Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sale and Review: Saint's Row the Third

Guest writer BROTOSYNTHESIS was kind enough to compose this review of Saint’s Row the Third just in time for THQ to discount their entire catalogue for . . .  Mother’s Day?

Ah, Mother's Day: a day set aside for us to honour our matrons’ contributions to world peace play hilariously violent videogames.

The Third Street Saints have achieved worldwide fame.  They’ve parlayed their gangsta lifestyle into a multibillion dollar empire.  They even have an energy drink and a larger-than-life mascot, Johnny Gat

This is the world of Saint's Row the Third.

Style

A sandbox game at heart, SR3 has all the trappings of its predecessor.  Expect a great deal of exploring for hidden blow-up dolls while beating passersby senseless with dildos.  Story missions, optional missions, and territory control can be done at your leisure, so there's no need to rush.  ADD sufferers beware: some vehicles can only be unlocked as the story progresses, so try not to get too bogged down in optional mayhem.

Return on Emotional Investment

You are not buying this game for the story.  While there are a couple of comical characters and a few plot twists, the game's world is so ridiculously over-the-top that every conversation and game event is coloured in cartoonish violence and goofy melodrama.  It's clearly by design, but it means you're not going to develop any attachment to your character like you did with Shepard or Revan.  Even if you're a Saint's Row fan, you might be confused about the behaviours of characters you knew in the previous installments of the game.

Return on Monetary Investment

As previously mentioned, this is not a story-oriented game.  If you are of the ilk that powers through story quests and eschews optional content, this is not your game.  I bought it hot off the press and had a lot of fun: I'd peg its value at about $35, not too far from its current digital download price.

Return on Temporal Investment

It’s not a particularly challenging game; returning after a long hiatus proved to be simple.  When the mood strikes you, feel free to jump back and enjoy some mayhem.  Definitely enjoy "Insurance Fraud" mode with a buddy.  It's great fun.

To Conclude

One of the primary concerns with SR2 for the PC was the keyboard control scheme, which resulted in cars possessing merely the binary options of "go straight" and "wheel cranked all the way".  This has been at least partially remedied in SR3, at the expense of responsiveness.   A controller is still your best bet for enjoying this game to its fullest.

Currently, THQ’s running a sale which will let you get your grubby little mitts on the PC download version of SR3 for $37, down from $50.  Console peasants can get the game for $45, down from $60.  Both of these sales will have you blowing up gangsters with reckless abandon, while leaving you enough to take dear old mother out for brunch buy a six pack of good beer.

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