The lights are on
After playing through this game twice I can safely say I saw everything Saints Row: The Third had to offer. While SR3 isn't a bad game, per se, compared to Saints Row 2, this one was lacking. It's a great example of style over substance. There are a lot of "Holy ***!" moments in the game, but once you've experienced them there's not much else to brag about and really no incentive to go back through.
Some activities were mildly entertaining ("Mayhem" & "Fraud") while others were completely annoying ("Escort" & "Guardian Angel"). But all of them became monotonous after a while. Same with the core gameplay: Run around, kill people, duck into a store to lose your notoriety, repeat. The game does add in some assassination and "Steal this car and bring it here" missions, but nothing more diverse.
There is a decent amount of customization offered in the game throughout different stores, but it still pales in comparison to what SR2 offered. Money was never a problem because you could buy any store or building right from the start regardless if you owned the particular hood it was in or not. In SR2 you had to own the hood before you could buy any stores. The game also felt incredibly easy, and once you maxed out your level you could buy perks that essentially turned on "God-mode" and made you immune to any and all damage nullifying any vestiges of a challenge.
The story of the game (not to mention the majority of characters) is completely forgettable, even with the likes of Hulk Hogan and Burt Reynolds lending their voices to a couple of characters. Reynolds' character only shows up for one cut-scene and then you never interact with him again. I wonder how much that cost THQ? At least he was kind enough to phone in his lines. The only character I got a kick out of (initially) was the pimp, Zimos, and his staff replete with an auto-tuned mic. After my second play-through...not so much.
I can appreciate what THQ was attempting with this game, but compared to the other two (specifically SR2), this game falls remarkably and noticeably short in every aspect. It's great for a rent over the weekend and a relatively easy platinum, but that's about it. Here's hoping Saints Row 4 goes back to the series' roots.
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