Saint’s Row: The Third Review (PS3)
When the first Saint’s Row came out, it was very clear that Volition was making a complete rip-off of Grand Theft Auto. However as Rockstar has gone to great length to make their GTA games more down to earth and more serious, Volition has gone completely the opposite way with Saint’s Row. No longer is the Saint’s Row franchise just a mirror to GTA, it has become its own thing and with each game it becomes more and more crazy and out of control.
Saint’s Row: The Third has become its own identity to the point of no comparison to the GTA series any longer. In fact, Saint’s Row: The Third turns everything on its head mostly with how insane it gets at every turn. This series parodies annoying video game tropes from the last few years. The crazy in Saint’s Row: The Third hits so high that running around with a purple dildo bat and having people on the road wanting you to kick them in the balls look almost normal in comparison. Volition seems to have stopped asking “Why?” and started asking “Why not?” while making this game.
The second Saint’s Row picked up explaining the end events to the first game and then after awhile going in its own direction kind of forgetting about the first game. Saint’s Row: The Third starts out with a bang and keeps rolling really never giving much thought about the first two games. All you know is you are the same character and your Saints buddies are all there loyal as ever and that is as about as much tie in you will get from the series. As crazy as this series has become the story of every game is basically exactly the same. The story for the third game is basically no different from the last two games. The Saints have moved on from Stillwater and now setting up shop in Steelport and there is three rival gangs standing in the way. The major difference here is the Saints have become world wide icons now. That is all in jeopardy now as the Saints are faced with an ultimatum, to either give up some of what they have built or to die. It seems like a easy decision, although the Saints in this game do as they always have done, choose the hard decision and make it look easy.
The story is really non-existent with the third game. At least before like the first game was the rise of the Saints, then the second was about rebuilding and here in the third it is about keeping it, but because there is not much tie to the first games really it kind of falls flat. That is not to say what there is for story in this game not good. It would be nice though if the third game did not feel as disconnected from the series as a whole. The story of the third game holds up just fine on its own. The story is funny and brilliant in its own right and the voice acting is surprisingly well done. For better or worse, the game is more fun if you don’t think about the story that much and simply enjoy the characters and what that are doing from mission to mission.
The game play feels like everything is turned up to ten. From blowing things up, shooting or again whacking people over the head with purple dildo bats. The action is nonstop and Volition really seemed to want people to enjoy the crazy and not worry about anything. You do gain respect in the game like you did in the first two games, however it is structured differently. This time the respect you get is basically experience points and you level up your character. As you level up you get different things to unlock in the game. Each unlock basically has different tiers making you the player more and more God like. You can unlock how much ammo you can hold for each weapon and at one point you simply have unlimited ammo. This goes for just about everything, even your health in the game. It is like having cheat codes built into the leveling system making the completely legitimate. Again this seems like a point in Volition’s development where they asked “why not?”. You could argue that the main reason to playing video games is to have fun and it seems like Volition is taking an unorthodox approach to that. On top of this the game includes some very badass weapons that take the action to a new and different level. You can get a rocket launcher type weapon that shoots out squids and mind controls people and that is just one of the crazy and fun weapons you get your hands on.
The controls are very well done in Saint’s Row: The Third, it seems that Volition has taken what they have learned about making shooters from the Red Faction games and applied that here. The vehicles are surprisingly easy to use and have nice and tight handling, even with the physics being a little insane still. Luckily though, you no longer hit a small bump and go flying all over the place but, you still want to be careful.
I have not played any of the online, nor have I played this game in any type of co-op. Games like this don’t really draw me to that type of stuff, I would much rather run around on my own and cause destruction.
Saint’s Row: The Third takes crazy to a whole new level and then turns it on its head. Just when you think Volition could not out do themselves, they do just that. Somehow with all the stuff that happens there is still a few things that seem too much, even though some of that I assume is there just to make fun of other games and what is popular now to hate in gaming. Most times it is funny; others just make me shake my head in disappointment. It some ways it would be nice to see the game toned down some. In other ways I really like the crazy, Saint’s Row has made a home for itself by being crazy and I have to respect that.
Final Score: 3/5