The Street Saints are back for a third time, but can you really say, third times a charm.
Only the Third Street Saints can pull of a large bank heist, but sometimes things don't always go according to plan. A group of gangs known as the Syndicate have a run in with the Saints, whilst robbing a bank. This leaves the Saints saying goodbye to their once ruled Stillwater as they relocate to a new place, Steelport. Left with no money or respect, the Saints must pick their self back up and go out for revenge. Three different gangs operate within Steelport, and the Saints must take them down, one by one, and do what they do best, rule.
As soon as you boot up the game, you will be taking part in a bank robbery. It's a very amusing and action packed opening that jumps in feet first with it's over-the-top gameplay, rude dialog and humour the series is known for. It doesn't change the third time around, and it's even more ridiculously crazy than before. From futuristic hover jets, laser rifles and more. It's a very strange game, but it's so enjoyable, you will be left wanting more, even when the game is over.
Just like the previous two entries, player customisation plays a big role in Saints Row The Third. It's at a much larger scale this time around. Depending on which sex you choose, male or female, there are tons of different customisable options. From clothing, accessories, voice styles, taunts and more. Would you like to create a hot blonde babe, or a fat green man?, well you can. There's hundreds of bazaar ways to create your character and you can even share them with the community or download other peoples creations. No matter which character you choose, they will all fit in with the story perfectly.
Saints Row The Third feels much like it's predecessors, but their has been some changes. One of the biggest changes is how you go about completing missions. With the last two games, you had to complete a number of activities before advancing in the story. This time you no longer need to. You can continue the story when ever you wish. Story missions, side missions and other options are handled through your cell phone, which you can view on the fly.
Whilst completing activities are no longer needed, you still earn respect and cash for missions you complete. There's lots to spend your hard earn cash on. From property, clothing, New cribs for your Saints and so on. If you played past Saints Row games you will know the basic set up. Something new in Saints Row The Third is the option to purchase upgrades. From your cell phone you can choose from a ton of optional upgrades. From increased health, the amount of Saints you can recruit, longer sprinting and more. There's so much to do you will still be purchasing upgrades once the story is complete. It's a neat idea, and one feature I really enjoy.
You will find lots of crazy things in Steelport. When you feel like taking a break from singleplayer, you can complete a number of activities. If you like to constantly blow up stuff, Tank Assault will sure do the trick. There's also Escort, Insurance Fraud and other favourites from the previous game. There's only six missions to each activity, but they are highly enjoyable, and a nice little distraction from the main story. One of my favourite new activities is called Professor Genki’s Super Ethical Reality Climax. This puts you in a game show were you must go through an obstacle course, killing other opponents to get a high score within a time limit. Whilst completing all the activities wont take to long, you can replay them for extra cash.
When it comes to the visuals, Saints Row The Third isn't the most polished looking game around. Having said that, it looks much better than it's predecessors. Travelling around Steelport looks colourful and attractive, but expect to come across glitches. For example, when driving along the roads you will notice vehicles popping into view. I also came across a few issues when completing side missions, but they never became to bad to stop enjoying the game.
Overall, Saints Row The Third is a very enjoyable sandbox experience. It feels familiar to the previous games, but it's certainly the most enjoyable and crazy game in the series yet.
Review by Gareth Smith