Posted by John on December 28, 2011

Saints Row: The Third – Games of the Year [Xbox 360/PS3/PC]

Posted December 28, 2011 by beefjack.

You think you know insane? Madcap third-person shooter SAINTS ROW: THE THIRD is an onrushing ball of crazy like nothing you’ve ever seen before. It scored 8.2 in our review, and here’s why we think it deserves to be remembered as one of the games of the year.

Running through a crowd of people wielding a massive purple dildo bat, then proceeding to beat everyone in the street to a pulp. Sounds insane, doesn’t it? But this qualifies as a rather subdued moment in Saints Row: The Third, which is a game every bit as crazy as you’ve heard and then some. Typically games that try to pull off this kind of non-stop outlandish behaviour fall flat before they even get out of the gate. However, Saints is on a whole different level.

Here I am, my custom-created character garbed in practically anything I desire, be it stylish businessware or a leather gimp suit. Saints 3 has it all. Which is not to say that other games don’t have the option of a character creator, but that Saints’ blows the competition out of the water.

From being able to run around the entire game fully nude, to having weapons like the ‘apoco-fist’ which essentially blows people up on contact, you’re constantly finding some new demented thing to double-take at. And while every part of Saints Row is fantastic, it somehow still manages to be better as a whole than the sum of its separate parts. I believe that this mentality needs to be picked up by the industry as a whole – to have a game where any slice across the middle can be fun and entertaining, but where if you cut straight down, a vertical slice is even better still.

Giant mutant Russian

I’m on a roof, defending a giant mutant Russian, blowing VTOLs out of the air at breakneck speed with no time to rest. Typically this would be the climactic mission of an entire game, but with Saints this is just another run of the mill trip downtown you find yourself on all the time. And yet, while Saints keeps the dial stuck on 11 the whole while, not once does it turn dull.

Okay, even with everything so amazing, there are a few faults. Some of the side missions I loved from Saints Row 2 appear to be missing this time around, and frankly that’s a disappointment. It’s so easy to overlook, though, simply because of the wealth of content Volition added. Remember the glory days of Grand Theft Auto when you could go skydiving just because? Saints definitely remembers, and it’s that feeling of anything goes which is where the game really captured me. Saints took what I loved about the classic PlayStation 2-era GTA games and molded it into something many times better.

Before Saints was released we all knew it was being hyped as the most crazy insane game on the market. Or insane crazy, if you will. [Eminem's lawyers on line two -Ed.] I took that with a grain of salt at the time, but to say I’ve since seen the light would be an understatement.

From the aforementioned dildo bat to just raining death from the skies on hapless passers-by, everything carries the same distinct brand of awesome. Saints Row 3 not only met the expectations set by the ad campaign, but surpassed them as well – which is why, for me, it ranks as game of the year. -Joseph Fait

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