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Saints Row: The Third – The Full Package

Posted by GG Goblin On May - 22 - 2019

The game that gave purple a purpose comes to Nintendo Switch.

The Saints Row series of games started out life as a fairly serious GTA clone, and it was pretty good. However, over the following entries, the games became more and more outlandish in their premise, and incredibly silly. While never managing to gather the following of its inspiration, plenty of players found hours of fun in the city of Steelport and were able to live out more and more insane adventures. Politically correct it is not, but that hasn’t stopped Deep Silver from porting over perhaps the most successful of the games onto the Nintendo Switch. At last, Switch players can ride a gimp-drawn Rickshaw and beat people with an oversized sex toy. Yeah, it really is that silly.

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Saints Row: The Third – The Full Package is an open world third-person shooter in which the player takes on the role of a member of a now famous criminal gang. Character customisation fans will be happy to know that there are a huge number of options available when creating a character, allowing the more adventurous players to come up with something really unique. Anyway, the Saints really have reached the pinnacle of their criminal career, ascending to some form of celebrity, complete with endorsements and sponsorships. However, all this means there is further to fall, and the arrival of a rival organisation, the Syndicate, spells doom for the gang. It is up to the player, and the other members of the gang, to take back control of Steelport and bring the gang back to its former glory.

What this means in reality is a lot of shooting and driving. The open world nature of the game means that the player is never short of something to do, from the essential story missions and an abundance of side missions, to simply exploring the city and causing chaos. Story missions tend to have the most outlandish setups, and they can range in difficulty as the game progresses, but despite the different settings, they all tend to come down to shooting lots of enemies.

The gun play in Saints Row: The Third is a lot of fun. Enemies take a lot of bullets, with the more armoured enemies taking even longer to finish off, so things can get a little frustrating for more serious players. A lot of the fun comes from the bizarre variety of different weapons, from the standard guns you would find in any shooter, to the afore mentioned sex toy for melee attacks, or a gun that fires mind-controlling octopuses. There is plenty of discovery to be had in trying out different weapons in different situations, and this goes a long way to keeping the gameplay fresh despite often feeling like it is just a matter of moving from one bunch of enemies to the next. Whatever weapon players end up using, the combat is fast and chaotic, usually with an overwhelming number of adversaries.

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Driving is also a big deal in the game, or rather travelling as the player doesn’t always have to keep on the road. All sorts of transportation, be it on the road or in the air, is a lot of fun, and I am not just talking about that gimp-drawn Rickshaw. The vehicles have arcade style handling, which is a blast when simply mucking around, but can become frustrating when the driving is part of a mission and the slightest mistake can result in failure.

Steelport is a big city, with loads of things to do and goons to run over. It will take some time for the player to reclaim the Saint’s former glory, but they don’t have to do it all alone. Saints Row: The Third can be played with a friend in co-op, more than doubling the fun. And this “Full Package” includes all of the previously released DLC for the game, along with a few extras, ensuring there will always be something to do in Saints Row: The Third, or at least well past twenty hours anyway.

However, not all is perfect in Steelport. As a port of an eight year old game, one would expect Nintendo’s shiny new console to perform admirably. But the reality is a fluctuating frame rate, which is far more of a hindrance when playing the game in docked mode. It’s not too bad and only really becomes an issue when the action reaches fever pitch, but still, I would have expected better from the ageing game. Otherwise, it performs exactly as you would expect. The issues with the original are still here, as are all of the highlights. Playing in handheld mode, the game actually looks really good. It is only when on the big screen that the game starts to really show its age.

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The Saints Row games have always had a very particular audience, and for those Saints fans the prospect of running through the streets of Steelport naked while riding on the bus really will be difficult to resist. It may not be the best port, but it is the best of the Saints Row games, and pretty much the only game of its kind on Switch. For those Switch owners who want an open world in which to shoot and drive, possibly while naked, Saints Row: The Third – The Full Package is an absolute blast.




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