Saints Row: The Third

aka: SRTT, Saints Row 3
Moby ID: 53573
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

As they have defeated all their rivals in Stilwater in the end of Saints Row 2, the Saints turned their street gang into a media empire soon after merging with the Ultor Corporation. They have since became an icon and own their own energy drink, a large fan base, and a movie deal in motion. However, when a fellow actor, Josh Birk, attempts to "research" his role for the Saints movie, they rob a bank and get caught. An international crime organization, called the Syndicate, bribes the police and gets the Saints' leader, Gat, and Shaundi released. They are then taken to the Syndicate's leader, Phillipe Loren, to try to negotiate business. While in flight, Loren tells them that they will be allowed to live if they give up two thirds of the Saints' revenue made in Stilwater. The gang leader rejects his offer, which leads to a gunfight. The leader and Shaundi escapes from the jet, while Gat attempts to hold back the enemies, and is presumably killed.

To get revenge on the Syndicate, the Saints relocate to Steelport, a city that was once known for its flourishing factories, but has been recently suffering from economic failure. The Syndicate has already taken over Steelport, and controls it through three gangs: The Morningstar, led by he DeWynter sisters and Loren personally, the Luchadores, controlled by the Mexican wrestler Killbane, and The Deckers, led by Matt Miller, and his group of computer geniuses who deal with money laundering and oversee the Syndicate's security. The Saints now need to take control over the city, fighting other gangs and trying to reclaim their former glory.

Saints Row: The Third is the third main game in the sandbox shooting and driving series. Like its predecessors, it focuses on third-person action, free-roaming driving, and urban warfare. The protagonist, leader of the Third Street Saints, explores the city of Steelport, performs missions that advance the game's story, as well as side missions. These include Activities, initiated at random points in the game world; Strongholds, rival gang bases that can be taken over to control sections of Steelport; and Flashpoints, actual gang warfare.

Completing missions earns the player money, weapons, cars, and gang reputation. Past Saints Row games used reputation to unlock new missions; The Third uses reputation as experience points, which can be used to upgrade weapons and cars with various features, such as adding scopes or extra barrels to guns. Money can be used to customize the appearance, outfits, and headquarters of the gang. There is also an Initiation Station system which lets the player upload their characters created to an online community, and even download other players' characters to play with their save game. Lastly, money can also be used to buy shops and other properties in Steelport, which will, over time, become a stream of money for the gang. Some of the missions can be approached in different ways, and a few require the player to make choices.

Novelty weapons are introduced along with the traditional arsenal of handguns and automatic weapons. Players can call down airstrikes on camps of enemies, or use a remote control electric bug to control vehicles from a range. Unlike the first two games, there are no health recovery items; instead, health regenerates at a faster rate out of combat. Just about every action in the game can be sped up by holding down a special button; for example, when stealing a car, it will cause the player character to missile-kick the driver out of the seat.

The game also has a co-op mode; similarly to Saints Row 2, the second player participates in all missions and activities, receiving credit for their completion. Some activities have different rules when having two players. Co-op features require a single-use online pass. There is no competitive multiplayer mode in the game.

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Credits (Windows version)

1,475 People (1,423 developers, 52 thanks) · View all

Project Technical Director
System Architect
AI Programming Lead
AI
Audio
Characters and Animation
Controls and Combat
Cutscenes
Tools
Co-Op Lead
Co-Op Programmer
DLC Programmer Lead
DLC Programmers
Gameplay Programming Lead
Gameplay Programmers
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 82% (based on 38 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 70 ratings with 1 reviews)

Third-person Dildo Adventure

The Good
A perfect amount of content that does not overwhelm or leave you bored.

Insane action.

Colorful visuals.

The Bad
Story discards a lot of established plot-points.

A few other plot-points are downright copy&paste work.

Not a lot else...

The Bottom Line
story

Saints Row: The Third picks up some years after the events of Saints Row 2. The Saints are the only gang left after their previous exploits and have used their newfound powers to release a brand of gang-themed products. They have essentially sold out and gone soft, but they quickly get back in touch with their roots when a robbery goes wrong and a series of events gets the crew stuck in the city of Steelport. To make matters worse: the Saints lose access to all their money and are thus forced to gain it back by defeating the three local gangs.

A lot of people complained about the story’s pacing, often citing how strange it is that you quickly gain access to all kinds of powerful tools. I however thought this was somewhat fitting, since the game wants you to feel like an overpowered one-man-army. What I will complaint about is that the story has a very “been there, done that” feel to it, with which I mean to say that it’s a little too familiar. Fighting three rival gangs is fine by me, but when a rich organization starts funding a PMC to take down all of the gangs simultaneously, then the plot starts to feel an uncomfortable lot like copy/paste-work.

What also bothers me is that the game retcons a few facts from the previous entries for relatively weak reasons. The most obvious one is that Shaundi – the once dreadlocked and reckless gangster – has been transformed into a much cleaner and generic version of herself. The game wanted to have a sexier appearance, so they just threw it out and made her a lot less interesting in the process. “The boss” also says at one point that his name is secret and tells an ally who found it to keep it for herself, but the player-character was a regular citizen before all of this and thus registered. Overall the story isn’t fantastic, but for a game that just wants to be extreme, it is somewhat fitting and doesn’t get in the way of the fun.

