The wacky and over-the-top world of Saints Row is making its third entry and trust me when I say it makes previous titles look calm and reserved. Today, THQ let us go into a private room and check out the insanely humorous gameplay that fills Saints Row: The Third.
The demo started our with a look at what this new open world had to offer players. Within seconds, the character on-screen was partaking in outrageous and raunchy activities. Civilians were nut punched (there were so many variations of testicle punishment), drop kicked, “bunny hop punched,” slapped with giant dildos, and even exploded. That last one came courtesy of a weapon called the Apocafists. These over-sized fists cause anyone unlucky enough on the receiving end to explode resulting in a shower of blood and gibby bits. Speaking of powerful weapons, the rival gang hanging out nearby was dispatched with ease after an airstrike was called in on their position by the player. These kinds of options are at your disposal from the beginning since THQ wanted you to feel like the boss from the get-go.
Next up, we took a look at the Tank Mayhem activity. Fans of the series should be more than familiar with the various activities laid out across the environment. These can range from insurance fraud (take the fall in several different situations to earn money) to septic avenger (deface property by spraying property with feces from a mobile septic tanks). In Tank Mayhem, the objective is to blow up as much as possible and rack up the highest amount of collateral damage before time runs out. Once the timer hits zero, the score is added up and the player is rewarded accordingly with cash.
Tanks are great, but they’re far from the most interesting vehicle you’ll commandeer. The vehicle known as the Johnny Gat-mobile has a huge model of Johnny’s head placed on the front of the car. In his mouth is a cigarette, but its far from just added detail. This lovely object acts as a flamethrower in case players find themselves needing to fry a few locals. Interested yet? If not, you may want to look into the Manapult vehicle. A cannon is fixed upon the top of the vehicle and can suck in pedestrians as ammunition. This led to innocent people being fired off into the distance as well as coming face to face (at high speeds) with other objects. For a gang “celebrity” to match the flashy nature of his/her ride simply opening the door and sitting behind the wheel is not enough of an entrance. For someone of this caliber, it seems more fitting that they dive right through the window into the driver’s seat and that’s exactly what happened during the demonstration. Taking a parked car never looked so fun. Finishing off the open world portion of the presentation, we were treated to the V-Tall aircraft. This advanced aircraft could seamlessly switch between hover and flight modes on the fly. It was time to see what this baby could do. Homing missiles and microwave-based weaponry made up the deadly arsenal. Both made quick work of any pour soul driving by at the moment. This concluded the first half of the show.
It was time to move on to the story. The Saints decided to rob a bank, which they didn’t realize was owned by another high-profile gang, wearing huge Johnny Gat masks (including Johnny himself). As the Saints robbed the bank dressed as one of their own hilarity ensued. The character even stopped to sign an autograph for an adoring fan in between firefights. The heist ends up going horribly wrong with private security pouring in to stop the Saints. After fending off numerous waves it was time to steal the money….and the vault along with it. A helicopter was called in to lift the entire vault out of the bank. This led to a multi-level firefight with the main character riding the suspended vault as opposing enemies and helicopters tried to stop the escape. In the end, the player was surrounded and captured.
Saints Row: The Third is not only looking good graphically, but it is showing tremendous promise. This new entry is in a league of its own. Gameplay will satisfy every type of player, especially followers of the franchise. With co-op play being incorporated once again, the amount of comedy and destruction is left up to the player to dish out in whatever amount they wish. The game will release November 15th on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.E3 2011: Saints Row The Third Preview,