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Gamescom 2011 – Saints Row: The Third – Hands-on Preview (360)
- Updated: September 8, 2011
After getting past the Saints Row: The Third Quality Assurance team of glamour models who had temporarily taken residence in the THQ business centre booth at Gamescom I was let loose on the latest Saints Row game.
In Saints Row: The Third I got to play the leader of the Third Street Saints, who are treated as national superstars in the city of Steelport following their all conquering exploits in Saints Row 2. They even have their own clothing line and energy drink. Life is just one big party. The Saints do what they want, when they want and to who they want. Drew Holmes, one of the writers of Saints Row: The Third, has previously said in our interview with himit’s not a sandbox, it’s a toy box. I was about to find out if this was true.
The hands-on demo started me off right at the beginning of the game with a bank heist mission. It was a plot heavy mission which introduced me to several of the in-game characters, the Saints. It was also the most insane training level I’ve ever played! For a start I was handed control of my Saints character in the middle of an intense fire fight as the bank heist took a violent turn for the worst. After quickly learning how to shoot and use cover I killed the heavily armed gunmen hiding behind the teller counters. Before long I found myself perched on top of a bank vault suspended underneath the helicopter which had ripped it from the bank moments earlier. At this point in the level I learnt how to gun down armies of armed guards and blow up helicopters using my automatic weapons. These are important life skills. Yeah, you will not be surprised to learn that I had a big grin on my face at this point. Once I’d finished this mission it was time to explore the city of Steelport.
The first thing I did in Steelport was to call in an airstrike on a shifty looking cement truck. KABOOM! Not only did the airstrike take out the truck and its driver but also the nearby shops, cars, people, trees and anything else within a blocks radius. Well, I do find that a bit of fire and brimstone is a good way to announce your arrival in a city, rather like an Apocalypse Now version of “Hello World.” I’ll admit I did get a little bit addicted to the airstrike weapon which resulted in large areas of Steelport getting destroyed. At one point the cops turned up, only to die in another of my airstrikes. As the Saints are elite criminals running around with a puny pistol is not their style. Air strikes, Professor Genki’s Octopuss Gun, grenades and assault rifles are more their thing.
It was now time to change my appearance. The character editor was located inside the Images As Designed plastic surgery clinic. After wandered inside the clinic I couldn’t work out how to change my appearance. After a few minutes of fumbling around the clinic, I realised I’d killed the receptionist. Rats. Bad Nick. Fortunately, leaving and re-entering the clinic meant that dead receptionist had been replaced with a live one and after a quick chat the character editor appeared. The editor was easy to use and stacked with options but lacking a little bit of subtlety. For example the sex appeal slider controls boobs and willy size. In the Saints Row Universe high sex appeal equals massive boobs. Who knew?
Drew Holmes then showed off the truly horrific character that he’d created. Imagine a very skinny girl with ridiculously huge boobs covered in the brown wrinkly skin of a 90 year old that had been baked in an oven for days so it was nice and crispy. Yuck! After playing around with the editor I settled on a dark skinned female with some gravity defying cleavage. Once I’d found the Let’s Pretend fancy dress clothing shop she came out dressed as a beautiful cowgirl. It was a close call between that and some of the furry outfits. They are so cute and fluffy. It’s a real shame I wasn’t allowed to video her running down the street brandishing her giant pink dildo weapon. That was truly a sight to behold. Just ask @Thrungus who was playing Saints Row: The Third next to me and witnessed it all.
I decided to take a break from all the air strikes and tried out one of the mini-missions called insurance fraud. I was challenged with causing $70,000 worth of injuries to my body within a time limit. This actually proved quite hard as there weren’t any cliffs or tall buildings close by to throw myself off. Instead I discovered that sprinting and driving in front of cars speeding down a highway catapulted me huge distances into the air causing massive amounts of bodily trauma when I landed. This really racked up the medical bills and before long I’d reached my goal. The bone crunching sounds that accompanied my suicidal efforts were really juicy too. There was something rather satisfying about hearing lots of bones snapping during each horrific accident.
To help me find my way around the metropolis of Steelport I had a phone and a map showing the locations of shops, missions and other interesting areas. Once I’d set a waypoint on the map giant arrows would show me where to turn as if they were part of the city streets. Whilst these arrows made it very easy to find my destination via the quickest route I did find them a bit distracting.
With so much stuff to do all around the city I barely got to scratch the surface of the game. I did assault a ton of pedestrians with over the top takedowns, like smashing them between their legs with my gun. Several people exploded after being hit by my Apoco-fists and beat a man to death with my a giant pink dildo bat. I also hijacked a police car, turned on the sirens and raced around the city firing semi-automatic weapons out of the window killing anyone and everyone. I like causing mayhem and this game really makes it fun.
One of the craziest, daft, violent, destructive and fun games I’ve ever played. It started off with an outrageous bank heist which set the tone for the rest of the game. The whole experience was insane amounts of fun. Saints Row: The Third is going to be an epic game.