So that was when I took the wheel, as bullets pinged and tyres squealed, I weighed the odds and my heart sank: my street sweeper vs their armoured tank.
No turning back! No sad retreat! Just onward, come victory or defeat! I pressed the gas; his turret swung and blew my arse to Kingdom Come.
(But then, what did I expect? 'Twas I who started this whole mess. It wasn't even a story mission when I beat that old lady into submission)
OK, hang on, I should back up and clarify the setting. I'm playing this upcoming game rife with death and bloodletting.
A zany open-worlder that flips GTA the bird; maybe you know of what I speak? Volition's Saints Row: The Third.
First things first: the engine's new, and yeah, it really shows. The characters have substance and the driving really goes.
(Though the framerate's kinda spotty, overall it's none-too-shoddy.) The whole thing's not as weighty as a Rockstar game might do, but it's also not as floaty as Saints Row 1 or 2.
(And the character animations look pretty great, to boot.) Story mode looks much the same -- it's all about claiming land. The city of Stillwater's up for grabs as your territory expands.
(Though one small difference kinda rocks: From the start, the story's unlocked. You don't have to earn respect to play it through from start to end.)
You can customise your character with tons of knobs and dials; from skin to hair to ink to clothes, there's options tame and wild.
I made a chick, as I tend to do, and gave her skin that was a radiant blue; she wore a bright red tank-top, too, and on her face: a leopard tattoo.
Finally! I can do my killin' Looking like a super-villain. (Though one of the makeup options isn't so nice: two black eyes, called "Told her twice.")
With my avatar selected, I hit the street and, undirected, started shooting guys in green (I assumed they weren't on my team).
Turns out I was right, I had picked a little fight with the local gangster corps, masked wrestlers called "The Luchadores".
Many cars, they got exploded many guns were locked and loaded as the body count did climb, I was having a frickin' great time!
But alas, all things must end, and they put one in my head. Whoa, the screen went all groovy crimson death was saturated red.
Starting fresh! Time for a mission! I was faced with a decision: Do I get paid to maraud, or try my hand at insurance fraud?
I went with the former option, quickly driving, making tracks towards a television program called "Professor Genki's Super Ethical Reality Climax".
They say it's like The Running Man, You get paid to blam blam blam, though in truth it's pretty crude: You're in a warehouse, shooting dudes.
Back on the street I find my feet and bid Genki adieu. It's time to open my arsenal up and see what these puppies can do The requisite machine guns, pistols, shotguns, and grenades, are augmented by some seriously intense destruction-aids.
First there's the Mollusk Launcher, which turns a foe into a friend. And once they're fighting for you you can detonate their head!
(It's wonderfully abusive, but also, it's a pre-order exclusive.)
Melee weapons there are plenty, Apoca-Fists make quite a splat, and the funniest inclusion is the dildo baseball-bat.
There's a reaper drone on hand that'll kill whomever you like, and for armoured cars and tanks call in an SA3 Airstrike!
Perhaps the funniest new thing to do when tearing up the town is rush an enemy and hit "attack" for a unique, flying takedown.
(That's not everything they've got; each weapon also has a custom nut-shot.)
So in the Saints Row Tradition, I got in a bunch of fights, bitch-slapped a guy in a mascot costume, tossed civilians left and right.
Mind-controlled a group of cops then blew them up; they didn't stop. Pretty soon the scene got grim, as the army rolled on in.
Helicopters then, and tanks, Armored cars along my flank. I was a blue leopard-lady on the run, and unbelievably, was outgunned.
So I grabbed that old street sweeper and set forth to meet the Reaper; and as their tank blew me away, I thought, "Damn. This game is great."
It's the silliness I like, dildo-bats and huge airstrikes. It's a world filled with distractions, where chaos is the main attraction.
I've played Saints Row games a lot, and this one outdoes them all. I can't wait to play some more when Saints Row: The Third launches later this fall.