The Insanity of Saints Row: The Third AKA Don't Call it Saints Row 3!
When I first found out that Saints Row: The Third would feature the tagline "Strap It On," I was uncertain as to what THQ was planning for the game. I was so used to seeing Saints Row as a Grand Theft Auto clone, that the pervy nature of that one line stood out to me as peculiar. When I saw just what was being thrown into the game, however, it all made perfect sense to me. Ah, yes, strap it on.
I've spent close to 20 hours playing Saints Row: The Third since I picked it up at launch. In those 20 hours, I've managed to complete about 20 missions. That's right, only 20 missions. As stated in our own Matt Liebl's review, getting through the main campaign in Saints Row: The Third is a 10-12 hour affair. I've spent almost twice that much and I'm not even halfway done yet. The reason for that is because I've been having way too much fun playing around in the world of Saints Row: The Third to really focus on finishing the game.
Simple pimp? More like autotune-loving character that makes absolutely no sense.
There are literally no dull moments to be found in this package of pure bliss. Right from the get-go, I spent about an hour and a half just creating and customizing my character, who's an attractive female with spectacular endowments. I was originally going to make a dude, but I decided, what the hell, why not star a sexy, crazed female in an open world crime game? It's not like Grand Theft Auto is doing it. Plus, I'd really want to see a girl kick some gangster ass in a game like this, so why the hell not?
Of course, prior to actually creating my character, I was at the center of an action-packed bank heist, and I found that this was a fitting introduction to the insanity that the game would encompass. I never really thought things would get much crazier, but I was glad to discover that I was wrong. Saints Row: The Third seems to get progressively more insane and more absurd the more you play. Whether it's seeing mascots driving around the streets or shooting those same colorful mascots in the face in the Japanese game show Professor Genki's Super Ethical Reality Climax, Saints Row: The Third packs the wonderful absurdity, and it packs it in great quantities.
It's fun seeing how each mission can task you with doing something that would be incredibly ludicrous in real life. But hey, newsflash, this is a freaking video game! It doesn't need to be realistic, and thank goodness it's anything but realistic. Despite having only completed 20 in-game missions, I've found myself really appreciating the game's many plot-based objectives. That said, the reason I haven't actually completed the campaign is because, well, the optional side quests are so damn enjoyable.
Preordering Saints Row: The Third added an extra dose of crazy to the game.
Part of the fun in Saints Row: The Third is exploring and discovering the side jobs on your own, so I won't ruin anything for you, but suffice it to say that driving into cars and blowing them up, engaging in turf wars, and jumping in front of cars to claim some insurance money are all surprisingly rewarding tasks. Oh, then there's Professor Genki's game show, which is quite possibly my favorite side mission in the game. Guiding my big-breasted protagonist through intense levels of mayhem and murder is superb, and the commentary provided for the game show, as well as the stereotypical music, are all utter delights that add so much personality to what was once considered a Grand Theft Auto also-ran.
Funnily enough, that's not all that makes Saints Row: The Third such an insane and fantastic game. In additon to the main missions and side stuff, I've created my very own meta-games within the city of Steelport. I haven't cared about wreaking havoc in an open environment since Vice City, but Saints Row: The Third made me care about all of that once more. With so many fun weapons, so many cool cars, and wrestling moves galore, I simply cannot help but plow through the people of Steelport, whether they're rival gang members, police offers, or elderly ladies. That's right, no one is safe!
Tearing sh*t up in an open world crime game is hardly original, though. It's all been done before, after all. But something I truly enjoyed was a nice little objective I engaged in not long ago. I walked into a strip club and decided to focus all of my violence on that one locale. Sure, I can run through the streets and murder innocent victims. Or I can run through a strip joint and beat the crap out of cheating husbands, lesbians, and strippers ... with a dildo. Yes, you read that correctly. Killing strippers with a giant purple dildo is a thing you can do in Saints Row: The Third. And while it is merely an extension of the whole "raise hell in a city" element, I found it completely blissful that I could do it in that manner, in that type of establishment, with that weapon.
Here's my character in one of her less revealing outfits, getting ready to pummel cops with this melee weapon of sorts.
Another makeshift activity I absolutely love to indulge in is "street wrestling with cops." I usually do this when I'm on my way to buy a new property. I basically take down a few people, and I watch as the cops start showing up. I then take them on one by one--no weapons, just a couple DDTs, bulldogs, dropkicks, and banzai drops. Once the helicopters show up, it's time for me to bail. Of course, I usually drive a short distance, then jump out of my stolen wheels and continue to show those filthy pigs who's boss ... and then my character gets shot to death. It's fun, I know I'm not going to make it very far, but it's something I like doing, just because.
One thing I've spent way too much time doing is customizing my character. I never really care about buying clothes or updating appearances. That's not the case in Saints Row: The Third. Seriously, it's ridiculous (and a little embarrassing) that I've spent so much time shopping for clothes, mixing, matching, creating outfits, and altering the colors of the clothes to make a nice matching get-up. And the worst part: I've actually come up with different clothing lines for my female character to wear, each with their own distinct style. The Sexy B*tch line, for example, is usually anything tight that's not revealing but shows off my character's body quite nicely. Then there's Getting Laid, which is a clothing line specifically built around the concept of what a hot girl would wear if she wanted to seduce a guy. There's also Classy B*tch, Broad, Casual, and Out of Bed. Feel free to ponder on what each of those may be like. Needless to say, Getting Laid is my favorite clothing line.
Saints Row: The Third is an insane game with an insane amount of things to do. I've been having so much fun with it that it feels like it's equal parts video game and toy. Completing missions, obtaining property, and a few of the side missions all suit my gaming needs. But "sidewalk bowling" (another one of my favorite makeshift activities), strip club massacres, creating outfits, and just screwing sh*t up for everyone in Steelport keep me coming back to play more and more. Saints Row: The Third is a video game that knows it's a video game, and it does its best to provide wild absurdity in every corner. The game's insanity really knows no bounds, and for that, I say thank you Saints Row: The Third, thank you.