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Saints Row: The Third
Saints Row: The Third

PC | PlayStation 3 | Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Developer: Volition, Inc Official Site: http://www.saintsrow.com
Publisher: THQ Classification: MA15+
Release Date:
15th November 2011
Saints Row: The Third

Genre: Action
Developer: Volition, Inc
Official Site: http://www.saintsrow....
Publisher: THQ
Classification: MA15+
Release Date:
15th November 2011
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Saints Row: The Third Review
Review By @ 12:15pm 18/11/11
Three games in, Saints Row has found its stride. It is the anti-Grand Theft Auto. Volition has created a game that delights in mayhem, revels in trashy exploitation and aims to make you smile. And you will, so long as you don’t stop to think about anything. There’s a story here – paper thin; an excuse to ride tanks and beat people with purple dildo bats and hijack attack choppers. But you won’t care – or at least, you shouldn’t, given how much there is to do beyond the main storyline.

As the theme song to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ kicks in, accompanying the Star Wars-style scrolling text introduction, the over-the-top scene is set. The titular Third Street Saints are now celebrities living the high life in Steelport – a brand new city divided into four precincts. When you’re at the top, however, you start to attract unwanted attention, and it’s here that you begin your ride toward total citywide domination and revenge against The Syndicate – a massive organization running three competing gangs within Steelport.

A lot has been improved since 2008’s Saints Row 2. Initially, you’ll appreciate the rich character customisation options – surely one of the most extensive to date in-game. Want a solid gold, metallic lead character with a giant wang? How about a stubby, fat woman with jet black skin and quadruple-F-sized breasts? Or a super-heroic dude with bikini tan lines and a dozen facial warts and moles? You can even opt to have all dialogue replaced by zombie-like groans and grunts.

Once you’ve created a cool (or hideous) character, it’s time to start fertilizing them with skills and abilities. The Respect and levelling system has been fully retooled and expanded to this end. Levelling up is still tied to Respect, earned through skilled kills (head and groin shots, for instance), impressive driving (speeding down the oncoming lane) and so on. However, after each level, you now earn ‘perks’ in the form of abilities you can purchase. If you want to focus in on making your character into an indestructible badass, you can do just that—if you have the dollars. Likewise, just about every other element in the game can be improved – from the weapons and costumes on your gang members, to the speed, strength and combat abilities of every single car in the game.

On that front, car handling and general physics have been tightened up; you can still powerslide into corners with a satisfying arc, earning Respect. One of the best new additions though is the quick-carjack manoeuvre, allowing you to dive feet first either through the front windshield or side passenger window and into the driver’s seat. It’s a refinement like this – silly and fun, but ultimately kinetic and adding to the slickness of the action – that points to the truly clever design work at play in Saints Row: The Third.

Missions feel meatier and more prone to spontaneous bouts of creativity and rampant chaos. You’re given access to seriously heavy artillery from very early on in the game, and it changes your approach to the action significantly. You’ve never had to scrounge for ammo in a Saints game, sure, but the enemy numbers are greater (and tend to respawn), so using remote-controlled, video-guided missiles to rain fiery death down on your enemy doesn’t seem excessive – it’s a valid and practical way of wiping out a dozen enemies at once. Given that a lot of missions also prod you to simply rack up as much damage as you can, you can picture the grins on gamers’ faces worldwide.

One of Saints Row’s strongest elements has always been its cooperative play. This arguably remains the best way to play the game. It’s still a blast to buddy up with a few friends and go on a kill-happy rampage in a hotted up SUV, or inventing your own games on-the-fly. The city’s design caters well to street racing, king of the hill-style games and more.

Variety is a big sales point here. Between the core missions and the dozen or so different side quest activity types, there are new additions that add a lot more fun to the mix. In addition to being able to buy buildings and businesses in order to provide you with hourly income, there’s a Tron-style light cycle minigame and a deadly Japanese TV game show to try your hand at – plus a raft of others to be uncovered. The ‘Whored’ (Horde) Mode is where it’s really at, however.

In Whored Mode, you face round after round of themed fights – be it a flame thrower versus dozens of tiny men dressed as hotdogs, or a 50 foot hooker who needs taking out with grenades. Each round presents its own unique challenges and opportunities for quick thinking. The only weak links are the zombie rounds, where getting swarmed feels far too final – and there’s very little chance to break away from the pack.

Production values are a mixed bag. On one hand, the soundtrack and voice acting are outstanding – and the cameos will make you grin. Then there are small touches, like the S&M club owner with an autotune microphone voice. It might not sound like much, but it’s inventive and hilarious.

Each radio station is loaded with great tunes and some hilarious ads and commentary, and the inclusion of an Adult Swim-dedicated station was a wise partnership. There’s a lot of dubstep in the actual game score, which may or may not be a good thing. We’re still on the fence about that one.

It’s not a pretty game, though. It’s garish. Intentional or not, the engine does not handle textures well – everything is flat and surprisingly low-resolution at times. There’s a lot of pop-in on the 360 version too, particularly when travelling at high speeds. On the other hand, facial animations and character movement is a lot better. The most impressive effects are certainly reserved for the occasional epic cut-scene between missions – and Volition has come a long way in terms of cinematic storytelling.

