Saints Row: The Third

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So this was a game that I played even before I played Saints Row 2 and played it many many times. So after playing the second game, I went straight to the third game. And I after playing through it for the millionth time, I simply replied, “WHAT HAPPENED” in a good and bad way. Saints Row: The Third, developed by Volition and published by THQ. Now Saints Row in my opinion was near enough grounded in it’s story and gameplay, the characters were likable, the story whilst very simple, was quirky, especially Saints Row 2. This was the game to imitate Grand Theft Auto whilst having it’s silly moments and even some serious moments but is balanced very well, even the gameplay was great and I had a lot of fun with it. And then when the third game came out and…a lot changed in more ways than one.

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It’s been two years since The 3rd Street Saints of Stilwater destroyed the Ultor Corporation, they’re now one of the most famous gangs in the city…and then they sold out and turned their success into a media empire, selling merchandise, having a large fanbase, Japanese commercials and even making a movie. One day, they rob a bank because they’re famous, they can do this, but they get caught by the police and are bailed by Phillipe Loren, the leader of the criminal organization known as The Syndicate. He asks for their earnings and they can live, but decide to attack. The gang fly out of a jet plane and end up in a new city known as Steelport, where it’s controlled by three gangs, The Syndicate, The Luchadores and the Deckers. The Saints are pretty much at the bottom again and have to work up from the top. After much mayhem caused by the gangs, especially the Saints, the Senator assigns STAG to stop the gangs and protect the city…BY CAUSING EVEN MORE DEATH AND DESTRUCTION IN THE PROCESS!!! So the Saints have to stop STAG…MY GOODNESS, WHAT HAPPENED? You could have just stuck with a story similar to the second game with some improvements, but…it’s another game where I need to talk about how the story and gameplay gel.

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We’re once again in an open world city, this time in Steelport, you basically try to take over the city, and that’s mostly the basis. In the sequel, you had to have enough respect to play missions, otherwise you would need to do activities. Well thankfully they removed this and you can just play the main missions without playing the activities, though some missions will have tutorials for the activities. The missions are pretty good and some even memorable, though they mostly resort to shoot everyone most of the time. The characters…are really unlikable, to an extent. the character you play as, known as The Boss, is one of those over-confident class clowns (So once again I made another muscle-bound hispanic woman, don’t ask me why.), Pierce…certainly gets more respect and looks more good-looking for some reason, Johnny Gat is…Johnny Gat. But the most disappointing change is Shaundi…what did they do to you? You went from being a likable stoner you could watch bad comedies with and still watch to being a stuck-up, moaning and angry person who is unhappy with EVERYTHING. But the game makes up this for newer characters that are memorable and funny like ex-FBI agent, Kinzie Washington, a hacker who helps the Saints and at one point helps to defeat the Deckers; she’s one of those so-called nerds who is on her computer 24/7 and trying to hide from the government, though she has some secrets that are actually hilarious when you think about it. But by far the funniest and most memorable character is Zimos, the pimp who replaced his normal voicebox with an auto-tuned one but he has the best jokes in the game, in fact I wouldn’t mind having a game dedicated to him.

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Now lets talk about the game itself. It just said ‘SCREW IT’, because this game has become over-the-top, just completely bonkers. It’s also more colourful, which I don’t mind, it just turned into Fast and Furious, where everyone can survive the stupidest of stunts. This results in the game no longer being dubbed a GTA clone and just being it’s own thing which gives the game an advantage of being original. But the problem is the wackiness isn’t always funny and gets old real fast, why is one of the weapons a PURPLE DILDO? BECAUSE SEX JOKES!!! Whilst the jokes are funny, they are forgettable once you leave the game.

