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Platform PC360PS3
Coop Players 2
Developer Volition, Inc
Publisher THQ
Engine CTG Engine
Release Nov 15, 2011
Genres Action, Third-Person Shooter, Adventure, Role-Playing, Sandbox


Grit 2.5
Synergy 4.5
Implementation 8.5
Longevity 6.0
Depth 3.0
Fun 10.0
Overall 6.83


campaignCooperative Campaign
dropinDrop-In/Drop-Out Multiplayer
onlineOnline Multiplayer

On Steam

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Launch Steam

Saints Row: The Third

Saints Row: The Third, commonly called Saints Row 3, is the third game in a series of Grand Theft Auto clones. While in the past, GTA was always the front-runner and Saint's Row was the obvious ripoff, the most recent games in each series have turned the tables. GTA4 was a significant departure from the tone of the games before it, as it made an attempt to become more "gritty" and "realistic". However, Saint's Row understood that absolutely no one who plays these games is interested in grit or realism, and took Saints Row 3 to a whole new level. Out of all the urban sandbox crime games, Saints Row: The Third takes the cake as the most ridiculous and over-the-top.

Before the game even technically starts, you rob a bank by air-lifting out the entire vault while mowing down several hundred enemies trying to stop you, jump out of a plane dodging all sorts of cargo and shooting down tons of enemies who jumped after you, fly back into a plane through the windshield just to kill one more person, and then land safely on the ground. That's pretty much how most of the missions in the game go.

Some people have raised complaints about how you are a celebrity mob kingpin right from the start of the game, rather than having to work up to it like in GTA. Well, the game takes place in a different city from where your organization has its power base, and all of your assets get stolen by the bad guys at the beginning of the game; so, you don't really "start with everything" as some people imply. You still have to work to unlock stuff and rebuild your power base in this new city. Just because you're the boss of your gang doesn't mean there's no progression. It's just a different type of progression than in GTA. Put that in the 10% of things in Saints Row not ripped from GTA.

The cooperative play in this game allows one other person to join you while you do the campaign. They can load up any character they have (or create a new one), and they will get credit for everything you do together that they have not already done. One exception is 'theft' Saints-book missions. Only the person driving the car will get credit for the theft mission. The game would definitely get better and better if more people could join in, but unfortunately the cooperative play is limited to two people. It's probably out of laziness, as two-player multiplayer is easier to code than three or more.


Grit: The game is pure mindless fun. While that's good in a lot of ways, it's not good if you're looking for grit. Even on the highest difficulty, the game is a breeze. That's pretty much the whole point. There's not much else to say here.

Synergy: The synergy isn't too high, as cooperative strategies aren't a very high priority in this game. On the other hand, there are several instances where you and your teammate can approach a situation from very different angles. Working together in creative ways isn't at all necessary, but it's usually always possible. In most cases, the synergy starts with weapon choices. You can each use different types of weapons so that you compliment each other. In other cases, use of different vehicles can add synergy, especially if one of you stays on the ground and the other provides air support. There are a lot of different things you can try, which is the point of decent synergy. However, since it's all hypothetical and unnecessary, the synergy score is still relatively low.

Implementation: The game flawlessly accomplishes what it sets out to do. The AI is decent, there aren't any major bugs, and there's nothing in the game that spoils the experience. It's not perfect, but it's close. A couple annoying things:

  • The game rendering cars far away that aren't really there. They disappear when you get closer. This has been annoying since GTA3, but these games all still do it.
  • Sometimes if you get too many bad guys (or good guys) on you, then run into a shop to get rid of them, they will immediately go back to attacking you in full force as soon as you step outside.
  • Air vehicles are almost pointless because they get owned by small arms fire. They are only good for transportation, because all enemies have 99% accuracy and can shoot through obstacles if said obstacles are not currently on your screen.

This isn't everything, but suffice it to say that the game is very well implemented, but still has a little room for improvement.

Longevity: The game's longevity comes mostly from how fun it is. If you just blow through the campaign and don't do anything else, it won't last you very long. However, in our case, we spent tons of time messing around and did every single side mission in the game. Then we proceeded to do all of the DLCs. If more DLCs were to come out, we'd play them as well.

Depth: As mentioned in another section, strategy is not this game's strong suit. There aren't really any varied ways to play. The synergy score has already accounted for team-based strategies, so depth is left to account for everything else. The fact is, there isn't much depth in the gameplay. No matter how far along you are, there is only one real strategy - run and gun and murder everyone who gets in your way. As I've mentioned before, the amount of time you will enjoy this game will come from the fun factor alone and certainly not from the intricacy of the gameplay.

Fun: The game was designed for one purpose: pure, unadulterated, mindless fun. It accomplishes this goal with flying colors. There is pretty much nothing in this game that will halt your fun. Even if you get killed, you respawn a few seconds later and get right back into it. If you get bored with one part of the game, you can always start up another type of mission, of which there are many to choose. This game gets a 10. If it didn't, what game could?

Posted by Nick on Feb 18, 2013.