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After taking over Stillwater at the end of the second game the Saints joined with Ultor Corp to become a media empire and icons across the world. After trying to rob a Stillwater bank, a fight ensues which sees you grabbing a parachute and sky diving amongst rubble and enemies to save Shaundi. The player ends up in the new city of Steelport, controlled by a group called the Syndicate, the Saints attempt to reclaim their titles and destroy the other three gangs in Steelport, not to mention hurting the Syndicate themselves. These three gangs (much like the gangs from the other two games) each hold an important role in the Steelport Underworld. Morningstar consist of European bussinessmen that manufactor arms, ammunition and genetically modified humans. The Deckers are a group of elite hackers who launder money for the Syndicate and work closely with the last gang, the Luchadores, a group of mexican wrestlers who control gambling in Steelport. Much like Saints Row 2 you also fight amongst a group of elite police, last time it was Ultor, this time it's STAG brought in to Steelport to control the rising gang problems the city faces.
The new city of Steelport gives something to the Third that the second game didn't, it feels less like an add on and more like a sequel. Steelport however, is much smaller than Stillwater and suffers from a lack of diversity in it's different districts.
Throughout your time with the main story campaign you'll find missions such as, getting involved in a zombie outbreak, faming wrestlers using the new RC control weapon, blasting into space, stealing hi-tech weaponry and getting a plastic surgery make over to infiltrate STAG HQ.
Unlike Saints Row & Saints Row 2 the third has alternative endings and choices throughout the game the player must make, creating alternate endings after each chapter is completed. One other huge difference between the third and the rest is the mission structure. As in previous games the player would have to approach the gangs themselves along separate storylines, however in the Third the gangs are all interconnected and picking a fight with one may result in the others hopping on the ride.
The Third retains its third person shooter perspective and the open-end world allows the player to not only explore the city of Steelport but also engage in the main missions and the side missions. The side missions include the beloved Activities which have has a shake around, Strongholds much like in the previous two games and Flashpoints which bring on-the-spot warfare to the game. A levelling system has also been introduced, so there's no more stopping and starting the mains storylines to build up respect, instead levelling up unlocks perks and abilities which the player can buy with the money they earn completing missions and activities.
Multiplayer for The Third has been abandoned and instead we have the option of Whored Mode, a wave based multiplayer game. The multiplayer is actually a two player online affair, pitting players against a select number of enemies found in the game.
I had this game on my pre-order list for a while, and it arrived from Amazon Friday morning on the Europe release date. If you're looking for a game with a long main mission this is not for you. I must have spent roughly 24 hours playing through the main mission, only to find easy levels and an abrupt ending. Before I knew it I was facing the credit reel and a feeling of disappointment washed over me. For a game so highly anticipated and advertised I expected longer game play concerning the missions, instead it was all over in a flash of laser beams and rag dolling.
However most people won't be buying Saints the Third for the story itself, most will buy it for the freedom and to lark about with friends in the co-op mode (which has returned much like the previous games). You have a whole new set of weapons and vehicles to play around with, including tanks, jets, predator drones and airstrikes, melee wrestling moves and 'testicular assaults'. One of the new weapons introduced is named 'the penetrator', I'll leave you to imagine what that is but will tell you it wobbles with disgusting accuracy. Even though the main storyline doesn't take long at all to complete (I'd finished it within 24 hours of owning the game, afterall) there's still so much more to do. The activities return with some being dropped and others being added. In Saints Row 2 we spewed sewage over expensive houses to lower the cost, in the Third we blast through the city in a tank, drive with a tiger as a passenger and complete rounds of Pref. Genki's Reality Climax (which involves gaining headshots by shooting people wearing ridiculous mascot outfits.) There are also assassination targets, vehicle hijacks and collectables to find.
Saints row has always been an outrageous game, but the Third takes it to a new level with being able to run around the city as a toilet, a blow up doll or completely naked if you'd prefer.
If you're buying this on the XBOX360 platform then the achievements are as easy as they come. Mainly running around completing sets of activities or completing the main game.
Overall I found this game appealing for its freedom and customization. It's not a game to pick up if prefer games that take themselves seriously, Saints Row as a game is light hearted and childish yet still retains a fun factor that won't ever die. However after all the hype and advertising Volition have done (the E3 presentation comes to mind) I'd have expected something with a better game play factor, the main storyline is far too easy and the achievements are a joke (if you're a gamer point collector then this will easily bag you 1000 points in two runs) but as mentioned previously, you don't buy Saints Row and expect a perfectly detailed plot, Volition leave that to Rockstar and their GTA games.
If you're looking for a game that involves cheap thrills and plenty of laughs then buy it, if you're a serious gamer who wants a storyline father then a weapon that makes people vomit (fart in a jar springs to mind) then hold out and wait for GTA5. I personally think with all the first person shooters SR:3 is a breath of fresh air and needs it's chance to shine.