Saints Row: The Third is easily one of the funniest, most rude, crude and socially unacceptable games I have ever played….. And I love it. The very first time I played this game I spent the next couple of weeks just running around trying to do the most stupid things possible. From diving into cars to hijack them, to running around and performing takedowns on literally any NPC, as well as destroying enemies that stand against you with…. Well let’s just say some unconventional weaponry. To top it all off, the very start of this title gives you a Star Wars like intro scene! It was clear from this moment that the developer’s intention was to be ridiculous…. And they nailed it.
For those who don’t know, the Saints Row series started off as what seemed to be a GTA San Andreas clone. The game seemed darker and grittier than GTA but also had a small sense of humour. However, by the time Volition had finished the Third game, the series had changed dramatically. The game became a parody of itself, but in the best possible way. Instead of just taking down rival gangs to improve reputation, in Saints Row: The Third, you still do that but you also spend time taking photos with fans as well as taking a joy ride with a hostage and running over a bunch of cars with a tank. Every mission feels fresh and different, mainly because there is always something completely bonkers to complete in it. For example, one mission has you staring in a film where you face waves of Special Forces teams and have to take them all down, whilst another has you escorting a naked hulking man who had been cloned repeatedly for some twisted army.
One of the highlights of the game is the takeover system. Buying different stores, completing gang quests as well as completing the story increases the area owned by the Saints. And as this increases, you earn a tonne more money for a tonne more upgrades. Some of these upgrades include the standard increase in health, vehicle delivery, but also have some awesome ones such as dual wielding handguns, which is very lethal, as well as unlimited sprint (trust me, this is super useful).
The gameplay itself, going from original to remastered, hasn’t really changed. If anything it’s a little smoother, but you would kind of expect that. However, aiming your weapon feels very sluggish, and requires a massive increase in sensitivity to move the crosshairs around comfortably. The driving mechanics have been improved also, allowing you to take those corners a little bit easier, and making those power slides look a lot cooler! However, getting into a vehicle can be a task on its own, as the remaster has a bug which prevents you from entering a vehicle when you first try to get in. I found myself having to press the enter vehicle button a number of times before the character would actually sit in the car.
The variety of weapons is another high point of this game. From more serious lethal weaponry, such as the reaper drone, which can be activated from anywhere to fire an array of rockets from the sky, to downright insanely hilarious weapons such as the Shark-O-Matic shotgun, which fires bait all over an enemy followed by a shark rising from the ground to consume the target, as well as the Mollusk Launcher, which fires mind controlling octopi that make enemies break out into dance, there are firearms available for every occasion. Also, the amount of vehicles that can be found and customised is insane, including the Saints Cruiser, essentially just a purple tank, as well as the Sad Panda, which is a combat vehicle that has the body of panda, and also the Salem, which is a flying broom…
Now comes the biggest and most welcome change, the graphics. Not to say the graphics were bad in the original, but almost everything becomes dated with time. So to see this game and the scenery with the improved graphics is amazing. The character model improvements are not significantly different, but are definitely noticeable. The graphical improvements can be seen most notably in the surroundings of the game. The cars, the buildings, the scenery, the rain, it adds a sense of realism to the game….. Only to be taken away again when you’re too busy throwing yourself into oncoming traffic to commit insurance fraud. The world all round seems as though it has been cleaned up and there is definitely a lot more dynamic lighting to it. The lighting also seems less static in the transitions in the day/night cycle.
Like many remasters, this title has quite a few bugs, like the aforementioned inability to get into a vehicle at first attempt. However, some other noticeable bugs include characters randomly clipping through solid objects, some NPCs occasionally just floating up into the air, and mission way points not loading in immediately and instead, the game taking a while to even notice that a new mission is selected. These glitches don’t always occur, but when they do they can be quite irritating and can break the immersion.
Overall, Saints Row: The Third remains as one of the silliest open world games of all time. It will definitely leave you laughing time and time again. So definitely check this game out, especially with the release of the remaster including all the DLC as well! That means that there is more Saints Row to play! What could be better?!
Review by Samuel Incze
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