20 November, 2011

Review: Saints Row: The Third

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 20 Rowvember, 2011

I don't really do reviews anymore, but I felt this was worth coming out of retirement for.

Saints Row: The Third

Developer: Volition
Platform: PC
US Release: Rowvember 2011
Genre: Third Person Action
Price Paid: $50 (pre-ordered July 15th, 2011)
My Score: 4 of 5

Saints Row 2 was a great game. While GTA was going serious, Saints Row was going crazy. It had missions where you drive around a septic truck and spray poop everywhere and make huge insurance claims by getting flung hundreds of feet by freeway traffic. But it somehow matched that craziness to a brutal story of murder and revenge that played things surprisingly straight. That game had a lot of issues, especially the PC port. But what it accomplished was amazing.

Saints Row: The Third does not fill those shoes, but it's a very fun game. For me the reason it does not measure up boils down to one word: mythology. The Saints are larger than life. But SR3 takes some of them out of the picture in unsatisfying ways and changes the personalities of others to make them unrecognizable.

That might have been okay if there had been colorful, dastardly villains to focus on, but there aren't. The best major villain in SR3 doesn't stack up to the weakest major villain in SR2. There are wonderful new homies in the game, but considering how quickly the old ones were discarded, it's hard to get attached.

So with all this complaining, why is it still a 4 out of 5? Because there's still a bunch of crazy, fun stuff to do. The shooting's better than GTA's will ever be. There are some ridiculously overpowered and entertaining weapons to use. The driving is fast and fun. Some of the scenarios are hilariously absurd. And you can experience it all with a buddy in co-op. And while there are still tech issues on PC, the game runs very well (until it crashes so badly I have to reboot :P).

Heavily armed strippers are by no means the craziest opponents you will fight in SR3.

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