The Boss stands with Birk, Gat, and Shaundi. He cocks his rifle, they check their weapons, a few expletives are traded – and they storm in. Soon, they arrive at their target: a huge steel vault set in the floor.

Seeing no way to open it, they rapidly make arrangements for a helicopter to airlift the entire contraption, frame and all, out of the ground. The Boss gets on, rifle in hand, and starts shooting down anyone who tries to interfere. No easy task, considering he’s shooting 1-handed on an unstable platform dangling precariously from a helicopter.

That’s the first impression players get when they pick up Saints Row the Third, developed by Volition, Inc and distributed by Epicsoft in Singapore.

Right off the bat, the game introduces the player to the no-punches-pulled, high-adrenaline, expletive-filled, over-the-top gameplay that’s present throughout the game, and which characterises the franchise.

Set directly after the events of Saints Row 2, the game sees the still-nameless Boss trying to take over the city of Steelport after the Saints’ success in gaining control over Stilwater. In the course of their (power) struggles, they go up against The Syndicate, run by Phillipe Loren.

The 2nd mission takes place on Loren’s private jet, where he offers safety in exchange for 2/3rds of their profits from Stilwater. The Boss, being the boss, declines. The ante’s upped even further by a nail-biting parachute gunfight, followed by a dash through debris falling from a plane to catch Shaundi in midair.

Leaping out of a plane with guns blazing? Perfectly acceptable when action and mayhem are the order of the day.

This pretty much beats every action movie released in the past decade due to its sheer audacity, ridiculousness, and self-aware hilarity.

Saints Row the Third is a 3rd-person shooter – a genre that’s been taking the world by storm with titles like Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, Gears of War, and Resident Evilmeaning you actually get to see your avatar’s face, as well as an increased field of vision. Games like Bioshock and F.E.A.R. are famous for not allowing the player to see their avatar’s faces – for better or for worse, depending on your preferences.

Saints Row the Third, however, abuses this advantage to great effect with the character designer, where you can customise the Boss to suit your every whim. Slack-jawed Asian, squinty-eyed Hispanic, or Caucasian old lady? All these options are available to you, making sure that every player’s experience is truly unique.

Character customisation includes some pretty crazy options.

Photos courtesy of Epicsoft.

The gameplay’s fast-paced and borderline hectic, with hot lead flying thick and fast (though most of those bullets will probably be yours). So it’s great that the game’s regeneration system has succeeded the more traditional health bar, meaning that the player’s health will be restored over time if he/she doesn’t sustain damage.

The controls are mapped to the controller in an intuitive manner. What really makes them unique, though, are the unarmed fighting controls.

When there isn’t a gun equipped, the left trigger, naturally, controls the left hand (or the stronger hand) while the right trigger controls the right hand. This system comes into play from time to time throughout the game, such as during a skydiving mission. When an enemy grabs the player, mashing the button controlling the free hand can help you knock him off.

As for the other controls, they’re pretty standard for a shooting game – a sprint button, a crouch button, a zoom-in function and, of course, the shoot button.

Aiming is a breeze, making it well-suited for newer players. This is mostly due to the fact that the guns can hold insane amounts of ammunition at times. For example, in the 1st mission, the rifle holds well over 100 bullets in a single magazine, ensuring that the “spray and pray” tactic employed by many inexperienced players will go off without a hitch.


Saints Row the Third is an addictive, roller-coaster-adrenaline-inducing game that’s ridiculous fun  –  literally.

Title: Saints Row the Third
Rating: ★★★★✩
Console: PS3, Xbox 360, PC

  • PS3: $79.90
  • Xbox 350: $69.90
  • PC: $59.90

Multiplayer: Yes