Friday, 1 March 2013

Finished: Saints Row The Third

I picked up Saints Row the Third in a Christmas sale on steam, when they were selling the pack with most of the DLC ridiculously cheaply. Not the last time that THQ tried to raise funds that way, but at the time THQ's financial woes had yet to make headlines and I had not finished Saints Row 2.

Saints Row 2 moved the franchise from a fairly basic Grand Theft Auto knock off to its own firm territory, introducing a huge variety of side missions and firmly gating story behind a requirement to play around, explore the city and do some very silly things. While it was a great game, I was happy to move on when I was done rather than aim for 100% completion, because there was simply too much stuff left to do, and because I knew that to a certain extent Saints Row 3 was there, which would give  me more things to do, whilst also giving me a goal and direction.

SR3 is violent and silly. It wears the sillyness proudly, and deliberately rubs your face in it. It exists in a bizarre, ultra-violent world, where the leadership of a criminal gang can become the focus of a notable international brand, it has a gameshow that involves condemned criminals as some of the contestants, and it has a "car chase" with human pony carriages. A car chase where when the carriage is destroyed it explodes the same way as every other vehicle in the game.

Despite the amazing amount of power that the game simply hands the player (especially if they have bought the various DLCs), the game managed to hold my attention and entertain me. It doesn't mitigate your ability to use ridiculous powers, it just encourages you to try different weapons and to play.

Because of the ridiculous nature of the universe, you simply can't be sure where the story will go next, what new strangeness show up, taking the story in a new direction whilst still allowing the Saints to continue their inexorable rise to power.

Hopefully the new owners of the IP will continue the tradition of putting the game on sale for super cheap, because its definitely worth a play. Provided you can cope with the violence and sexual themes that are in the game.

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