Did you ever wonder what would happen if the humor of [adult swim] met with the open world design and feel of Grand Theft Auto? No? Well neither did I, but apparently the end result is Saints Row: The Third. To those of you who have played the Saints Row series, this level of goofiness and weird antics are nothing new. To those of you who have never played the series, hold on tight because you are about to enter a world of non-stop and over the top action mixed in with often crude humor. This week while reviewing the game, I also had all of the additional DLC packs added on so there will be another section devoted just to those.
The game follows the adventures of the Third Street Saints, the top gang in Steelport. With multiple clothing lines, energy drinks, and other paraphernalia, the Saints have become a bit of celebrities as you will find out with people stopping you to take pictures or sign autographs. The story opens on you and three of your followers robbing a bank, though the patrons appear happier to be with the Saints than mad that their money is being taken. Right away the action takes off as you blow a hole in the ceiling and lift the vault out with a helicopter while you are hanging off the side fighting Steelport PD. Your heist is thwarted when members of Morning Star, a rival gang, interferes and takes you captive. To avoid spoilers as best I can, during the escape you lose one of your members and the Saints lose a lot of the power they once held in the city. The remainder of the game is based on you trying to take down the Syndicate to regain your former glory. The Syndicate consists of three rival gangs: the Morning Stars, the Luchadores, and the Deckers. You gain control of the city by buying stores and property as well as completing side missions and breaking up gang activity.
The game is set in an open world format, similar to that of Grand Theft Auto where you can explore at your heart’s content and then go to certain locations to complete missions. The main story missions follow you trying to cause mayhem for each of the rival factions and take over their headquarters. There are three ‘acts’ to the game, each one dedicated to thwarting a different gang. Just like any other GTA style game; there are also a lot of side missions to complete so you can gain respect and money. Respect is how you level up and gain access to better weapons and perks. Some side missions include Tank Mayhem, where you must cause a certain amount of destruction within a given time and Trafficking, where you must protect the dealer and buyer on drug deals. While all optional, the side missions allow you to rank up faster and gain more money to upgrade your weapons and cars.
Weapons/ Cars/ Clothing
As is to be expected, there is a fairly decent library of weapons to choose from. The weapon selection system is set in a wheel, similar to Assassin’s Creed, with designated slots for pistols, rifles, melee weapons, shotguns, and launchers, as well as a slot for special weapons. Because the game is not set to be realistic, the weapons resemble real life firearms, but are not meant to be those weapons specifically. The pistol for example is obviously meant to be a Desert Eagle but is not referred to as such. DLC packs and certain achievements in game will give you special weapons such as calling in airstrikes or a gun that lets you take control of any passing vehicle remotely.
In game you also have a massive selection of vehicles to choose from, as you can take any car off of the street, customize the look and performance, and then save it in your garage. When I say any vehicle, I mean any vehicle. I recently stole a street sweeper and a fire truck, painted them all Saint’s colors and gave them Knee-Knockers; spikes that come out of the wheels. With the DLC packs, you get access to a massive amount of custom bikes, cars, and military vehicles such as the tank and VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing jet). These add a whole new dimension to the fire power available to you. The game allows a large amount of customization in terms of clothing as well. Literally hundreds of different shirts, pants, shoes, and outfits make the possibilities almost endless. By wearing certain items, usually the really crazy ones, you gained more respect and thus rank.
The graphics of this game were incredible, even though they are not meant to be realistic. The game is designed as an over the top, crazy, hilarious cartoon like game. Not to say it is completely cartoony, but at the same time it is not realistic graphics either. By doing this, the game allows for a whole dimension of gaming that just wouldn’t make sense in a game based on realism. The best comparison I can give is Borderlands. The game obviously does not have the same look as Borderlands, but it is similar in the fact that it was quite simply not meant to be based in realism.
On Steam, you can currently buy the pack that comes with the base game, as well as all of the DLC for a price that is actually cheaper than buying the game by itself. It doesn’t make sense to me, but ok. I definitely recommend buying this pack because it just adds more hours of fun. Most of the DLC packs are for items such as vehicles, weapons, and clothes, but three of the packs add extra missions and gameplay that has nothing to do with the main storyline and has more to do with being a Saint. The one pack follows you as try to stop a clone of one of your friends that was created by a Saints super fan. However, this is no ordinary clone; the clone mutated into a brute of a monster and thus is hard to bring down. There are several missions involved in this. A second pack is called Gangsters in Space and it follows you as you are an actor in the film of a crazy director. As you continue through filming, you find that this guy is weirder than you originally thought. The last of the mission DLCs is called GenkiBowl VII. Basically its a twisted competition that has you go through maze like levels, shooting these mascots to advance to the next le
I would recommend this game to anyone who loved the Grand Theft Auto series and also enjoys humorous games. While not exactly child appropriate, this game has little hidden Easter eggs scattered throughout that will catch you off guard and make you laugh. For example, the ‘Whored Mode’ that can be accessed on the main menu is a round based survival mode that consists of strippers and prostitutes attacking you rather than zombies or soldiers. However, those are not the only things you will face. Other crazy enemies include floating question marks trying to attack you as well. You should definitely get the DLC packs with the game as well as they add even more hours of weird crazy fun.