Saints Row the Third. The third in the series. Ironic huh?

So this was my first time playing a Saints Row game. I hadn’t played one before mainly due to the fact that… Well, I just never was that interested in them.

So the quick rundown of a Saints Row game (according to me). If you’ve played a GTA game (the 3d titles EX: 3, Vice City, San Andreas) then you’ve played a Saints Row game. How so? Simple, the mini map is the same, the controls are the same, you do basically the same things regarding shooting, driving, flying etc. You take control of a gang member/leader yadda yadda.

Story

My problem with the story is the fact that we’re on a quest of revenge for our fallen gang member, yet, all throughout the story, there’s no sense of urgency, no real emotion into getting that much needed vengeance. There are so many quests/missions that have you doing insane things, but they have no tie-ins with our main goal. I wouldn’t mind so much if these were side quests, but they’re not.

Non-stop action! Gets boring very quickly when that’s all you have to do.

When you set up in the first 5 minutes of a game of a movie your ultimate goal. The rest of the movie/game should be a constant race towards that goal. Now if on the other hand, that final goal was realised much later on, those other missions where you’re running around naked shooting “ho’s” could actually be fun, since you didn’t have a prior pressing matter to get to.

All in all, the story, while at times funny, is incredibly boring. They throw in a few things like zombies, giant freaks of nature, wrestling and Burt Reynolds for the insane and funny factor. But none of it really ties together, and by the end (After you’ve completed and watched both endings) you can’t help but say “So that’s it?”

Gameplay

This section will be really quick. It plays like any other third person GTA style sandbox game. In my opening I said if you’ve played GTA, or even Red Dead Redemption, you’ve played this. It really does play almost the exact same, with the exception of a few Quick Time Events thrown in. So if you’ve played (again) a Rockstar game, you’ll be able to play this with no problems what so ever.

Deny it all you like, GTA and Saints Row play the same.

The biggest problem with the gameplay is simple. Within the first five minutes of the game you’re using guided missiles, blowing up tanks, jumping in and out of aeroplanes etc. It starts off with a bang, but in doing so, has no where to go after that. For me, a game has to have a starting point, and rise from there to keep me interested. With this game, it blew its load in the first five minutes, and had nothing new to offer afterwards.

Also, I hate how you can’t enter 99% of the buildings in this game. I kept looking for ladders, or ways to get on top of buildings without needing my helicopter, but alas, there is nothing for the explorer in this game. This is something I think these games could do more with.

Sound/Music

Ugh. Okay, I know this is a “gang life” type game, but damn. There was only one radio station in this game I could listen to. The Heavy Metal one of course (Rock being a close second). All the other stations just drove me up the wall. My real problem with the music though? Later on in the game, my metal station started playing classical music. Now I like classical music, but when I’m driving through the streets being chased by gangs, armies and random zombies, I’d like my music a little more on the “DRIVE DAMN IT, DRIVE!” side of things. It may have been a bug, or just the point of the game where things change, but oh well.

The good point about the music? The end game. This was by far the best part of the game for me. When you’re doing the final mission and “Holding out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler started playing. It was the only time in the game I felt pumped to do anything. Unfortunately, there was nothing new at the end to do that you haven’t already done within the first five minutes of the game.

Believe it or not, this is the best part of the game.

Also, “You’re the Best Around” By Joe Esposito during the wrestling match brought back wonderful memories of The Karate Kid, deserves a nod in the right direction for this game and getting me into a nostalgic state.

Overall

Sadly, this is a rental game. You can be done with it in a weekend. Once you’re done, you’ll have no desire to keep playing. The side missions/activities are the boring same old stuff over and over again. The story is nothing great and at times seems like the writers kept changing their minds halfway through. The final endings are incredibly disappointing, there’s no feeling of accomplishment once you’ve seen both endings. None of the characters are really memorable, in fact, I can only remember Killbane’s name, and that’s due to the fact it’s a stupid name.

Did they misspell his name? Killmane?

While it did hold my attention long enough to finish the game, I wouldn’t recommend anyone buying it, as it’s very much a niche game and only those who think swinging a giant purple dildo is funny would enjoy the five minutes of entertainment it brings. Speaking of which, a game with so much insanity and giant purple dildos, it actually felt quite tame compared to other games I’ve played. Guess my mind has been warped too much.

Disclaimer: I am in no way a GTA fan. Nor do I think either franchise is better. But both brands play so alike, you can easily mistake them for being made by the same people.