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Saints Row: The Third (PS3)
IT’S NOT just Saints FC doing well at the moment, The 3rd Street Saints are also enjoying their share of glory. Even with fame, notoriety and celebrity status on their side, the battle to stay on top is fraught with emotional highs and lows as others try their best to topple them.
The 3rd Street Saints are taking their gang-ringing fight against The Syndicate to the brand new city of Steelport, a place littered with fast crime, fast cars and even faster women. There’s no sign of Coolio here – but it’s a gangsters paradise for sure.
With 47 missions, 58 side activities and plenty of other distractions, there’s never a dull moment in this often surreal open-world, and what better way to get round it than in one of the plentiful vehicles available. But not only do Steelport roamers get to enjoy the fruits of a large fictional car list, there are also bikes, helicopters, boats, planes and more. And the best thing – there’s a garage for each, meaning stashed vehicles are available for selection at any time.
Cash is rewarded on a constant basis with the player having the dilemma of where to invest it. Purchasing property can boost income, whilst spending the money on upgrades to abilities, vehicles or gang members can help out in missions.
It’s a skill tree that requires planning.
Mad, crazy, wacky and deadly, Professor Genki’s Super Ethical Reality climax is a lovely added bonus. The ever increasingly fashionable idea to create a kill-or-be-killed game show has bought the Saints Row series a refreshing twist as players are challenged to the ultimate game of survival. A maze of flames and electricity laced with gun totting enemies, Professor Genki’s is a truly amusing challenge.
Whored Mode, a play on words for Gears Of War’s Horde Mode, sees soloplayers or friends go to arms and fight for survival as wave after wave of increasingly difficult enemies prey upon them. There’s only 30 waves – but it’s still enough to keep people amused for a while.
To further pad things out, there’s also co-operative play and an impressively eclectic music collection. From rap to classical – it’s really got it all.
The over-the-top action throughout is Saints Row: The Third’s charm. The constant wisecracking and stupid humour keeps things amusing for the good 30 hours it takes to wind-up the adventure.
Although the graphics aren’t the best around, they suit the game perfectly and are more than adequate. There’s no doubt about it, Saints Row: The Third will stay on top as the best open-world gangster game until at least the release of Grand Theft Auto V – but that could easily be another year or so yet.
TITLE: Saints Row: The Third PLATFORM: PlayStation 3 GENRE: Action PUBLISHER: THQ RATING: 18 (BBFC) SCORE: 9/10