The Third Street Saints return in the third installment of the popular Saints Row franchise. This time, the leader of the Saints must retake Steelport all the while avoiding the police and STAG, a group of highly trained commandos meant to curb gang activity.
One of the game’s stronger aspects is how it portrays the life of a gangster. It explores many different facets including legitimate business ventures, territory control, and some darker topics such as prostitution. Many of the darker topics recur throughout the story and the extent may surprise some players who are unfamiliar with the franchise.
The game is also fairly strong in the amount of customization it provides – something not bad for this type of game. There are numerous choices for the protagonist and players are encouraged to change the character’s appearance throughout the game. Even standard gang members can have different appearances, and choices update as players progress through the story. Sadly, vehicle customization is not as open. Players have only one stock car that can be modified, which gets boring quickly.
Additionally, the story is not quite as interesting as many other games out there. Although many of the missions are entertaining, they are not as in-depth as they could be. Most of them simply act as a structure for killing enemies. After a while this does get monotonous and there is little to change that. Even side missions follow a similar path. They all fit under one of several categories and all missions in each category are essentially the same. The only differences between them are the enemies and scenery. A little more variety in gameplay would have made the game much better.
The Saints non-player character (NPCs) are not exactly the most exciting people either. Although they do vary in personality, each one has one area of focus for gameplay. For example, an NPC named Kinzie only gets involved when technology is the focus of the story. The specialization makes the game somewhat predictable. After a few hours of play, it becomes boring. It only gets better when a different character is introduced.
Overall, “Saint’s Row: The Third” is a reasonable game. The monotony of many of the missions overshadows some of the better aspects, such as character customization. The gameplay is not anything special, but is entertaining. “Saints Row: The Third” is not for the faint of heart, but it is a reasonable distraction from reality.