Loading is also an issue. This game loves to pause all the time to load new scenery, transitions between cut-scenes, areas, missions and more. It feels like there’s just a heck of a lot of loading going on.

Does it really matter, though? Saints Row: The Third is just a hell of a lot of stupid fun. The first time you throw yourself in front of a bus during an insurance fraud mission and watch your hapless body fly fifty feet through the air, you’ll stop caring about the realism and just lose yourself in the joy of it all.

Saints Row: The Third is The Jersey Shore of videogames: fake, stupid, garish and endlessly amusing in a terrible and compulsive way. You’ll hate yourself for loving it, but it won’t stop you from coming back for more. Throw it on at a party and watch people tear themselves apart in laughter. The hallmark of a big, dumb fun game.
What we liked
  • Gameplay refinements and expansions
  • Great sense of humour
  • Top-notch co-op gameplay
  • True sandbox world
  • Explosions galore
What we didn't like
  • Not a pretty game
  • Pauses and loads a LOT
  • Dubstep
We gave it:
Latest Comments
Posted 01:26pm 18/11/11
Nice review, love the last comparison.
May just have to check it out if I can drag myself away from MW3, BF3 and Skyrim that is..........
Posted 01:30pm 18/11/11
this is REALLY fun :)

played it for about 3hrs so far and its awesome
Reverend Evil
Posted 01:46pm 18/11/11
Saints Row is awesome fun. The one thing I really like about it is you can shoot at cops and actually get away. Unlike in the GTA games where you get swarmed by a million cops and it's impossible to lose them. Also really love using people as bullet shields. Such a nice touch. Oh, also love how I have my chick decked out in the sluttiest costume. So much fun just going around blowing s*** up.
Posted 02:14pm 18/11/11
Looks awesome. After the disappoint that was GTA4 I would really like to give another open world game a try. Bring on the Steam sales!@#
Posted 02:17pm 18/11/11
this game is so goddamn hilarious and over the top.

So f*****g meta too, like at the beginning when the chick asks how long it will take for the choppers to arrive and the guy answers "Oh about two waves of swat guys"
Posted 02:21pm 18/11/11
pretty sure dubstep is a good thing buddy
Posted 02:44pm 18/11/11
Played a bit on my brother computer and it is fun, but not sure i'll be getting it yet. The only thing that put me off SR3 is the 40 weeks of DLC, well and all the other huge game releases

Sauce: http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/716184/saints-row-3-dlc-40-weeks-of-additions-planned/
Posted 03:23pm 18/11/11
Hilarious that a style of music is a bad point and a negative is bad graphics when AG gave Skyrim a 10.
Posted 03:44pm 18/11/11
Hilarious that someone would fixate on a couple of dot points instead of properly comprehending the review.
Posted 04:12pm 18/11/11
Hilarious that someone would fixate on a couple of dot points instead of properly comprehending the review.

So some sort of higher comprehension makes these points go away? If the music does not fit the game then that should be the negative, if it's simply a style the reviewer does not like they need to look past that. I've not played this game but from what I have seen to mark it down for graphics is a bit harsh, especially when you guys gave Skyrim, an extremely ugly game a 10.
Posted 04:23pm 18/11/11
So some sort of higher comprehension makes these points go away?
If you can't make the reasonable deduction that a review is one person's own opinion and that someone listing a style of music that you like as a potential negative point might actually a positive for you, then there's little point in debating this any further.
Posted 04:37pm 18/11/11
Of course I know it's one persons opinion, I just think something as highly subjective as music choice should be left alone. Again music should be judged by whether it fits the game, not if you simply like that style or not. Also I'm not the hugest fan of dub step myself.

And since when does mentioning one or two points mean that I'm fixating? Do I have to touch on all points in order to comment and any one point?
Posted 04:37pm 18/11/11
I think marking dubstep as a negative was supposed to be tongue in cheek. Anyone with some sort of higher comprehension would understand that.
Posted 04:43pm 18/11/11
You think marking one of the most important parts of a game as a negative is a good place for a lame joke?
Posted 04:47pm 18/11/11
I wouldn't worry too much - once Bethesda release the proper toolkit the modders will bring dubstep to Skyrim shortly and the review score can then be adjusted from 10.0 to 8.5
Posted 04:59pm 18/11/11
If you can't make the reasonable deduction that a review is one person's own opinion and that someone listing a style of music that you like as a potential negative point might actually a positive for you, then there's little point in debating this any further.

It's all good and well to hide behind the old opinion thing, but aren't game reviewers attempting to be a little more objective. Isn't this supposed to inform my purchasing decision?

I've never seen a game marked down for the genre of music it uses. You might as well give Vice City a zero because you hate Genesis. Do it cos it's funny, but don't try and justify it as anything besides a joke.

