which involves blowing everything up and Insurance Fraud. Insurance Fraud was to me the most frustrating of all the activities as it just took a long time for not a lot of payoff. 

All the characters are distinct and likeable (to a point) and your character is actually really developed, especially with the fact that you can change everything about them. From gender (male, female and zombie) to face and clothes, it's really quite in-depth and with a sharing option in-game, the potential for some seriously creative characters is there and the amount of customisation will keep you entertained for hours. That's what this game does really, it puts out a LOT of different bits of content (there's even co-op and a wave-based survival mode outside the main game), and sees what sticks. And the best thing is, most of it does.

Conclusion: I enjoyed my time with Saints Row: The Third, however, inconsistent and actually laughed out loud on occasion. Not many games do that. 

Rating: 75%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

P.S. comment below what your favourite activity is from the game

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