Some people have called the Saint’s Row franchise a Grand Theft Auto wannabe. Well, yes, it is open world; yes you can steal cars; yes you can play the game any way you like and kill as many people as you like. But past that, Saint’s Row is nothing like Grand Theft Auto.
The first two installments of the series were shooting for a serious but fun tone. But with the third entry, the developers went to hell with it. Saint’s Row 3 is one of the most over the top and ridiculous games around, but in a great way. In the opening sequence alone, your character shoots up a building Matrix style, gets kidnapped and trapped on a 747, shoots his way out, parachutes to safety, saves a girl, drops the girl to parachute back through the front of the 747, kill the last of the bad guys, and go on to save the girl again and land safely.
The overall story from there becomes slightly less absurd, but certain plot points are even more so. The game play is simple and gratifying. Choose your weapons and kill anyone in your way, or even innocents if you wish. The aiming mechanics will not win any innovation awards, but they are precise enough to be able to head shot with pistols from a decent distance. Saint’s Row 3 also has its share of weird weapons, from the mind controlling octopus launcher, to exploding car-hijackers, to a baseball bat covered with a sex toy.
The object of the game is essentially to take over the four main parts of the city. This is done through story and side missions. The side missions alone make this game a worthwhile play. With missions such as tank mayhem, which has you wreaking havoc with a stolen tank, snatch, which is “saving” other gang’s prostitutes, insurance fraud, and even a streaking minigame, there is no way to get a sense that the game is repetitive.
But parents beware: this game is worthy of its M rating. While the nudity is blurred out, the language and the sexuality is out in full force. There are parents out there who do not care, but for this title, you should really think about it if your child is under 15. There are no filters, and mute does not hide your child’s eyes from interrogating people in a hardcore bondage club.
For being a highly entertaining game, and as praise for developers acknowledging that their game is meant to be fun, and not a serious commentary on society, Saint’s Row 3 comes highly recommended. If you are a fan of free roaming, gang busting, create total anarchy styled games, you will enjoy this game.