Gameplay

This game is a sandbox that a lot of Grand Theft Auto fans will find immediately recognizable, but with a few twists. All the regular stuff is here: driving, shooting, flying and beating up people, but it all flows a lot better. All your missions and menus are stored in a smartphone, which you can access with the tab-key. From there you can quickly set everything up before heading out on your next adventure, for example: calling up a few homies to help out in an upcoming battle or transferring the money from your stores to your bank account before going shopping. The phone has been a major feature since the first game, but never has it had so many useful functions that were as easy to access.

Missions are the most important part of the game and one nice change is that you no longer need to get “respect” before starting them. Previous games in the series would force players to fill a bar before they could start another mission, but here you can start any mission at any time. Respect instead serves as a means of unlocking new skills that you can then purchase with in-game money. The upgrades are very varied and allow you to specialize in specific fighting-styles. I invested a lot of cash in melee with rifles as a fall-back strategy, which worked very well. Later on you might acquire enough money to get pretty much everything, but by then the game is probably reaching a climax already.

One final way in which Saints Row differs from other games in the genre are the specialists, which are the strongest units in the game. These vary from subtle snipers to the not-so-subtle brutes and just generally serve to make combat a lot tougher. All in all the gameplay will feel familiar to most people, but it does a very good job at introducing improvements and especially the removal of the respect-barrier between missions helps the game feel like a more enjoyable whole.

Presentation

Most modern games go with a realistic setting and thus choose to use gray and brown colors a lot, but Saints Row instead uses a lot of purple. Purple is the color of the Saints, so as you move through the city of Steelport, you’ll see plenty of neon-signs that emit bright, purple lights on the screen. It makes the game a little more colorful, but it’s far from the only visual wonder. As you progress through the story certain events will cause permanent damage to the city, such as a green gas hanging above part of the city or the bridges been raised. These changes are best observed from the sky and luckily there are plenty of chances to do so. When driving a car, though, the city feels a little generic.

Voice-acting is also a big part of the series, as it has always been. The series is especially fond of having celebrities voice characters and they are also present in this title: Burt Reynolds voices the mayor of Steelport, Hulk Hogan voices ally “Angel de la Muerte” and former pornography star Sasha Grey (don’t ask me how I know this) voices a character as well. All of the actors, both well-known and obscure, manage to make their characters come to life and I easily found myself been pulled into the story by them.

The graphics are also very nice and colorful, which caused a GTA-loving friend of mine to constantly comment on it been “fake”. This aesthetic nicely compliments the surreal gameplay and it almost becomes a firework display when the laser-spewing jets join the fray. A little more could have been done with it, but I am not disappointed overall.

End-game content

After the story, which will take about 10 hours to complete, there is still a lot to be done in Steelport. There are several events that the player can complete (which have been cut down to 3 levels per series), gang operations to be cleared out and property to be claimed. Doing all of this will eventually give the players a 100% City Takeover score, which pretty much means they own it all. Afterwards the player can still entertain themselves with some of the vehicle theft and assassination missions, as well as the challenges, but these will offer very little incentive to keep playing.

The sad fact is that after clearing out the gangs, Steelport becomes rather lifeless and the player is left with very little to play with. You can pick fights with the police if you please, but by that point you are ridiculously overpowered, so picking fights with the pistol-wielding authority offers very little challenge. There is plenty of DLC sold separately, but the content in these varies and is a little pricey if you want all of it.

Verdict

Saints Row: The Third is a game all about driving the player from amazing set-piece to amazing set-piece, but it forgets to string these events together with a story the player wishes to explore. It’s a shame to see a series with a once interesting plot discard it in favor of showing off, but at least the gameplay is solid enough to make playing through it enjoyable. There is also a genuinely good sense of humor and everything is well-presented, so you are likely to find yourself replaying this game from time to time. I recommend getting this game for a maximum of 40 euros, preferably 30 or lower. This item goes on sales often, so be sure to check that out!

Windows · by Asinine (957) · 2013

Discussion

Subject By Date
Saint's Row? Patrick Bregger (298069) Nov 25, 2011

Trivia

Development

Saints Row: The Third started as more of an adventure game. It starred an undercover cop who infiltrated the gang and the choices they made would determine the story. The team decided this idea wasn't the right mood for a Saints Row game and scrapped it. A cover system and parkour were also planned for the game, but cut.

German version

In the German version, civilians can't be used as human shield and they don't leave money behind after dying. Additionally the police gets active after the first killed civilian (in the original version the player has a bit more leeway) and the Whored Mode was removed.

Japanese version

The Japanese release of the game was slightly censored in order to fit within the restrictions of Japanese ratings body CERO. The "Penetrator" weapon, a four-foot-long purple dildo, was changed to look more like a regular aluminum baseball bat.

PC advertisement

The advertisement for the PC version focused on how Volition developed it in-house instead of outsourcing it - probably a direct result of the infamous technical problems of Saints Row 2. About a month prior to release, THQ published a humorous press release which states that the PC version will not be delayed. It pokes fun at the tendency of multiplatform games, especially by Ubisoft, to suddenly delay the PC version shortly before the intended date. The statement in its entirety:

THQ and Volition announced that the PC version of Saints Row: The Third is scheduled to release exactly when they said it would. Developed in-house at Volition in Champaign, IL and powered by Steam, Saints Row: The Third on PC is not scheduled to be delayed by any unforeseen development problems, shipping issues, inclement weather, or zombie apocalypse. As such, it remains on track for a November 15 release, exactly when we said it would.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Adam Hildreth.

OnLive, Gloud added by firefang9212. Windows added by Sciere. Linux added by lights out party.

Additional contributors: Sciere, j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】, Patrick Bregger, Lain Crowley, Plok, Victor Vance.

Game added November 19, 2011. Last modified February 13, 2024.