Welcome to the LWOG Backlog. In this edition, we look at Saints Row The Third. Gaming has a rich history that spans multiple decades. To this end, The Last Word on Gaming Backlog is a series that looks back on titles across all generations. From the golden 8-bit era to the landscape-changing 64-bit scene and beyond, The LWOG Backlog’s aim is history. Let’s jump into this edition.
Saints Row The Third
Saints Row The Third saw a new location and new look for the 3rd Street Saints. Taking place five years after Saints Row 2, the 3rd Street Saints are no longer just a street gang. They have evolved into a multimedia franchise after a merger with The Ultor Corporation. They have their own clothing line, and some of their members (such as Johnny Gat) have become celebrities.
The game sees the 3rd Street Saints leave the familiar setting of Stilwater and instead sees the Saints build up their control of a new city, Steelport.
The story begins with the 3rd Street Saints in the middle of a bank heist. Players take control of the customizable character known as “The Boss”. The Boss along with Shaundi and Johnny Gat are robbing the bank to promote an upcoming movie about themselves. After the job goes wrong and they encounter some unexpected resistance the group is arrested and turned over to Phillipe Loren. Loren is the head of “The Syndicate”, an international crime organization. Loren tries to get the Saints to hand over their profits as they are flown over Steelport. The Saints refuse to hand over their profits and fight their way through the plane they are being carried on. They escape via parachute while Loren’s men are chasing them.
The Boss and Shaundi land in Steelport. The town is controlled by The Syndicate which is made up of three gangs – the Morningstar, the Luchadores, and the Deckers. A Saints lieutenant Pierce joins the Boss and Shaundi along with some backup and the crew sets up a small headquarters in an apartment.
As the player is introduced to the world of Steelport they are able to buy new clothes to wear and are introduced to the mechanics of the game. Players start to complete basic missions around Steelport to build up the Saints’ reputation and presence in Steelport.
After some reputation is built up and the crew has rebuilt a bit they go after Loren’s operation and end up killing him inside of his own building. While taking out Loren they meet Oleg, a former KGB agent who is being cloned to build brutes for the Syndicate. He helps them track down more allies, Kinzie Kensignton, Zimos, and Angel de la Muerte.
Kinzie is a former FBI agent that has issues with the Deckers. She wants to use her hacking ability to take them out. Zimos is a pimp who lost his business to the Morningstar, and Angel is the former wrestling partner of Killbane who is the head of the Luchadores. The Saints now have new allies in the fight against The Syndicate.
With Loren no longer there to lead the Syndicate, a power struggle breaks out within the organization. Killbane kills Kiki who is half of the leadership of the Morningstar. In anger, her sister and other half of the leadership Viola joins the Saints. With lawlessness taking over in Steelport, the government brings in the Special Tactical Anti-Gang (S.T.A.G.) unit to take control. S.T.A.G is led by Cyrus Temple and supervised by Senator Monica Hughes. With Steelport under martial law the Saints focus on the Deckers. The player works with Kinzie to acquire gear and hack the Deckers’ network. The player via a virtual avatar finds the leader of the Deckers avatar and defeats him. This forces the Deckers to leave Steelport. To defeat the Luchadores, Angel devises a plan to embarrass Killbane in his next wrestling match which causes Killbane to go on a rampage across the city.
The player chases Killbane and is informed that Shaundi, Viola, and the mayor of Steelport Burt Reynolds have been kidnapped by S.T.A.G. They have been taken to the most prominent monument in Steelport and the monument has been rigged with explosives. The player must choose if they want to keep chasing Killbane or save the mayor and stop S.T.A.G.
If players choose to rescue the mayor and the fellow Saints, the Saints become heroes of Steelport due to the monument being saved. S.T.A.G is questioned by the federal government and ran out of town. Killbane flees town and is not chased by the Saints. The Saints go back to their merchandising and star in a movie “Gangstas In Space” that stars the player.
If the player chases Killbane they catch up with him and kill him. S.T.A.G detonates the monument which results in the mayor, Shaundi, and Viola dying and the Saints being framed for the explosion. The player gets revenge on S.T.A.G and destroys their aircraft carrier and declares Steelport an independent nation under the Saints’ control.
Saints Row The Third is played as an open-world third-person shooter. Players can play the Saints Row The Third campaign in single-player or through co-op locally or online.
Steelport is broken into different districts that are controlled by different gangs. As Saints Row The Third progresses players earn cash and reputation from completing jobs. Players are able to purchase different shops such as auto body shops, tattoo shops, and other stores throughout Steelport. This gives players more daily income and more control in each district.
There are multiple key decisions that need to be made as the game progresses. A decision early in Saints Row The Third determines if players will gain 10% more cash or reputation at the completion of each mission. With the exception of the final decision, they don’t have a huge impact on the story and instead offer different perks to players depending on what they decide to do.
Saints Row The Third has a similar feel to that of a Grand Theft Auto game. The big difference is the overall goofiness of the game. As a member of the Saints, you can take photos and sign autographs for fans. The Saints are also very well merchandised which adds a comedic factor to the game. Some of the vehicles and weapons are also over the top and are as comedic as functional.
Some DLC was released for Saints Row The Third in the form of new missions, vehicles, weapons, and characters. This added more overall content to the game and added to the replayability.
In addition to the different endings available for the game, there are mini-games that add to the length and replayability of Saints Row The Third. Many of the mini-games add to the comedic theme of Saints Row The Third. Different decisions can also be made on new playthroughs which adds to the lifecycle of Saints Row The Third. This all adds to the replayability of the game and offers plenty of content for players to dive into.
Saints Row The Third – In Closing
Saints Row The Third has been released on multiple consoles and has had a “Definitive Edition” released that includes all of the DLC. The game saw the Saints take over a new world and offered players plenty of comedic ways to take over Steelport.
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