Saints Row: The Third has received its second piece of the DLC called Gangstas in Space. The title may sound, and it should, because it is the name of the Saints movie in production seen during one of the two endings of the main campaign. The B- movie style sci-fi film focuses on an alien invasion and military intervention. The renowned director Andy Zhen has requested that the leader of the Saints star in his latest “masterpiece”. Does this latest DLC offering from Volition bring fans the mission-based experience they were hoping for? Or does it underwhelm like Genkibowl VII?
One of the biggest issues found in Genkibowl VII is the fact that although it was marketed as a “mission pack”, it was obviously nothing more than a collection of revamped activities. Gangstas in Space remedies this issue by adding missions actually worthy of the title. The missions are lengthy on an individual level. The Saints’ boss will be taking on the military and the alien invaders while destroying out-of-this-world technology alongside your new extraterrestrial companion, Kwilanna. The levels are fun and feel inspired as your race and shoot around the streets of Steelport now filled with sets and cameramen (killing them results in a response from the director). An old-style film filter even replaces the normal look of the game to further push the movie theme. The missions play out similarly to those found in the story. So you won’t have to worry about playing rehashed activities like the last add-on installment.
I was only able to play through the DLC one time (more on that later), so I can’t speak for every voice type, but my character had some comedic lines while filming. The quality of the movie was apparent from the beginning, but it became even clearer once the Saints leader started reading lines. He was butchering his lines, breaking character and ignoring the action surrounding him in some sections. Even though the boss couldn’t act to save his life, the director had nothing but positive remarks. The same couldn’t be said for the no-name actress playing Kwilanna. She was criticized in almost every scene for almost no reason at all. The back and forth banter was definitely entertaining to listen to.
Unfortunately, Gangstas in Space suffers from the same issue critics and gamers alike found so annoying. The DLC takes about 45 minutes to complete. Even taking the time to find the hidden clipboards and explore the sets between each missions won’t add much play time. While the missions themselves are of decent length, the game hits credits (figuratively, the ending is abrupt) all too soon. There are only 3 missions to play through. While they are actual missions, it’s sad to see that Genkibowl VII sent more mission notifications to my virtual phone. Although $6.99 is usually considered to be fairly cheap for DLC, it still manages to feel too steep for this content. Maybe that’s because, unlike Genkibowl, the missions can only be played once and then they’re gone forever. You will be unable to return to any completed mission to do a trophy/achievement clean-up run, if necessary. Volition has claimed that the ability to replay the DLC is coming via patch soon, but it is unknown at this time when that will be exactly.
From Saint to God
One of the reasons this add-on content passed by so quickly was because at this point my Saints character was maxed out at level 50 with every possible upgrade. This made it possible to sprint through levels carelessly and finish everything in record time. Even with my second profile where I had a level 35, the DLC still couldn’t break the one hour mark. Saints Row: The Third has been out for a while now so most people are probably in the same boat as me. Unless you just recently picked up the game and don’t mind playing the extra content early on in your story, then you won’t find yourself having to restart any missions due to difficulty.
I hate to continue to make this comparison, but when there’s a line-up of three DLC packs they must be examined side-by-side to find growth or regression. Genkibowl VII may have been nothing more than updated activities, but at least it gave players a load of new weapons, homies and vehicles to play around with in Steelport. Gangstas in Space not only gives the player very little in terms of extras, but it fails to provide some items that are obtained during the missions. What you will get are the Aegean (re-skinned VTOL), Scythe (re-skinned Specter), a mind-control helmet and a couple new homies. What about the three different alien/laser weapons that you use throughout the film? They’re nowhere to be found after finishing the last mission.
Gangstas NOT in Space
This one isn’t a deal-breaker, but it still has the ability to annoy players. *Slight Spoilers* Remember the ending that included the Gangstas in Space movie? Yeah, it actually took place in space. Not only that but your fellow homies, primarily Shaundi and Pierce, joined in on the film. The level’s finale included a fight with Killbane in space. THIS Gangstas in Space DLC has absolutely nothing to do with that previously seen preview. Instead, the Saints leader is left with a director and actress never seen before. Don’t expect much in terms of familiar faces. The worst part? The Saints don’t even go into space! Well, I should say they never walk on to a set built to look like space. Your character will remain in the streets and skies of Steelport. As I mentioned before, the space level seen at the end of the main campaign showed off a much more interesting and compelling backdrop to explore. It makes one wonder why Volition decided to give the same title to that particular mission and this DLC when they clearly have very little in common.
Gangstas in Space is strong in the areas that Genkibowl VII was weak, but its weaknesses are also where the last DLC succeeded. Volition gave Saints players a real mission pack this time, but they skimped on quantity. The length of the DLC and the leftover content are extremely disappointing. Only those Saints out there dying for any excuse to extend their wacky experience, no matter by how short, will find value in Volition’s latest piece of downloadable content. Everyone else should pass this time and hope that the final mission pack, The Trouble With Clones, takes the best of both DLC and not only provide an exceptional experience, but makes Season Pass owners feel like they got their monies worth.
[Editor’s Note: Gangstas in Space was reviewed on the Playstation 3 platform. The DLC was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Saints Row: The Third -- Gangstas in Space DLC Review,