Saint’s Row The Third is ridiculous. It flaunts its absurdity; wearing it like a badge as opposed to shrinking from it in embarrassment. You will find no shame here. Volition has created an adult theme park free of restraints and begs you to not take it too seriously. Indeed, the sheer amount of insanity becomes both its strength and its bane.
The fictional city of Steelport is a sweeping metropolis that begs to be explored. Before you is an open-world sandbox that makes causing mayhem and goofing off its only real priority. Sure, a main story can be found. However, while is starts out decent it quickly veers off course into the realm of utter nonsense. Solid voice acting is marred by poorly written dialogue that caters far too much to crude humor and vulgar language.
The story here could have been something special if it stuck to smartly written satire over immature rubbish. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its moments. Rather it’s because of those moments that I find myself cringing at the thought of what could have been. Instead, we are left with a game sprinkled with small doses of awesome but no real substance to speak of.
Saints Row bypasses story and takeaway value for pure gameplay. And it does manage to deliver on this end. From gunfights and car chases, to racing through Tron-like levels and driving around menacing tigers; the variety comes in all shapes and sizes. The controls handled nicely and I found the jam-packed soundtrack to be easy on the ears.
The visuals are nothing to write home about; which is neither good nor bad. The level of customization is great, but the lack of polish is evident. While the game isn’t entirely buggy, it did crash on me a few times as I worked my way through the main story. That and the framerate takes a slight hit when too much starts to happen on the screen.
The combat is fun but can also be frustrating at times. With weapons like a “Fart-in-the-Jar” and the “Mind-Control Octo Launcher,” you will find plenty of ways to amuse yourself. I did accidentally shoot my allies on a few occasions. And I can’t even begin to describe my annoyance while battling the pesky flaming zombies.
This is a game packed with plenty of different activities to engage in. Some are a blast. Others are boring and tedious. Co-op is a real treat, especially when you consider the main story is awfully short for an open-world game.
Saints Row The Third is a real hit or miss for me. On the one hand, it celebrates everything that games can do that movies, novels, television, and plays cannot. On the other hand, it stunts its own potential with a flood of pointless obscenities and missed opportunities. Yes there is fun here to be had. Just be sure to proceed with caution.
Title: Saint’s Row The Third
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, & PS3
Style: 1-2 Players; 3rd Person Action
by D.L. Timmerman