An Enjoyable New Chapter In The Saint's Row Franchise, With Gangs and Crime Making A Return

User Rating: 8 | Saints Row: The Third PS3

Saints Row The Third, being the third instalment in the franchise is sadly the last of the series to feature it's grim, dark organised crime and gang theme since it's sequel Saints Row 4 went in the direction of the absurd, and fantasy with aliens and the like. This is the reason why I loved the first two games and this third sequel, since I loved the gang theme and the idea of building up my gang in the city of Stillwater, through violence and business.

Yes, Saints Row The Third takes a more comical look to crime and gangs, but still involves prostitution, drugs and murder-for-hire and that drew me in to playing it. With updated visuals, and gameplay mechanics Saints Row The Third is a great improvement on it's predecessors and surprisingly I got lost in the new city of Steelport, where the Third Street Saints now find themselves.

Saints Row The Third takes a hard twist from it's predecessors, seeing as the Third Street Saints are not just a powerful, influential street gang but a brand, controlling clothing ranges, sell products with their name and faces on, they are a corporation now yet can still throw a good punch.

The story is quite simple, thinking they are untouchable now having moved on from being just a street gang, the Saints robbed the wrong person not knowing who the money belonged to. An even bigger, more powerful gang named the Syndicate. They in turn capture the Saints, take their territory in the city of Stillwater, and their businesses in retaliation. The protagonist, i.e. the leader of the Saints, Johnny Gat and Shaundi are taken prisoner on-board a plane owned by the Syndicate, and are en route to the Syndicate's city of Steelport where they operate from. Everyone manages to escape except Johnny Gat, and find themselves in the city with no money, allies or power. But soon over time, you gain all of these things again through brutal, ruthless conquer of the Syndicates's businesses and territories.

Visually it's clear that Saints Row The Third has had a drastic overhaul, graphically the game is alike to Grand Theft Auto 4, with sunlight gleaming off of the cars, to the wide open expanses that are much more stable, and detailed than in it's predecessors.

In terms of gameplay and it's mechanics, controls are far smoother and easier to use, from quick-time events used to beat larger, stronger enemies, to flying air-planes and using vehicles being far easier to control. This is an improvement on Saints Row and it's sequel, where vehicles were far heavier and harder to control, as well as combat that took some time to get used to.

The Good:

- Gangland, and crime setting is still used very well with more comical characters and events.

- A solid revenge-gangster story, that draws you in as more is uncovered about the gangs of Steelport.

- Graphically, visually Saints Row The Third is an improvement on it's predecessors greatly, with smoother and sharper visuals and effects.

- Gameplay mechanics are improved upon, in particular vehicle use and combat is far smoother and easier to use.

The Bad:

- Even with it's gangland-crime setting and plot, the realism that was in the original game and it's sequel is gone, replaced by comical characters and surreal moments.

Regardless of the issue of lack of realism to the game, Saints Row The Third is a solid sequel, and entry into the franchise especially for it's improved visuals, gameplay, graphics and humour. Since it's release, and the release of it's sequel you can find Saints Row The Third for quite cheap, usually under £10 in most pre-owned gaming stores. It's well worth buying, especially for fans of the franchise.