Saints Row: The Third Review (Xbox)

martes, 22 de noviembre de 2011 , Posted by admin at 22:32

Saints Row: The Third Review (Xbox)

Do you like blowing stuff up? Better yet, do you like blowing stuff up in absurd ways? Then you’re probably going to love Saints Row: The Third. Over the course of three games, Volition’s open world series has evolved from a Grand Theft Auto clone to a unique over-the-top style of game that gives you an open world for your destructive enjoyment. Saints Row: The Third is built around the idea of giving you a playground to blow stuff up as you want.

Opening with a bank heist scene that has you fighting off waves of SWAT team members from underneath a helicopter, you’re whisked off to the character creator, which gives you an idea of just how over-the-top Saints Row is going to be. Loaded with options, the character creator gives you the total freedom to create a character as you want, including the color of your skin, seven different voice options (including Zombie), and more. Once done with the character creator, the game doesn’t let up on the action and drops you into an insane airplane escape sequence that kicks off the story and your introduction to Steelport, the new city.

The story of Saints Row 3 isn’t particularly complex. Once moved over to Steelport you’re then tasked with bringing down the rival criminal faction that expelled you from Stilwater. In fact, that’s pretty much all you do, as the story is never particularly complex or deep and serves as little more than a delivery method for the game’s next big action moment. The plot’s focus on taking down your rival gangs mainly revolves around destroying their assets in some extraordinary way, putting you in situations like sniping enemies while hanging from a helicopter, stealing jets, and even getting complete plastic surgery to infiltrate an enemy carrier.

While the characters you meet throughout the story are mostly likeable, some of them try a bit too hard to be politically incorrect, and they’re mostly used to serve as glorified introductions to the various side activities the game has to offer, and routinely disappear without mention for good periods of time. But with every mission offering a focus on having fun, the story itself is never really the focus.

Call in your crew and take over

Gameplay wise, Saints Row: The Third plays like a beefed up Saints Row II. The general mechanics are the same – you’ll be running around in the third person, shooting people, and mowing them down with your car. The real difference is the amount of options that the game gives you to do these tasks. The amount of weapons, and their insanity, has been boosted. You’ll get standard weapons like pistols and assault rifles, but you’ll also get airstrike target painters, laser cannons, and remote controlled drone missile strikes.

Vehicles are also equally as varied, ranging from your standard cars to hoverbikes, jets, and even a retro wireframe tank. Every weapon and vehicle also has upgrades available that increase their strength and abilities, giving weapons upgrades such as armor penetrating bullets or upgrading even the most simple of vehicles into armored death machines, complete with wheel spikes capable of inflicting harm on pedestrians and vehicles alike.

The Respect meter present in the previous games has also received a significant (and welcome) overhaul. Previously, Respect was earned through completing side missions and was require to progress to the next story mission, meaning you’d be forced to grind through activities if you didn’t have enough Respect to access your next mission. In Saints Row: The Third, missions can be accessed at any time through your phone, negating the need to amass Respect to complete the story.

Instead, Respect acts as fully fledged experience system, awarded by completing story missions, side missions, and various tasks of mayhem and destruction during the game, such as driving on the wrong side of the road or stringing together a chain of headshots. As your Respect meter increases and levels up, you can access new upgrades and abilities ranging from upgrading your fellow Saints members, increasing your character stats, and even calling down helicopters and tanks as backup.

However, despite the new city, not much else has actually changed from Saints Row 2. Despite the large amount of activities scattered throughout the city, such as faking injuries for money or driving a flaming ATV, most of these side activities you find in the game are ripped directly from the first two games. Of the four or so new activities, which has you doing over-the-top activities like driving a car with a tiger in it, engaging in a Tron inspired race, three of them are based on the gameplay mechanics of existing activities. There’s nothing inherently wrong with recycling so many activities, but it gives a new city a “Been here, done that” feel. Strangely, Volition has also opted to remove some of Saints Row 2’s activities, such as the sewage truck missions or celebrity bodyguard missions; meaning not only is the scope of Saints Row: The Third’s activities relatively unchanged, but so is the number of them.

Saints Row is a franchise within a franchise.

Also removed is the multiplayer component from Saints Row 2. While the previous game had a variety of multiplayer options, Saints Row: The Third limits you to cooperative play if you wish to play with others. Available in either system link or online, the cooperative is great for large scale destruction, but the missions are primarily designed for a single-player experience, meaning they’ll feel a bit too easy with two people doing them at once. Also available is the new “Whored” mode, a play on words of the Horde mode made popular in Gears of War, which pits you against waves of enemies such as zombies and mascots. While the absurdity of the scenarios and waves is a fun diversion, there is little reason to return to it and play the mode on all three maps available once you’ve done it.

The city itself also doesn’t feel as distinct or as well developed at as Stilwater is. Divided into districts, some areas are rather devoid of pedestrians and traffic, feeling more like an empty playground than an actual, breathing world. Likewise, the engine doesn’t appear to have undergone any significant changes since Saints Row 2. The game’s visuals are good, but never really great. The game can be plagued by some traffic and texture pop-in that becomes noticeable when driving throughout Steelport, and the game’s animations can be jerky at time.

Just another day in Steelport.

The physics engine also tends to cause some annoying problems when coupled with the game’s destruction elements, with objects like fallen street lamps often becoming obstacles that prevent you from moving across the road and the enemy AI is often underwhelming. Enemy gangs have a tendency to stand out in the open, and have much trouble with elevation. Standing on a ledge or raised area will often result in a constant stream of enemies unable to figure out how you got up there, and unable to actually hit you with their firearms, ensuring that combat is never really a challenge.

If you like destruction, Saints Row: The Third is probably the game for you. The game is pretty much built around the concept of giving you plenty of toys to use, and plenty of room to use them in. The missions are a blast, and the amount of weapons and vehicles they give you to cause destruction in the city is impressive. While there are flaws in the package, the campaign should provide 14 or so hours of completely over the top action and destruction, while the city that Volition has given you to run around in should provide many destruction diversions.

Release Date:
Q4 2011
Game Features:
Offline Players: NA
Ratings :: None
Average :: 0
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Saints Row: The Third Review (Xbox)



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