I keep going further into my Steam replay of Saints Row: The Third. The game is a joy to play and a breeze to put in four hours straight. The story missions have opened up to be more than just what happens in the world. There are levels outside the game’s open world. Levels that are reminiscent of what Saints Row IV becomes. A virtual world with black and neon trim. Its now less sexualized comedy and dips into nerd comedy.
The game really draws from stereotypes. A red gang lead by a sophisticated gentleman. A green gang full of luchadores and a blue gang full of cyber stylish Japanese nerds. My gang the Saints are all decked out in purple. So that way you can really keep track of who’s who on the battlefield. The game threw a new gang into the mix and that’s the anti gang of white soldiers with the alien technology that feels retooled for Saints Row IV.
These soldiers are everywhere and made the entire city a battleground. Way to kill the fly by destroying the house. It made staying alive a lot more difficult, with armored SUVs and tanks everywhere. Not to mention soldiers that start firing at me as I drive by. It felt like one of the problems with Grand Theft Auto 3. The gangs end up hating you so much that it forces you to migrate elsewhere or get instantly killed. That made for some impossible car races through hostile territory you weren’t supposed to be in.
Luckily in this case, it was just for a few missions. Accomplishing the missions lead to the task force easing up, even if they’re still out there. Now I have their futuristic technology. Helicopters and hover bikes that turn into jets. Its a really nice system to have the speed and versatility to attack. There have been a lot of areal missions that really mix up the gameplay in a game that already had a diverse array of activities in each mission.
One mission had me flying in a chopper to find where the leader of the luchadores was broadcasting from. We had to fly to rooftop to rooftop, clear enemies and I had pull a few switches. Then it ended up in an office building where one of the uncommon enemies had the ability to blow you off the rooftop. Under normal circumstances, that’s no big issue, you can parachute any time you want. Well on a mission, falling is failure. I would never be able to find a helicopter to fly back up there in the amount of time I had.
A lot of the bosses or uncommon enemies can be a pain because of the environments. Fighting fat bosses in close quarters where they just beat you to death. Fighting teleporting ninjas that knock you back out of skyscrapers. Its difficult if not cheap.
I started making use of the phone a friend to call in my “homie” Oleg to go around buying up the city. I’m now 50% through the game at 12 hours and I own 60+ of the city. We went around taking out gangs, buying shops that I’ll never need except for the money.
That’s another thing, the game has a lot of major choices at the end of big missions. Things like do you want a lower cost of vehicle upgrades or a lower cost of weapon upgrades. I chose weapons! Vehicles seem so frivolous and they are everywhere, while weapons save my life. The anti gang task force asked if I wanted their help to become the number one gang in the city or do I take an actor with me to be a homie. Well I guess that I chose to screw over the task force and not accept their help, when in hind sight, I’d much rather have them as an ally, but I wanted to go it alone. These choices improve and enhance the game.