Saints Row The Third

User Rating: 8 | Saints Row: The Third PC

The Saints Row series started out as a Grand Theft Auto clone, but then each iteration has deviated from it; including more comedy and over the top action. This game varies in absurdity from mission to mission, although the amount of enemies it often throws at you means your character ends up being a bit of a bullet sponge.

You play as the leader of a gang known as the 3rd Street Saints, who have evolved into a media empire; selling merchandise and starring in commercials and TV shows. After a bank heist goes wrong, the Saints are captured by the Syndicate and they lose control of Stillwater. In retaliation, the Saints move to conquer Steelport, taking over regions from the Syndicate.

Your new enemies are the Morningstar, cyber-Goth Deckers, and the wrestling crew Luchadores. Each gang has different aesthetic and equipment. Each gang also has a different Brute which are Hulk-like monstrosities.

You level up by accumulating respect which unlocks upgrades to your character or gang. There's loads of options to upgrade, including: increased health, health regeneration, damage reduction, ammo capacity and more. Once the upgrades are available, you need to spend cash to acquire them. You can accumulate cash by completing missions, and investing in real estate. This gives you cash over the in game hours. Purchasing stores also give you discounts on their services.

There's Gang Operations in the city that must be completed to cleanse each district of one of three particular gangs. These are small shoot-outs with a dozen enemies, which are fun to complete. The battles soon become intense as gang member reinforcements turn up in cars or helicopters. You can call a few 'homies' to back you up though.

There's a nice range of weapons including standard guns like pistols, shotguns, SMGs, assault rifles, sniper and rocket launcher. But there's also some humorous weapons like the Mollusc Launcher which fires mind-controlling octopi. Each gun can be upgraded for a more powerful version.

You can steal any vehicle with ease, often just dramatically jumping straight through the window and taking out the driver in one motion. Vehicles can be upgraded and delivered straight to you. The city is really large but you do get various helicopters and planes which make navigation pretty fast, and give you the option of causing carnage from the skies.

There's plenty of story missions, and plenty of optional side quests. Trail Blazing is a biking mini-game with a TRON aesthetic. Insurance Fraud sees you rag-dolling yourself into cars to cause damage. Snatch involves driving to locations, gunning down a few enemies to rescue a group of people, then delivering them to a safe location. There's plenty of variety across the mission types.

The graphics are reasonable, they definitely look dated, but the biggest problem is the pop-up. Cars appearing/disappearing is very annoying. There's the occasional crash to desktop, and a few glitches where you can get stuck, or the next part of the mission not triggering.

If you are looking for a realistic game, the Saints Row The Third is obviously not the game for you. If you want a fun open-world game, then it is a great choice, because there's lots of over-the-top carnage to be had.