Saints Row: The Third was one of the big winter releases last year with high expectations from the fans and a massive promotion campaign pushing the game out for all to see, THQ were really going to have to deliver.
The story starts in the very familiar setting of Stilwater, the fictional town used in the previous 2 titles, you step into the shoes of the leader of the third street saints. The gang has become a massive media empire since the finale of “Saints Row 2”.
They now have t-shirts, toys, energy drinks all named after them with a massive fan base following and a movie in the works as well. You, Johnny Gat and Shaundi attempt to rob a bank along with actor Josh Birk who is following the gang around in attempt to get into character in preparation for his role in the Saints film. The gang are given a nasty surprise when the bank tellers fight back with military grade weapons and when Josh Birk foolishly sets of the silent alarm when the gang are trying to air lift the safe out, Stilwater P.D and S.W.A.T come at them with force as the gang members try to stand their ground but are outnumbered and arrested. While in prison Gat expresses how disappointed he is at what the saints have become, stating they have forgotten about their roots, at this point an international crime organisation called the Syndicate bribes the police to release the trio.
They are then taken to the Syndicate's leader Phillipe Loren and flown on his private jet. While in-flight Loren tells them they will be allowed to live if they turn over two-thirds of their revenue made in Stilwater. You and Gat immediately reject this offer and begin to fight your way of the plane. You and Shaundi manage to parachute down to safety while the hugely popular Gat is killed.
You land in Steelport and set out to get revenge on Phillipe Loren by attacking his entire organisation. You then enter a very familiar scenario in which you are faced with 3 gangs(The Morningstar, The Deckers and the Luchadores) you must eliminate with various other activities to complete including gang operations, side missions etc. By doing all of this you will gain full control over the city. But that’s always easier said than done right?
The game play is very similar to that of the previous two titles as there is no need to change something if it isn’t broken. One of the new features is the ability to jump into vehicles and kicking out the unexpected owner in a single move. They are also retained a lot of the humour in the game as you can run around with a 2 foot dildo weapon in hand and beat people up with it! Throughout the game you earn respect, the more you level up, the more you will be able to upgrade your player’s ability.
You need to reach certain levels before you can acquire certain perks and you have to have cash to buy them. They perks vary from health, weapons, vehicles, homies and more. Eventually when you purchased every upgrade your character will be invincible and nothing will be able to stop you!
Despite all the parts of the game, it does have it problems. At times the game seems very rushed and I personally have encountered glitches that are just bizarre and ridiculous. The AI within the game can be pretty poor as well with homies sometimes getting stuck behind a car when you’re running in a certain direction.
There has also been occasions when my team mates have just jumped off the map meaning I had to restart missions again as I couldn’t progress without them. Despite these problems, the game is fun to play and will keep the fans relatively pleased. When you look past the problems there is a good game within there just waiting to be played.
The game is fun to play but is very easy to complete, to get everything done on the game is not very difficult at all and can be done by playing the game for about a month. You can always go around with a friend on co-op mode and complete the game again while also reliving the fun of beating people up with massive dildos and running each other over just to annoy one another!
Saints Row: The Third is available now for Play Station 3, Xbox 360 and PC. With Downloadable add-ons also available.
Review in association with Duracell Gaming Accessories, which are available from Amazon, Play.com and Zavvi.com Review by Thomas Thompsett, White Room Games.