Still, I can't talk. I've just got a bee in my bonnet because I love dubstep.
Posted 04:59pm 18/11/11
havent read the review but hows the PC port... number 2 was so crap i gave up playing it
Posted 05:00pm 18/11/11
the pc version runs pretty poorly on my 6990
Posted 05:03pm 18/11/11
I think marking dubstep as a negative was supposed to be tongue in cheek.
Clearly. Particularly since the game has the same radio station type config as GTA.

Genuinely fantastic sometimes if you car jack a little compact Smart Car type thing from a granny and it's blasting some grindy death metal.
Posted 05:16pm 18/11/11
havent read the review but hows the PC port... number 2 was so crap i gave up playing it

Goto 11min mark for the info you're after.
Posted 05:14pm 18/11/11
Are you guys doing a review of Anno 2070? I super torn between this and Anno.
Posted 05:34pm 18/11/11
Runs well on my PC (ATI 5850) but then so did Saints Row 2 which people seem to cry about so I dunno.

It also looks pretty good on PC, you shouldn't really comment on graphics when reviewing on the xbox a platform that Indiana Jones stole from the Nazi's (I'M SAYING IT'S OLD).
Posted 05:37pm 18/11/11
Are you guys doing a review of Anno 2070? I super torn between this and Anno.
Yep. Should be online next week.
The GuVna
Posted 05:49pm 18/11/11
The co-op in this game is win. Even with playing with a random Yank at 178ping the game ran well with no hitches, even the voice op in this game is good. I highly recommend doing the hardest drug deal mission with co op as it's crazy!
Posted 01:48am 19/11/11
anyone get any of the dlc packs with it?

some of them are gold :)

this is an awesome game to waste few hrs just trying new weapons and flying round blowing s*** up
Posted 07:38am 19/11/11
This game rocks. Good fun co-op too. Review score is about 9.0-9.5 IMO, not 8.5. Game entertains massively :)
Posted 07:25pm 20/11/11
Skyrim, an extremely ugly game

Nice troll.
Posted 08:17pm 20/11/11
Not trolling at all, distant vistas look nice but up close it has some of the worst texture work out there. Look at the mods that are out already, most of them are re textures of some armor, weapon, towns, rocks etc.

I can't get past the bad textures, kinda envy those who can simply ignore it.
Posted 01:24am 21/11/11
I don't see where the mistake is, dubstep is an obvious negative. The game still looks really fun though, if I can manage to slot it in amongst all the other stuff I've bought lately I definitely will.
Reverend Evil
Posted 06:22pm 23/11/11
How much fun is this game!!

Had an awesome thing happen last nite while playing. Accepted a mission that came thru on the fone and while my chicky babe and the other dude were driving to the location, a song came on the radio and they both started singing along to it while I was driving to the place. Had the biggest smile on my face thinking, f*** me, this is so cool.

Best game I've played in ages. It's just so much fun doing whatever you want and then if you feel like picking up a mission you can do that and jump straight back into the game. Best $65 I've spent in ages. Not including the $65 I spent on Fixah's mum the other nite. That girl is fiiiine!
Posted 08:52am 24/11/11
"Love is what I got"! That part was awesome and so well done it makes me wonder if it works that well with all the voices. My hot slut has the latino voice but I almost want to just create a bunch of other characters just to see if it is as seamless and entertaining for all.
Posted 09:57am 24/11/11
deadlyf: Here you go. A video with all the voices singing along.

Posted 10:49am 24/11/11
Haha that was awesome, cheers.
Posted 10:53am 24/11/11
Bit harsh trauma, but whatever floats your boat. Shame you have that view though, you'll miss out on quite a few good games. Remember, Gameplay is more important then graphics.

Been trying this out over the weekend, heap of fun, much better then GTA4, and even has a nude mod haha.
Reverend Evil
Posted 12:08pm 24/11/11
Nude mod hey? Gonna have to get that.
Reverend Evil
Posted 01:17pm 24/11/11
Anyone know how to take screenshots in this game? So far I've tried hitting print screen and pasting it into photoshop and paint and it isn't werking. It keeps printing the option screen of the game for some reason. Why the f*** it's doing that I have no f*****g idea.
Posted 01:27pm 24/11/11
Bought this game for $30 fro ma CD key store and will give it a bash tonight
The GuVna
Posted 01:57pm 24/11/11
Rev, there's a "Photo" mode which you can enable in the options, its a community thing so you can post to facebook etc, another way is press F12 for Steam Screenshots
Reverend Evil
Posted 02:26pm 24/11/11
Yeah, I saw the community option and went to the Saint Row site and signed up but I can't get it werking. Can't get my Steam thingy linked to the site. I'll try the F12 option and see how that goes.

Thanx 8-)
Reverend Evil
Posted 10:03am 25/11/11
Okies. Now for some pics after I found out how to get this werking...

Me with my huge dildo bat. This thing takes out people with one swing. F*****g hilarious to use.

Some tatts I had done at a tattoo parlor I bought.

And a minigun I picked up from a mission. Sadly I lost it when I left my crib to go on another mission.

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