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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

THQ

 

Developer

Volition

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

November 11, 2011

 

 

- A game that embraces the fact it's a game and nearly anything goes
- Exporting gameplay clips is an awesome idea I wish some other games would steal
- Some good humour
- Character creation/modification system
- Playing with a mouse makes all the difference

 

 

- Controller offers a little more nuance but less accuracy

- Enemy AI that kind of doesn't understand they're being shot

 

 

Review: Saints Row: The Third (360)

Review: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)

Review: Just Cause 2 (360)

 

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Saints Row: The Third

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

alienware m18xI have to cop to the fact some of my PC Master Race tendencies have started to creep back into my opinion on games. Case in point: Saints Row: The Third. Not only is it hands-down better looking than the console versions, but the mouse and keyboard combination allow for much more precise gameplay, aside from the vehicle handling an analog controller offers.

After a ridiculous setup and opening action sequence, Saints Row: The Third
manages to keep the nonsense flowing. From Juggernaut-like clones, to cleavage-wielding gangsters; from airstrikes to over-powered shotguns; from green-skinned protagonists to an antagonist that never removes his wrestling mask; from the bizarre to the even more bizarre. The only thing missing is the kitchen sink, though

 

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at one point the protagonist is turned into a toilet so the water fixture quotient is delivered.

 

It's apparent that every design decision that the developers made was based on how fun and/or crazy it was. And much praise should be heaped on the developers for making the side activities just that, activities that have no bearing on the story

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outside of the bumping up character stats and earning money.

 

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The story missions are all clearly defined via the Boss' cell phone. And unlike the console versions where I felt a need to grind just a little on the side activities to up my stats to compensate for the fact the shooting just wasn't very good, on the PC the fidelity of the mouse and keyboard allow for much more accuracy. I didn't feel the need to be constantly wandering from the story to boost my stats and earn money to upgrade my weapons.

 

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saints row the third          saints row the third

 

THQ and Volition have really tried to cultivate some community around Saints Row: The Third with saintsrow.com, which allows for a ton of different stat tracking, uploading of screenshots and basically interacting with other fans of the game. It's a solid enhancement to a game that already allows for online co-op and "Whored Mode," which represents a potpourri of different one-off challenges (alone or with a friend). That's a good way to create some gaming memories -- it's always better with a friend. And the PC version has the ultimate way to make a memory book: gameplay can be recorded and exported, in full HD if you're running the game at those specs. Like pressing "F12" every few seconds to grab a screenshot -- some parts of the game are gorgeous -- taking video clips became a habit. So did putting said clips on my phone and showing them to people as I tried to tell them about the game and likely Burt Reynolds's greatest digital performance.

 

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Saints Row: The Third is the definition of an open-world sandbox game. Volition has taken the "sandbox" part very seriously and it's not likely they'll face any competition from the likes of Rockstar in this regard. C'mon, name a Rockstar game that allows complete and outlandish character customization and the ability to leap from a helicopter, land, snap the neck of the nearest gangster, smash feet first into a sports car, drive away and buy real estate all within the span of 90 seconds. You can't. This game is magic. Occasionally offensive and funny magic, but magic nonetheless.

 

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- Aaron Simmer

(January 18, 2012)

 

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