Review Solstice: Saints Row the Third

There should be no doubt that this review will in no way cover the entirety of what is Saints Row: the Third. Here we go anyways with my second Review Solstice post for the latest installment in the Saints Row series.

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Let’s start off with explaining what exactly Saints Row: the Third (SR3) is and what it’s trying to be.

The SR series began some time ago as one of the first real contenders to the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series back in 2006, which really isn’t that long ago. It was an off beat sandbox driving/shooting game that played off of GTA’s success but added a little bit more insanity to the mix and allowing for a lot more customization in your character and the world you were in. Things like having over a dozen real estate locations with no exact purpose other than to buy them was one of the many extra bits added into the monopolized genre.

Later on Saints Row 2 (SR2) was released in 2008 and seemed to truly understand what sort of niche it was taking on in the market. It gave you some pretty insane customization options and some even more insane vehicles. The missions were a little over the top but more than anything the game just felt polished and the driving was pretty damn sound. It was just crazy enough to give itself it’s own market next to a GTA series that was getting more realistic and serious after every release.

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Still from Saints Row 2

On to the latest release in the series blatantly titled “the Third.”

The SR series has always and still has a huge focus on gang wars and it was something perfected in SR2. Getting phone calls about gang battles throughout the city gives you the opportunity to choose which fights you go into and results in you taking over the neighborhoods you fight in.

The Third has as much focus on the gang wars as any other game in the series. Like all the other ones you have missions that are either focused on The Saints (your gang) or any of the other three gangs. You can take over one gang at a time, or all at the same time and be patient with each one. Taking over a gang yields it’s own benefits so doing them one at a time is usually the best course of action.

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Holy sh*t though does this game take the series through the roof. The first few missions alone stand out so much from any mission in the other games in the series – a bank robbery wearing giant Johnny Gat (a Saints Row leader and celebrity) foam heads, a gunfight in a plane which results in one while skydiving, and then a parachute assault on a penthouse while “Power” by Kanye West blares in your ears.

The basic premise is after SR2 finishes up the Saints become international celebrities and take charge of the city of Steelport. This gets flipped on its head however when a group called the Syndicate (from Denmark or something but keep getting called French) takes them captive and somehow turns all of their influence around the city into rubble. Your goal as a Saints leader is to bring your gang back from the brink and take Steelport back as your own.

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The scene ends with you entering from the cockpit and flying out the rear of the plane.

I won’t lie, I wish I could just link every picture off of Google for this game, or just record my entire play session. The game is far too wicked to not show off.

Not to forget about it, the DLC packs available are all pretty damn good and stray far enough away from the main storyline and settings that you won’t even feel like you’re in the same game a few times. The Mr. Genki obstacle course is pretty damn ridiculous but at the very least you get a vehicle in the pack that lets you consume civilians and then shoot them from a man-cannon on the back of the truck. This ain’t your momma’s sandbox game.

Alright let’s get to the gritty – the mechanics. The shooting is to be expected; a white circular aiming reticle shows up for most weapons, and a few have scope. The aiming is pretty damn good but it’s clear that it wasn’t their biggest focus in the game, and all in all I wouldn’t have expected it to be any better than it is. The driving is really tight, and most of the cars have their own weight and feel to them which lends a lot to the polished feel of the game. The helicopters also feel great, as well as any other airborne vehicles. The only vehicles that don’t feel great really are the bikes, but that almost makes sense because they’re dangerous vehicles – especially when you’re not wearing a helmet, you daredevil you.

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“I really need to pace myself when I’m playing the game or I’m going to lose my entire grip on reality.”

The downsides to the game?… I can’t honestly think of anything that could be considered “bad” in the game, but for me the main thing is honestly just how bat-shit crazy it is. It almost makes me miss SR2 for how NOT bat-shit crazy it was. It’s very hard sometimes to play this game for more than a few hours without feeling like my life sucks because I can’t jump out of a plane with a few SMG’s in my hands. I just feel like I really need to pace myself when I’m playing the game or I’m going to lose my entire grip on reality.

That may sound insane, but play the game before you judge the comment.

If you think that the pictures I’ve already linked in this review are crazy take a look at the one right below here. I’m pretty damn sure that’s Black Widow hitting a luchador commando in the head with a dildo-bat. Am I right?

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I’m pretty sure I’m right.

For all intensive purposes you should buy this game. There’s no way I’ve covered even 5% of what’s in this game but hell, that’s the fun in playing it yourself right? Hopefully after reading this you’ll want to buy the game because I’m sure THQ could use the influx in cash-money right about now. If you’re looking to get this right away and you have a fairly well-working computer (by that I mean a pimping-ass one) then go here and check out the current Humble Bundle. If not just buy it on console and you’ll still be pleasantly surprised for the money you spend; pleasant might be a loose word.

Humble Bundles are game packs purchased online that allow you to pay what you want and decide where the money you pay goes to. It’s pretty amazing so far as there’s been over 2.7 million dollars spent on the THQ bundle and if you consider THQ a charity then every dollar is going somewhere for a good cause.

Alright well there’s my tip of the iceberg review for Saints Row: the Third. If you’re interested in knowing more about the game I’d suggest checking out other reviews online.

Yes this is still the same game below.

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Digimon, digital monsters Digimon are th…. oh… that’s still Saints Row.

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