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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Action Adventure

 

Publisher

THQ

 

Developer

Volition

 

ESRB

 M (Mature)

 

Released

November 15, 2011

 

 

- Absolutely insane missions
- Some great new character additions to the Saints
- Character upgrade system is kickass

 

 

- Some odd issues with cars passing into roads
- Bot AI is borderline manic

 

 

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Saints Row: The Third

Score: 8.5 / 10

 

saints row the third         saints row the third

 

One would think that up and coming gangs would know better than to mix it up with the Saints but apparently, more people need to be taught that valuable lesson. Taking up the reins of your alter-ego again, you lead the Saints into new territory and will make the streets yours. Your enemy? The Syndicate. And they run the show in Steelport. You will need to build your support while cutting into theirs,

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making their enemies your allies and eventually knocking off your opposition.

Taking the good elements from Saints Row 2, Volition has done an admirable job of subtracting and adding in the right places.

 

Firstly, your phone has now become your most valuable tool. Story missions and some activities (car theft

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targets and assassination missions) can be initiated directly from your phone. The number of activities and the frequency of them have been scaled back – making these little asides more like a diversion instead of a massive undertaking from before. Some of my favorite ones are gone (Fuzz and the Toxic Avenger…) but the addition of Tank Rampage easily makes up for the loss. The activities now seem more focused in on your core goal, i.e. the eventual take-over of Steelport. Every goofy thing you do either increase the notoriety of the Saints or undermines the Syndicate – from appearing on Professor Genki’s Super Ethical Reality Climax show to trafficking Saint’s product all in the name of the greater good… well not good per se

Unlike the predecessor, your upgrades are not earned by completing all levels of an activity (thank goodness). As your notoriety level increases, you have access to different upgrades which you can then purchase. These range from personal health and ammunition capacity upgrades to the number of allies you can take or call into battle.


Weapon upgrades are done at your local weapon store – and they are definitely worth it. Taking a basic pistol, you can quickly end up with a silenced armor piercing cannon that also sets people on fire. The upgrades aren’t just limited to your guns and person, you can also spend your hard fought cash on your posse and your cars… nothing like driving around a German-themed luxury car that’s been tuned and set up with reinforced armor and tire-slashers!

 

saints row the third          saints row the third

 

The missions themselves have managed to up the ante from the previous 2 games, such that I’m almost afraid to think how they are going to even try to come back for a fourth game. A mission where you end up in a pitched gunfight while in freefall, a BDSM-pony-carriage gun fight…there really is no limit to the craziness of these missions which is only made more memorable by the addition to some great new personalities – Zimos and Oleg for instance. Zimos is your typical pimp who only talks through an autotuner and Oleg is your run-of-the-mill man mountain/philosopher. Needless to say, the absurdity of the missions can almost run second to the great dialogue between characters during them.

The minuses on the game are definitely odds ones – the number of cars that I’d see passing into buildings or bridges was not low. On some occasions, the triggers for some missions or activities did not register properly and I ended up having to repeat them ad nauseum until the game decided to accept it.

 

My biggest pet peeve is for the character AI. Enemy opponents will frequently stand out in the open during a pitched gun fight, which wouldn’t be so bad if your own allies wouldn’t do the same. On a couple of missions (ESPECIALLY THE TRAFFICKING ACTIVITIES) your own allies will meander around aimlessly when you are trying to get them into a car. Typically this will result in them getting themselves and more importantly you killed. I would usually forgo having teammates, as the benefits of them drawing gunfire away from me would be less helpful than the frustration of having to deal with them walking in front of my shooting lines and getting killed repeatedly.

All in all, Saints Row: The Third is a ridiculously fun game, giving you a good 30 hours of main story activity for a run through. It is very recommended for sandbox enthusiasts. Makes you wonder what the Grand Theft Auto franchise is going to come out with to try and keep pace; Saints Row: The Third is a statement game.

- Tazman

(November 16, 2011)

 

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