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Is Saints Row The Third Overrated?

Posted on the 07 August 2012 by Gamermonkey

Is Saints Row The Third Overrated?


Saints Row The Third

In Saints Row the Third, the Saints are in a whole new city with new turf to claim and rival gangs to dispose of. Sounds good right? And people seem to like it. It’s received universal acclaim and has received near prefect reviews, even from the big guys who only seem to give perfect scores to the likes of Call of Duty or Battlefield. Well guess what? I’m not one of them! But why? Clearly Saints Row the Third must be an outstanding game with such high scores and sales in the millions. Why don’t I like it? I’ll tell you, and maybe when I’m done, it’ll help you take off your Saints goggles. Now, before I go on, just know, the game is relatively good in my books, but I’m here to explain why it doesn’t deserve the near perfect scores it’s receives. Definitely a game worth purchasing if you are a fan of the first two Saints Row games , but ultimately, disappointing overall in terms of a sequel.

Saints Row The Third VS Saints Row 2

First, let me say this, Saints Row the Third is a fun game for the most part. Again, just bear that in mind while you sift through the negativity, and also keep in mind this isn’t a review of why I think the game is bad, but why I think it’s been overrated, similar to my Skyward Sword review. Saints Row the Third lacks the charm and appeal of the first two games. It relies on shock value, believing that’s what made the first and second game such a success. But they’re wrong, the shocking, extreme elements was a part, I’ll say it again, a part of what made the games a hit, not the sole reason. The previous games also had excellent characters, a fantastic script, an interesting plot, and this amazing way of making the player actually care about what’s going on. With Saints Row 3 there is this overlying feeling of detachment. When something sets the Saints back, players are more likely to shrug it off rather than get pumped to get even.

Saints Row The Third Trailer

Saints Row The Third Story

The story is a big misstep compared to the other Saints Row games. Players will be given things to do through their cell phones for most of the game, and the thing is, you’ll pretty much be forced into several missions throughout the story that are unnecessary and in some cases, completely irrelevant to the plot. Saints Row 2 at least had the decency to make the extra elements completely option. And that’s what works. That’s what players want. Choice in what they do. Saints Row the Third is largely an “open world”, and yet, it is perhaps one of the most linear open world games I’ve ever played.

Is Saints Row The Third Overrated?


Saints Row The Third Missions

The main missions fail in their execution. And by that I mean there is no real sense of suspense or purpose compared to the first two games. In Saints Row 3 players will take on three new gangs that lack character and diversity. There are no Ronin, The Brotherhood, or the Sons of Samedi. Instead, you basically have Blue Rivals, Green Rivals, and Red Rivals, all meshed together in what feels like one big incompetent gang. In Saints Row 2 you clashed against each gang’s lieutenants and their leaders in influential and truly engaging ways that made you feel like the bad boy on the block. In Saints Row 3 there isn’t the same gratification as your enemies are almost faceless conglomerations what were once unique individuals. And I know, that’s not even touching on the level’s themselves, right? I’ll save you some time. They’re boring for the most part, and some are downright infuriating. Take some of the virtual reality missions you take in a Tron-like spoof. This game has built in lag. I’ll say it again. It has built in la-a-a—a g. No game should have that because it pisses the plaaa—a—the pla--- yer o-o-o-o-oooo-oof-off. And some just have you clearing the street of the Rival Rainbow Gang’s minions. I’d say the most memorable mission is the one where you are basically auctioned off as a slave, and you wake up naked and drugged and have to shoot your way out. And again, most of these missions, the one I just mentioned being a prime example, really aren’t all the relevant to the overall plot and are just there to shock the player into a few laughs and grins while they play with blurry pixels covering the character’s naughty areas.

Saints Row The Third Developer Gamplay provided by

Saints Row The Third Graphics

The graphics are average at best. There are far too many low res textures in this game and so many pop-ins, particularly on the Xbox version, that it’s just distracting and annoying to have to subject your eyes to what clearly could look so much better. Heck, in some cases, I even found myself thinking Saints Row 2 looked better than The Third. That should never happen in a sequel unless it’s done intestinally with some new art direction. For example, Windwaker obviously didn’t have such great graphics, but that cartoony look was premeditated and intentional. Besides a situation like that, there should be no excuse.

Saints Row The Third Upgrades

I’d say the best thing about doing the missions, which are often bland and lack diversity with a few exceptions here and there, is that you earn money and can upgrade your weapons, gadgets, and vehicles as you go. And at some parts, the player will get to choose certain perks and buffs that actually impact the way the game is played or enable lasting effects such as better weapons or vehicles. It’s almost like an RPG in the way you upgrade your character’s swag. And the second best thing about some missions is the random “mini boss” encounters. Think of the Tank in Left 4 Dead One and Two. It adds an exciting twist here and there and I even preferred it when one showed up as in most cases, you’ll find it’s easy to destroy your enemies.

Is Saints Row The Third Overrated?


Saints Row The Third Whored Mode

The competitive multiplayer in Saints Row 3, or lack thereof, has been reduced to Whored mode. And no, that wasn’t a spelling mistake. Players get Whored Mode. And yes, it is “Horde Mode” like other games. Kill wave after wave for… I won’t spoil the surprise. But I will say I haven’t played Whored Mode since I actually beat it. And I don’t think many people out there have as well. Now, I would have been fine without a competitive multiplayer if the single player received more attention. But after playing through the 8 hour story, not counting the nonsense you have to go through, it just doesn’t feel like the story received the proper compensation it deserved.

Saints Row The Third Final Verdict

So there you have it. My top reasons why I think Saints Row the Third doesn’t deserve the near perfect scores it’s received from reviewers, even the heavy hitters out there. It’s a decent game. And while this was clearly a negative review by  nature, Saints Row the Third just manages to scrape by above an average game. But perhaps the reasons for that are a review for another time. My final rating for Saints Row the Third is a 6 out of 10.

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