Despite being an obvious GTA rip-off, I actually quite enjoyed the first Saints Row game and the second one passed me by when I wasn’t sent it for review a couple of years ago. Thankfully THQ did send me Saints Row: The Third and the good news is it’s just as over-the-top as the TV ads make it look. This time The Saints have control over Stillwater and are attempting to take the town of Steelport away from rival factions. If you’ve played any game of this genre before you’ll know what to expect. You drive from A to B completing missions for people which usually involve shooting bad guys, chasing other cars down or blowing things up. In turn you get more money, guns and respect and this makes you even more powerful.
What’s great is the amount of customization you can apply to everything. You can be male, female, change your looks, clothes and even voice, change the way your gang members look and even pimp up your ride. Shops and property can also be bought around town to increase your influence and earn you more money as you play and as you gain respect and level up you can apply upgrades to yourself, your weapons and cars to make you even more badass!
Things don’t start off slowly either. Right from the get-go you begin by robbing a bank dressed in silly big-headed masks, have a fight on board and falling from a plane and then drop into a penthouse to take it over and make it one of your cribs. You even get into tanks and helicopters early on in the game and can take part in more side-quests which parody other videogames as and when you wish to compliment the main missions.
Voice acting is of a good standard and the lines are well written and laugh out loud funny at times which is a good thing as it certainly helps to mask some of the other flaws in the game. Enemies seem to soak up a lot of bullets unless you hit them in the head, the game glitches at times with characters getting stuck on walls and doors and the frame rate sometimes slows down noticeably during fire fights.
The soundtrack can’t be faulted though with classic and current tunes blaring out of the radio channels as you zoom round the city streets.
Add to the single player campaign the ability to also play through it in co-op mode, online competitive play and a Whored Mode which is a play on the Gears of War survival mode involving shooting a load of sex workers instead, and you have plenty to keep you amused here even if it’s all a bit rough round the edges and can get a bit repetitive once the madness has worn off a bit.
Like an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie it’s mindless, silly fun which should give you hours and hours of trashy amusement so it gets an excellent 8 out of 10.
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