You know how some games have that special moment you can't wait to tell all your friends about? It's the kind of thing that defines the game you're playing and sticks with you for the rest of your life. Saints Row: The Third doesn't have one of those incredible moments you'll never forget ... it has hundreds of them. THQ's newest open world action game has so many unbelievable moments I could spend the next two thousand words talking exclusively about them and not even scratch the surface of what makes this sequel so much fun.
Because of their antics in the first two games, the Third Street Saints have been catapulted to superstar status. They are larger than life pop culture icons; recognizable celebrities who are constantly getting hassled for autographs. Thankfully the Third Street Saints haven't gone completely soft, as demonstrated by a bloody bank robbery that opens the game. In true heist movie fashion, the street gang decides to hide their identities by wearing a mask of the Third Street Saints' most recognizable face, Johnny Gat. To make matters even stranger, you are currently playing Johnny Gat, which means that you're wearing a mask of your own face. This surreal robbery should be your first clue that Saints Row: The Third is about to get very weird.
It doesn't take long for our hero to nearly get run over by an airplane while skydiving, rain down explosive death with remote guided missiles, go on a Japanese TV game show and take an extremely dangerous drive with a live tiger. The fact that all of these things happen within just a few minutes of each other is at the core of what makes Saints Row: The Third one of the craziest action games I've ever played. The game establishes within the first hour that practically anything is possible. Think there's an army of cloned super humans out to get you? You're probably right. Worried about a zombie apocalypse? You have good reason to be concerned. What about aliens? It's definitely a possibility.
Somehow all of these outlandish ideas are sewn together into one narrative. At least that's the attempt. The story involves the Third Street Saints getting arrested and caught up in a fight with Phillipe Loren, the leader of an evil group called The Syndicate. What started as a simple business arrangement quickly devolves into an all-out gun fight, which ultimately leads to a lot of bad blood and a revenge plan. The popular gang moves to Steelport and plots a course to kill Phillipe Loren and control the city.
It turns out that this grimy industrial city is home to three eccentric gangs, each with colorful leaders and unique clothing choices. The most outlandish are the Luchadores, a group of masked Mexican wrestlers. They are led by a steroid-injected muscleman who resembles Batman's worst nightmare, Bane. His name? Killbane. Yes, that's the kind of wit you should expect from Saints Row: The Third.
Another intriguing addition are the gang of, ahem, "hacktivists" known as the Deckers. These youthful killers are computer savvy and know a thing or two about administering the blue screen of death. The Deckers' story breaks new ground in the open world sandbox sub-genre, allowing players to play a killer toilet. That's right, at more than one point in this Saints Row sequel you play as a toilet.
Things get even more complicated once the politicians step in. In order to rid Steelport of this nasty problem, an opportunistic Senator calls in the government-trained Special Tactical Anti-Gang squad, also known as STAG. These highly armored soldiers are tough to kill and will present a real headache for each and every one of the city's criminals.
Part parody of open world sandbox games and part political satire, Saints Row: The Third is easily the craziest, most over-the-top action game of the year. The game is constantly throwing original ideas at you, all while you're unearthing a timely story about the government's overreaction to gang violence. The non-stop weirdness does get tiring at times, but that won't keep you from having a great time playing THQ's newest action game!
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!