Feeds
75%
Saints Row The Third

Saints Row: The Third

Extreme - and then some

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

One step beyond

Just when you think you've seen it all, Volition ups the ante with even more implausible set-pieces. One minute you're engaged in a high-altitude tank battle as you free fall 20,000ft from a cargo plane and the next defending against a siege on your HQ with an increasingly ludicrous arsenal of RPGs, Reaper Drones and airstrikes.

Saints Row The Third

Electric avenue

Volition's OTT satire doesn't begin and end with open-world games, it extends to other videogames and pop culture in general. Not content with its explosive parody on sandbox conventions, the developer bombards you with absurd riffs on other game and movie genres as diverse as Bayonetta, Point Break and Tron.

It's a great trick. The constant stream of novelty masks the limited underlying mechanics while providing plenty of Scary Movie moments as you smirk knowingly at the cultural send-ups. Satirically, it may lack GTA IV's incisive bite, but its charming, if puerile, irreverence constantly amuses.

Saints Row The Third

Chasing cats and dogs

The incoherent plot is best ignored, but the ensemble cast delivers some great voice acting and memorable lines, from the melodic bon mots from superfly pimp Zimo's auto-tuned voicebox, to the all-too-brief but exquisitely self-effacing cameo from Burt Reynolds. There's even a decent turn by former professional cock sock Sasha Grey, proving she can still perform even when her mouth's not full.

As Ms Grey's movies testify, the only thing more pleasurable that playing with... sorry, by yourself, is playing with someone else. And it's no different here. Whether creating improvised carnage on Steelport's sandbox streets or tackling any of the missions, the campaign mode dishes up even more belly-laughs in co-op.

Saints Row The Third

Wow, nice shield

And when you're done with the main mode, how about the game's Whored Mode, an hilarious take on the ubiquitous multiplayer offering mixing up enemies and weapon load-outs from fist-fighting waves of miniature zombies to duelling RPGs against giants dressed up as hot dogs?

Verdict

Saints Row: The Third may be crass, ridiculous and violent, but it's also wonderfully entertaining. By stepping into the void left by the maturing GTA series, Volition has not only stepped out of Rockstar's imposing shadow, it has also proved a paradox – that playing dumb is sometimes very clever. ®

More Games Reviews

The Legend of Zelda:
Skyward Sword
Assassin's Creed
Revelations
Halo: Combat Evolved
Anniversary Edition
The Elder Scrolls V:
Skyrim
The Adventures
of TinTin

The essential guide to IT transformation

75%
Saints Row The Third

Saints Row: The Third

Rude, crude and socially unacceptable. A lot of fun, then. Available on PS3 (tested) and Xbox 360
Price: £40 RRP

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
End of buttons? Apple looks to patent animating iPhone sidewalls
Filing suggests handset with display strips
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.