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And everyone keeps talking about the sexism in the game with moments of prostitutes, supposedly the females in the game are nothing more than sex objects for the supposed male gamers to oogle at. But I’m here to tell you that it’s all BS…to an extent. You can either play as a male or a female, their personalities are exactly the same, they like killing enemies, enjoy a day at the strip club, at your choice they can cause mayhem while in the nude, they can survive death-defying stunts, they can wear men and womens clothing (so a man can wear a dress and go around causing mayhem), in one mission you rescue a huge Russian man and he’s chained to a machine naked, heck, at one point you (pretend to) get sold as a sex slave to trick one of the gangs. There’s not much differences other than their gender, so we got equality when playing as your character, which is great, no one should have an issue (though the SJWs blindly do because I don’t really know why). Yes, there are prostitutes with no personalities whatsoever, but this is a game that doesn’t care about anything and remember, the female main character likes a stripper dancing around her so who cares? It also has some great female characters like Kinzie, Viola and your character should you choose the female skin.

Like in the previous games you complete missions to get money and earn respect, but now the respect has an RPG feel to it as you can collect a certain amount of respect to level up, each level allows you to buy upgrades like upgrading health and sprint, dual wielding weapons, bonuses for money and respect, collectible finders, etc. and this adds another layer of fun to the game. We get music, though I only listened to the classic music. BUT WHY DID YOU PUT A FREAKING KANYE WEST SONG IN THE GAME? He’s a complete and utter twot and having his song played twice in the game near enough ruins the experience when it plays, I couldn’t even get immersed in the end credits. 2020 is going to be hell for America.

This is a game where I don’t really like it, yet I’ve played it many many times with no issues whatsoever and I have no idea why. Saints Row 2 is the better game in my opinion but I’ll always play the 3rd one and I don’t know why. Oh, and the bugs and glitches are back with a vengeance; I brought PS3 port ages ago before selling it to get The Full Package Edition, and I got just that but it was an Xbox 360 port. Somehow there’s one rare occasion, especially at the end and in my first playthrough where I complete an objective and it doesn’t take me to the next part of the game. Thankfully in my second playthrough for this review I got to the end. There’s also choose-your-own endings for each act but it doesn’t really change the story apart from the actual endings, with one keeping in spirit of this game and one in my opinion keeping in spirit of the second one and doesn’t actually fit the third game at all.

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And since I got The Full Package I got some DLC in the disc, and I completely forgot about Professor Genki, one of the characters that was heavily marketed at the time. Basically it’s a someone in a costume and loves murder. One mission in the game is the Professor Genki’s Super Ethical Reality Climax, a gameshow where you gun down mascots and collect enough money to exit the game and win. DLC relating to Genki is Genkibowl VII, which is the same as the main mission at first but there are different objectives outside the game show. The only mission I liked was the big yarn ball mission where you crush everything and get cash. The second one is called Gangsters in Space, where you’re on a movie set filming alonside a supporting actress Jenny but gets put down everytime by a egomanical director, to which the main character tells her to stand up for herself. Aside from being some silly shoot ’em up of aliens, this is the only time where the character actually has a positive outcome of somebody who constantly gets bullied and getting put down on-set. And finally The Trouble with Clones, about a nerd who tries to resurrect Johnny Gat, but ends up being the Hulk and wreaks havoc in Steelport and you have to find him and hopefully calm him down. Now it’s just some missions and I don’t particuarly care for them but the best level is the last one where you get superpowers, from running fast, to punching people until they explode and even shoot hadokens at stuff; one problem? WHY THE HECK WAS THIS PART OF ONE LEVEL AND NOT AN UNLOCKABLE as it was the best thing of the entire game. The expansion packs are kind of weak since they only give you a few missions and even then, don’t neccessarily don’t do anything entirely new apart from the superpowers you get in ONE MISSION.

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Overall, this game is the most difficult to judge whilst comparing the second game. It’s one of those games that isn’t really good because it’s wackiness is really juvenile…but I enjoy it’s wackiness and having no care for what the game is…and I think I know why. Video games are percieved to be an escape from reality, but for me, this is an escape from the fantasies of other games, where nothing makes sense and rules are half-baked and it’s just nonsense just for the sake of nonsense, and what we end up with is a game which is an escape from reality within an escape from reality. On the other hand, I don’t remember much of it because, again, the wackiness gets old real fast. Other than that the controls are great, the driving has been improved from the first game, the shooting have downgraded a little bit in terms of fun but the melee attacks are brilliant, the story and some of the characters are weak but they fit within the game itself. This is a game where as a whole, makes no sense but may also be a disadvantage.

You can get it on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360.

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