Sunday, 20 November 2011

Saints Row: The Third - PS3/360PC

There is never a dull moment in Saints Row: The Third.  You won't find any GTA-style "fetch" missions here.  In fact, you're more likely to find yourself naked and drugged in a BDSM club surrounded by machinegun-wielding hookers.  That's just how Saints Row: The Third is.  It's filled with shockingly outrageous, inappropriate, and over-the-top sequences that somehow come together in some freakishly obscure way.  And it works.  Each moment in this game is truly a memorable one.
If you're expecting a realistic open-world adventure, you're looking in the wrong place.  Of course, the ability to wield a big purple dildo should be the first hint.  Since it's creation, Saints Row has prided itself on becoming a series that embraces over-the-top absurdity and focuses on spectacle, but that's not to say there's no substance mixed in with the fun.

The plot of Saints Row: The Third, as cliche as it is, has enough variety to create a lasting experience that's enjoyable--even without the immature dildo jokes. 

From the get-go, you will find yourself in the middle of the action as you and the Saints attempt to rob a bank.  In typical Saints Row fashion the heist goes wrong, and you find yourself in quite the jam.  You'll experience a shootout, hanging from a helicopter, free-falling from a plane, and a major twist (which I won't spoil) all within the first fifteen minutes.  From there, the missions only get crazier.

The plot revolves around The Saints relocating to the city of Steelport in an attempt to get revenge on the international crime organization, The Syndicate, led by Phillipe Loren.  With The Syndicate in full control over Steelport, your goal is to take the city from their clutches--ridding the streets of gangs and buying up local properties like retailers and casinos (and maybe some strip clubs). 

While The Third brings some welcomed changes, it also builds upon the economy and upgrade system introduced in Saints Row 2.  Completing missions and Activities rewards you with cash and Respect.  Respect is like a level system, with each level of Respect unlocking different abilities like extra health, faster health regen, longer sprint, and much more to help you tackle The Syndicate.  Cash can be used to buy in-game tangible items like weapons, clothing, and ammo.  In addition to this, cash is also connected to the Respect level in the sense that you use it to actually purchase the unlocked abilities so that you may use them.  Like I mentioned earlier, the goal is to own the city of Steelport, and one of the ways to do this is to purchase property.  By doing so you not only get closer to overthrowing the rival gangs by increasing your control over each neighborhood, but you also get a hourly cash flow which you can use to help fund your next customization or upgrade.

In this game, you have missions and Activities.  Missions, of course, progress the story of the game.  It should be noted playing straight through, just completing the story missions, will run you about 10-12 hours of gameplay.  Of course, going for full 100% completion could tack on several more hours.  Some of these extra completions include the Activities, which are Respect-building sidequests usually unlocked after you complete the mission.  These include Insurance Fraud, Trafficking, and Mayhem (where your actual goal is to cause as much mayhem as possible in the city).  Side-quests are present in the game as well, challenging you to steal cars, assassinate targets, and find stunt jumps around the city.  Of course, if you don't feel like being tasked with any challenges, you can always go for the mind-numbing gameplay focused on exploring the city and beating random civilians with a giant dildo; that's ALWAYS fun.  And trust me, you'll always explore something new.

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