The Saints Row series has been an excellent alternative to the Grand Theft Auto series. It has many of the same principles; performing missions, stealing cars, killing bad guys and trying to get lucky with the ladies. I quite enjoy the humour that is presented throughout the game, sometimes it is even worth just hanging back and listening to the radio. The advertisements are hilarious!
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The first scene of the game has you right in the thick of the action. The Saints, who by now are a million-dollar brand name in the game, are robbing one of the Syndicate’s banks. They rock up with their weapons, are are ready to rob the bank when an innocent bystander asks for a photo op. Because of their wide-spread fame, they are more than happy to pose with the civilian. After all the whoo-ha, they make their way down to the vault only to find it impossible to breach. In comes a helicopter to carry the entire vault away, and then the story begins…
After your initial character creation you jump into the Saints HQ and your career as a 3rd Street Saint begins. The thing that I have always liked about the Saints Row series is that you don’t have to follow the storyline in any particular fashion. If you want to get into a tank and blow things up, then you just open your map, find the Tank Mayhem activity, steal a nice fast car and make your way across using the GPS. A great addition to driving is that now you have arrows to guide you to your destination. Although it may be a little tricky at first (as I bet you will keep looking at your mini map) it is a very nice addition to the game. Powersliding is so easy to control, it will make your Grandma look like Colin McRae on steroids. The standard police car is awesome, and one of the best rides out there. Just hit the flashing lights and everyone gets out of your way.
The Activities are similar to Saints 2 but the biggest disappointment was the exclusion of the Septic Avenger missions. Flinging faeces from the back of a truck on anyone and everyone was one of the best things about Saints 2. Why they chose not to include it remains a puzzler for me as I was really looking forward to it.
The characters are nothing out of the ordinary except for a few exceptions. Killbane is a masked wrestler who leads The Luchadores, and he serves as the main antagonist of the game. After being banished to Mexico after killing an opponent while in the ring, he came back to Steelport in order to regain his lost success. You then have Zimos who is the pimp-daddy of the game. He has all the Pimp trimmings, but his most prominent feature is his auto-tuned voice as he has had a tracheotomy. At first I thought it was a glitch with the game, but then realised that is how he actually talks. It does get a bit irritating, but there are funny moments too.
This is one of the exciting new releases of 2011 and will have you spending many hours blowing up cars, pimp slapping hoes and gettin down to some dirty beats.