Review: Saints Row: The Third (2011)

The following is a review of Saints Row: The Third (2011) for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Over the top antics delivers just what I needed

After the bombardment of commercials online for this game, I had it on my list to pick up after the price dropped into the $20 range. However, since PlayStation 3 users can get a free copy of Saints Row 2 by picking it up before January or February of next year, and the price at retailers had dropped to $40, I decided to pick up a copy early. And Rooster Teeth’s videos on the game influenced me fairly heavily as well.

Before I go any further I should note that I’ve played GTA 3 and Vice City on the PlayStation 2. However, I don’t think I ever finished the story of either, since it just didn’t work for me, and I generally got bored doing what I felt was the same thing, over and over again. Now I generally play RPGs, so I’m used to grinding, but these two GTA games just didn’t match my expectations. I might put Prototype in this grouping as well, for a game of a similar type, that I had a blast playing because of the variety.

Note also that this is also my first Saints Row game, but based upon reviews I had previously read, understand that when I play Saints Row 2 I may consider it a step up.

Saints Row: The Third is so over the top that my 31+ hours of play (so far - I haven’t even touched co-op which looks like a blast) were an absolute joy. To be honest, the humor almost turned me off from picking up the game, but I came in expecting it, and found no issue with it.

The variety of side missions (activities) matches this, so I find myself actually challenged by what I need to do, instead of finding the desire to actually start. The story itself might be short, but I personally found it be rather long, as I played these side activities between main story missions. I just finished both endings of the game, after approximately 31 hours, and have approximately 85% of the game complete. Perhaps the story would be over in a few hours if you ran through, but having done this I’d say the story and the rest of the game meld rather well together, and recommend this path.

At this point I fully expect that most people have either seen me saying GTA isn’t fun, or that I haven’t played the previous Saints Row games and assume I’m going to jumping up and down over this game, and have given the review a thumbs down. If you’re still reading that suggests to me that you might be like me. If you are, and can overlook a bit of crude humor, I’d say give a few gameplay videos a look and if you like what you see, pick up Saints Row. By the end of the game you’ll be so overpowered that you’ll rarely even take damage, will never have to reload, and will have infinite ammo for all your weapons. But despite that you’ll still have a blast blowing things up, flying around corners with a hostage in the car, and perhaps even starting the story over with a new character, in a co-op (like I’ll be doing). And at points you’ll probably laugh, and you’ll generally be smiling.