At game conventions I don't often get a chance to venture too far
outside of the MMOG genre but this year at href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/events/gamescom/2011">gamescom
I was able to take a small step away for an hour to try some hands-on
time with Volition, Inc.'s Saints
Row 3: The Third, published by THQ. I hadn't played any of
the Saints Row games before so I wasn't sure what to expect. As it
turns out, having no expectations is one heck of a fun way to enjoy style="font-style: italic;">Saints Row 3.
alt="Bobble-headed bank robbery" width="250">
The game itself offers flavors of Grand
Theft Auto, Arkham
and even a bit of the upcoming PAYDAY:
The Heist. How does that all work together? Well let me
To start everything off I played through a bank robbery scene which put
me as one of 'the Saints' who are superstars with tons of cash from the
second game. The disguise? Giant bobble-heads of the Saints themselves.
The tongue-in-cheek humor continued as hostages and civilians would ask
for my autograph as I proceeded to try to rob the bank. Zany scenarios
with colorful characters, much like style="font-style: italic;">Arkham Asylum?
The bank robbery itself was a rush. Special Force agents would swarm
the building as they had to be fought back. Everything that could go
wrong went wrong as my own team mates triggered alarms, all the while
fighting and dodging our way through a bank that rivaled Fort Knox in
size and security. Giant bank with endless interruptions from law
enforcement, hostages and civlians, much like href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/3123"> style="font-style: italic;">PAYDAY: The Heist?
alt="Flying off with the bank vault" width="600">
Near the end of the scene the only way out was by attaching the bank
vault to a crane and flying it out of there--the natural solution for
any seasoned heist professional. As we hoisted off with the
vault I found myself on top of the vault itself, being
flown around, crashing into buildings and holding on to the chains for
my dear life... while
still being shot at from SWAT personnel and an enemy
helicopter. Yes, I had to shoot down a chopper and enemies
while trying to maintain balance on the flying bank vault. Insane
adrenaline-charged stunt scripts that no human could actually perform
in reality but fun as hell to play through, much like style="font-style: italic;">Uncharted? Check.
alt="Sex, Cars and explosions - all the ingredients for an awesome game"
As fun as the opening scene was to play through the bulk of the game
takes place in an open world city. Here you can commandeer vehicles,
visit stores to buy clothes or change your appearance, shop for new
vehicles and upgrades, buy big guns, blow stuff up, get into fist
fights with pedestrians or just drive over them, or get involved in any
number of mini-games or events. One of these events called Insurance
Fraud has you run out into the middle of the street and fling your body
over as many vehicles as you can in order to collect insurance money.
Let's also not forget your ability to get your hands on some planes and
tanks to do some extra destruction. Sandbox-style city with tons to do
for hours of entertainment much like the GTA Series? Check.
Saints Row 3: The Third
looks to be shaping up to be a title you won't want to miss. It has
some really advanced design strategies but at its core style="font-style: italic;">Saints Row 3 is
just raw fun, taking the best experiences from some of the most fun
games of this generation and packing all those elements into a
smooth-playing, at-times hilarious action-packed, customizable
experience. Thumbs way up on this one.
Saints Row 3: The Third
will be available for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 November 15
this year (Nov. 18 in Europe).