7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Ridiculous, crazy, but unutterably FUN,
This review is from: Saints Row: The Third - Limited Edition (PS3) (Video Game)
I've never bought a Saints Row game before. Would've bought SR2 but the lack of trophies put me off (yes, I admit it, I'm obsessed with trophies. Why bother playing a game if you don't have a pathetic graphic to show off to your virtual friends how amazing/much of a loser you are?)
Anyway I bought it because of the good things I'd heard about SR2. First impression of this one - not great, I'll be honest. I love GTA and this seemed a backward step (oh damn, I just compared it to GTA. Was gonna try and avoid that. Never mind).
It's 2011, nearly 2012, and the graphics on this game don't match up to the ageing ones of 2008's GTAIV. From afar the city looks OK, but up close it's nothing to shout about. The cars look very cartoonish too - think Simpsons Hit and Run - and the facial animations are pretty poor if we're being honest. LA Noire this ain't. Also, the driving mechanics suck. Flicking the analog stick slightly to the left or right will see your car perform an amazingly fake swerve even at break-neck speed. There are no physics involved here. Flying at a 90 degree corner at 100mph? No problem. Press the handbrake for a split second and you can tackle that corner perfectly.
But it's not all bad. It fits with the game; you're playing it to have fun, who cares how unrealistic it is? And it's that unrealistic theme that runs throughout the game. Almost every mission borders on the ridiculous (many cross that line), and the self-aware humour shows they are not ashamed of this. A chase seen involving a bunch of kinky sex workers pulling wheelbarrows with their clients on them? If that's not daft enough, you then realise these wheelbarrows explode like a bomb when you shoot the "driver's" head. Yes, stupid. But hilarious in equal measure. How about having an extensive gun battle whilst free-falling out of an aeroplane? Zombies? A boss battle on Mars? All in the game. OK the story makes no sense and is pretty rubbish, but I genuinely didn't mind, because the missions were fun to complete, regardless of the reason WHY you were completing them.
Handily, you can choose the difficulty to play the game at, with no trophy-based rewards for the difficulty you complete the game at (about TIME!). So feel free to saunter through on Casual difficulty, or if you're more hardcore, try the hardcore difficulty. You can switch at any time, so if one mission is too tough, knock it down a level. The game is perhaps a touch on the easy side, but it's great not to be restricted in how you want to play the game. Mission checkpoints are, for the most, part, excellent too. They're not all perfect - once or twice I had to restart an entire 20-minute mission just because the stupid woman I was trying to protect walked into my rocket launcher blast. But this was definitely an uncommon occurence.
There are unfortunately plenty of glitches, usually manifesting themselves in missions. For example, mission progression prompts (such as a swarm of enemies coming in to fight you) occasionally don't happen. After a couple of minutes wandering around you figure it must be a glitch, and you kill yourself to try again from the last checkpoint. This sort of glitch happened way too many times and really needs fixing.
The sound is also a bit off at times. You can be walking past a car, hearing the radio inside it, and then you walk one step to the right and the radio cuts off entirely. Then cuts back in again.
But speaking of radio, they've done quite well in this department. Again, GTA Vice City it ain't, but the radio stations are varied and contain some great songs perfect for the game (I hated Bonnie Tyler until they used one of her songs in the final mission, and it fitted perfectly). In some epic missions, you occasionally get this kind of backing track, which always enhances the atmosphere perfectly and is done really well.
Once you've finished the game, there are plenty of activities to be getting on with. Many more hours worth than the campaign mode, in fact. Numerous challenges, time consuming vehicle thefts (hated these but I wanted the trophy), assassinations (loved these), and then the plentiful side-missions to keep you occupied. Completing these earns you territory, and earning territory gets you money. Which you can spend on upgrading stuff. It's simple, addictive, and it works.
There's a lot here to keep you busy. Platinum hunters will need to work some long hours, but they are fun hours. It's not a grinding experience, it's truly enjoyable and absorbing. It's the closest thing to San Andreas' variety (anyone counting the GTA comparisons?) that a PS3 game has got to. It's not perfect, it's messy, glitchy and silly, but by god it's fun.
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Initial post: 26 Nov 2011 13:03:33 GMT
Last edited by the author on 26 Nov 2011 13:04:23 GMT
Jonathan Price says:
Great post. But 1 criticism would be, not to compare it to a 2008 game (GTA IV) The graphics should be better than GTA IV; same as GTA V graphics should be better than GTA IV. If anything, you can compare it to Saints Row 2. But to me this game hasn't improved on the previous game, with only 1 exception of being the graphics.
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