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Published on March 30th, 2012 | by simeon

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Saints Row: The Third

In this installment of Volition’s extremely popular open-world, action-adventure RPG, the player finds himself in a very surreal happenstance. The Third Street Saints are media icons. Your character is captured while trying to rob a bank, along with gang-mates Johnny Gat and Shaundi. It soon becomes evident that this entire charade was a set up by someone you didn’t expect. After being taken into custody by the Stillwater PD (from Saints Row 1 & 2), you and the others are released by members of the Syndicate, who offer an opportunity to live on and continue what you are doing, if you pay them a hefty percentage of the media profits.

Violence ensues, and the hero finds himself in the new metropolis of Steelport. Gat is dead, but Shaundi and a few others are ready to help you take over the city, just as before.

In this iteration of the adventure, you are up against three rival groups who have combined forces into a mega-group. The three gangs comprising the Syndicate are: The MorningStar (sex/weapons dealers), The Deckers (elite hackers), The Luchadores (mexican gambling thugs). Later, you also contend with STAG, an elite military organization. The game plays out the same as its predecessors, with assassinations, vehicle theft, quests, and general mayhem.

THQ’s latest production focused on over-the-top scenarios that are largely overlooked, but occasionally are so far fetched that it distracts the player from the game’s semi-realistic nature. Overall, the fun-factor is a 10, but for the discerning gamer, some of the missions are just plain silly. The graphics are top notch, the controls work well, and the gameplay is enjoyable.

One of the unique additions to Saints Row: the Third is the ability to legitimately reach “god mode” at level 50. You can purchase talent upgrades that provide unlimited ammo for all guns and immunity to most forms of damage. The best way to reach level 50 is to simply play the entire game, side quests and all. During my playthrough, there were only three side quests I didn’t complete. (those heliassaults are brutal!). By the time you reach the third chapter of the game, level 50 shouldn’t be a challenge to reach. If you are a power gamer, rushing through the main storyline, it’s highly unlikely that you will get to level 50, so you’ll miss out on the “god mode” cheats.

One of my favorite parts of the game was the Tank Assault. It’s good, old-fashioned fun (with a tank) in downtown. All you have to do is destroy everything. Good times.

The ending was challenging, which I enjoy, but it was also corny and unsatisfying. All in all, it was 50 hours well spent, and I certainly look forward to Saints Row 4.

4 out of 5 stars.


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