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Saints Row The Third Review

I am going to “Saints Row” BITCH!!!!! Yeah, I said it, and ya know what?  With every trip to “Saints Row,” I love it more and more. I have played every “Saints Row” game, and yeah the first one was dubbed a “GTA” clone, but once ya played it you knew it was different.  The second game did its best to distance itself from that title.  “Saints Row The Third” only shares an open world and crime with “GTA.”  Everything else is all “Saints Row.”

“Saints Row The Third” picks up after the events of “Saints Row 2.”  If you’ve never played the previous two games, let me run them down for you.  The first installment stars your character as a silent newcomer in the Saints gang. The Saints are a bottom-of-the-barrel gang in their city of Stillwater.  You help defeat the three top gangs of Stillwater: the Vice Kings, the Westside Rollers, and Los Carnales.  After defeating them, you and an alderman who wants to rid the city of gangs are blown up on his yacht.  You were set up by fellow gang member and the Saints’ leader, who was an undercover cop.  “Saints Row 2” starts off with your character waking up from a five year coma in prison.  After escaping with a former Saints brother, you find Stillwater has changed.  You can talk now, the Chief of Police is your former homie, the Saints are dead with their former leader in hiding, and another former homie is now an employee of The Ultor Corporation.  Ultor has taken over the city and even turned your old hideout into a tourist trap. The only Saint still banging is your homie, Johnny Gat. There are also three new gangs: the Brotherhood, the Sons of Samedi, and the Ronin.  After clearing the city of them, you conduct a hostile takeover of The Ultor Corporation.  We all caught up now?  Goodie.  Also, I didn’t say “spoiler warning” because “Saints Row” is close to six years old and “Saints Row 2” is close to 4 years old. Ya had time people.  Still great games and you should play them.

“Saints Row The Third” starts a few years after the second installment and the Saints are now media icons.  With their control of Ultor they star in their own commercials for their own brand of energy drink, have their own clothing stores,  one of your homies has her own dating reality show, and Johnny Gat has his own comic, Gangstas In Space.  Life is so good you have an actor following the gang to gear up for his role in a movie about the Saints. The first mission is the gang dressed in Johnny Gat Mascot Suits attempting to rob a bank and, of course, things go wrong when the actor screws up, sets off the alarm and all hell breaks loose.  But you’re the Saints and you still try to go through with the robbery and call in for a helicopter to carry the bank vault out of the bank.  After a fun battle on top of the vault, which is swaying around in the air, finally it comes crashing down and you’re arrested.  You get released from prison into the custody of the Syndicate, who are kinda pissed you tried to rob them.  You find yourself tied up on their plane.  After a scuffle you and your lieutenant, Shaundi, fight your way to the back of the plane while Gat fights in the cockpit. Shaundi is thrown from the plane, so you, being the badass you are, grab a parachute and jump after her.  These Syndicate assholes jump after you, which leads to a fun and interesting fight as you skydive.  After killing the bad guys, you crash through the plane, jump out again and grab Shaundi, then land in the city of Steelport, which is the setting for “Saints Row The Third.”

The story is about taking down the Syndicate, which consists of the Morning Star, a group of suit-wearing Europeans who control the sex and illegal weapon trade, the Deckers, Emo/Goth/Hackers that control money laundering, the Luchadores, who control gambling, and eventually a government unit called S.T.A.G.(Special Tactics Anti-Gang).  Let’s get into the new features for the game: For the first time in the series, all the gang’s missions are a part of the same arc.  In past games, you could do an entire set of missions then move onto the next one without affecting anything. In “The Third” you still can, but some of your decisions affect and alter the other gang missions and story lines. You can now buy upgrades to your weapons, which is fun but isn’t as deep or as interesting as they originally made it sound. You can also buy random properties to add to your cash flow.  Also, every gang now has a specialty gang member that’s harder to take down.  With the Morning Star it’s snipers and helicopters, with the Deckers it’s a chick that moves too fast to hit, and with the Luchadores it’s a guy with a grenade launcher that fires fifteen semtex grenades. They all have access to Brutes, which are these huge mindless soldiers.  Some just wanna go The Thing on you and clobber you, while some have mini-guns and others have flame throwers.

Now, if you are a “GTA” fan and go into this game expecting the hardcore serious story, throw that out of the window.  One mission involves you teaming up with a nine foot tall, 400 pound naked dude named Oleg. Oleg is imprisoned by the Syndicate because they have cloned him to make their Army of Brutes, who are physically the same as Oleg but are mentally inferior.  Also, another fun mission involves you running around naked in a whore house looking for a pimp who needs to use an auto tuned voice box.

Simply put, the game is fun and gorgeous.  If you just want to pop in a game that is fun, will make you laugh and just have fun with(remember that, when games were fun?), this is the game for you.  It ain’t too hard on the eyes either.  The city is amazing looking, and to be driving down a street and see a skyscraper in the distance with a giant moving billboard on it is cool. The fact that once you get a stronghold you can upgrade it and make the building’s appearance change and alter the skyline is cool….and SPOILER ALERT!!!  Any game that features Burt Reynolds is a win in my book.

Saints Row The Third Gets a

5 out of 5