Saints Row: The Third - bigger, badder and more insane
|NEWS - VIDEOGAME NEWS|
The most over the top sandbox goes over even further...
For me, for a long time, there really was only one modern sandbox RPG series worth playing, GTA. But at some point after the latest generation of consoles launched this changed pretty drastically. Crackdown, Just Cause, Prototype and Infamous all came to town to change my view of things. Not to mention GTA4. But even with all of these games, none of them gave you a truly free reign to do whatever you pleased, sure, you had a lot of freedom, but the game never really encouraged you to let loose, get silly and jump naked from a jet.
But that all changed, and we all know where it changed. Saints Row 2 landed and set a new standard for retarded fun in a video game. The graphics weren't perfect, the physics were... interesting and the cars drove like they did on PS2, but the sheer fun you could have with this game was limitless. It seems like instead of sitting down and discussing complex nuances of gaming and game design, Volition (the game's developers) instead just said "What do we want to do? What's fun?" and everything they said went into the game. And it was a damn good game because of it.
So now, the pressure is on for Saints Row: The Third. But, judging by the torrent of content being pushed out about it, Volition and THQ are pretty happy with what they have come up with. After watching the videos, I can safely say that you will be too.
The first thing you notice about Saints Row: The Third is that the graphics have been updated and given enough polish and sparkle to look modern and fresh. The city looks alive and vibrant, and reflections sparkle and shine. Gone are the flat and dull textures that gave Saints Row 2 its dated feel.
The character animations are inevitably the next thing you notice, as every one seems to be completely new and totally over the top, instead of breaking a cars window and realistically stealing it, you can simply sprint to the car and dive through the closed window into the driving seat. Combat has been given the same treatment, and can now be initiated by a range of dives and jumps, flying through the air to deliver a two footed drop-kick to a homeless persons face.
Of course, combat in Saints Row wouldn't be combat without weapons, and there are some real treats in store. Alongside the expected array of swords, knives, guns, missile launchers, grenades and Gatling guns, there are giant purple dildos, 'apocha-fists' (huge gloves that explode people into a meaty mist), pedestrian-launching cannons, tanks, jets with air-to-surface lasers and homing missiles and a ton of other, even more over the top weapons and vehicles.
The other real strength of Saints Row has always been the character customisation, and they sure haven't let us down this time, basically every aspect of how your character walks, sounds, behaves and looks can be changed. Outfits, costumes and accessories are plentiful, and almost all of their colours and patters can be changed and altered to suit you. Or you can just play naked. Obviously.
In terms of game play, Saints Row: The Third promises to be the most advanced and rewarding game of the series, and many of the issues that held its predecessor back from greatness have been addressed and fixed. The most noticeable of these is the driving, gone is the slow and deliberate handling of the previous games, replaced with a lower viewpoint and heavily upgraded car physics, driving feels faster, more dangerous and more real. They've still kept it silly though, you can now pull stylish J-turns and continue driving in reverse in order to shoot the bad guys following your tail, as well as drifting, spinning and generally driving completely recklessly.
In all, my conclusion at this point for Saints Row: The Third is that it is going to be a good game, possibly a great game, possibly the greatest game? That is a lofty claim indeed, but the chance is in sight at least. Even if it doesn't quite achieve greatness, it is certainly going to be a hell of a lot of fun.
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