Fistbeard McTavish has an awesome name. He also writes top reader reviews. This one is another peach. You should read it!
Saints Row 3 So, looks like Saint's Row 3 has finally hit, another big boulder of landslide releases this month. But the question begs to be asked... How is it *really?*
Loved Sandbox - If there's one thing SR3 absolutely nails is how to do a good sandbox. Buying cars, customising them, going on high speed cop chases, body surfing pedestrians, buying new clothes and property, everything is nailed in this iteration. The gunplay is nice and solid, of a bit comical. Juggling people with explosive pistol rounds, using an incendiary SMG to burn armoured guards, and just hurling people off the top of buildings is stupid, stupid fun.
Badass - The game makes you feel like the ultimate badass. Free falling gunfights, gatecrashing a party to dropkick people with Kanye West's "Power" playing, and even slaughtering luchador wrestlers with Joe Esposito's "You're the best" playing is massively empowering. Taking out helicopters, Tanks, VTOLS, Zombies, Clones and TRON guys is awesome as well, along with using the "sprint" modifier for actions. Running up to someone and curb-slamming their face in the middle of a gunfight never, ever gets old. Need to carjack a vehicle? Dive through the window and kick out the driver.
Hated Story - I'm sorry, spoilers here, but if I need to do a google search asking if there are cutscenes missing in the PC version, there's something seriously wrong with your story. It's not that it's stupid or ludicrous, but it skips all the damn time. The bad guy who was billed as the antagonist is taken out of the picture at the 2 hour mark, then the game skips ahead to the saints getting framed for the destruction of a memorial bridge, and this was *after* a funeral for a desceased friend which was never shown or elaborated upon. Speaking of that....
Johnny Gat - You know... People may say that the main character is Johnny Gat, since he's been in the series from day one. While the main character can be anything, Johnny is pretty much the "Face" of the game. So, why the hell is he killed off? No, I'm not talking about a last mission shock twist with him dying, I'm talking about killed off screen in the second mission, before you even hit steelport. That's it. He's dead, the game barely recognises it, you get a funeral that was mentioned in passing and that's all. I felt betrayed.
Not as good as the previous game - I hate to say this, but... It just doesn't live up to the previous game. Where's the Fuzz missions? Where are my Crib Customisation? Fighting Styles? Wear options for clothing? Replaying old story missions? Why is the map smaller than SR2's, and yet has 3 islands? I can't get over how much they trimmed off the core experience. The story is shorter, and it just doesn't join together in a cohesive experience compared to Saint's Row 2. That alone is terrible, mainly because they touted 3 to have a better story since it was a linear mission progression compared to the previous game. Also, aside from the stunning first few missions, it fizzles out really badly at the end of the game, as nothing hits the high note of the first hour of story missions you play, as most missions is just "Go to this interior location in this wacky costume and shoot shit"
Final Thoughts Saints Row: The Third is a weird game. Not because of the dildo bats, but because of how well it does the main sandbox, and how much Volition neglected the rest of the experience. Sure, it's crazy, stupid fun, but aside from a genuinely great sandbox mode where you can just wreck shit, everything else falls flat, especially when compared to the second game. If you ask me, that's a damn shame. Buy it for the sandbox only.