There are games that try and draw players in with a compelling storyline and then there’s Saints Row: The Third, a simple game that wears its over-the-top attitude proudly on its sleeve. It unleashes players into an open world setting, hands them a rocket launcher and dials the crazy to 11, but as enjoyable as the game is, it does have its share of issues that prevent it from being a must-buy.
After the events of Saints Row 2, the Saints have now become a household name, commercialising completely on their name with a clothing brand, bobble heads, energy drinks and more. While they enjoy the view from the top, there are many who conspire to bring them down and one of these organisations called the Syndicate succeeds in doing so. Now the Saints must rebuild their empire, kick tons of ass on the way and have fun while doing so.
I make this look good
The game starts off with a bang pummelling players with some impressive set-pieces after which things slow down a notch and the game settles down to its normal pace. This means you’ll have to approach various people for missions, take over territories, buy businesses and customize the crap out of your character. It’s the same mission structure you experienced in the second game and while some missions stand out in particular, most tend to become clichéd open-world fetch quests. It’s a bit ironic, if you think about it since Saint’s Row 2 mocked GTA IV’s repetitive mission structure, but now its predecessor has descended into the same monotony that plagued Rockstar’s open-world game. The saving grace, however is the zany take on each mission that distinguishes SRTT from the more serious games out there.
Like older games, the whole city is yours for the taking from the word go, but unlike previous games from this series, you’re no longer funnelled through side activities to unlock story based missions. This is kind of is a doubled edged sword, as now I don’t feel the need to go out of my way to perform them. Money is also never a problem in this game and you’ll earn more than enough, while completing story based missions.
On the plus side, most of these activities are immense fun in their own way, so even if they’re not forced down your throat, you really don’t mind engaging in them because they’re so damn cathartic. I mean who doesn’t like driving a tank around a block with an unlimited supply of rockets to cause as much damage as humanly possible? Special mention goes out to a particular side quest called Professor Genki's Super Ethical Reality Climax (yes, that’s the real name), a weird hybrid of the Running Man and Japanese reality TV where players must navigate a bunch of obstacles, kill some dudes and make it to the end. It doesn’t sound like much on paper, but it’s a pretty intense diversion. What I find baffling is that Volition axed certain activities like Septic Tank and Crowd Control from this game instead of retaining a boring one like Escort. It was due to these omissions, I felt SRTT lacked the content its predecessor had to offer.