Matthew Chitty rates this 5/5
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Saints Row Third Review From: THQ

Great game play, open ended world, good combat and vehicle control, loads of opportunity for different play styles.

System requirements are high, can be a grind at times.

This is a must have game for gamers of all levels and styles - you can literally play this game any way you like.

Saints Row Third Review & Quick Play Guide (No Spoilers)

The other weekend Steam had a 66% off Saints Row Third sale, at this price I could not pass up the opportunity to play this free wheeling open world game. 
I am not going to go into details about the story as I do not want to give any spoilers away - this is a review of the game anyways so you most likely already know a little bit about the basis of the game story line. (warring gangs in the city of Steelport is the basis).

Saints Row Third aptly named as the third installment of the franchise has spectacular graphics and a wide open game play world that offers a completely open ended experience for the gamer.

There are so many ways to play Saints making it an exciting game play experience for both the die hard gamer and the weekend warrior just wanting to play for a few hours and create some mayhem.

Shortly into the game play I was getting a little cash starved and wanted to travel to different locations to buy hourly income buildings quickly, so I did the old fashion grind through the first act missions and started to buy up some buildings to generate some hourly income. 

I had heard from some friends that there was a tank and planes in the game so I decided to hunt them down and do some open world exploring of Steelport.

So off to the airport I went to see if I could find an airplane - the rest gets really exciting so read on for some really cool game play tricks and bonuses. 

Game Play & Graphics

The graphics in Saints Row Third are spectacular to say the least, just looking at the recommended system requirements you can only begin to understand just how intensive the graphics are.

There is no loading between sections of the city, you are travel the entire map without having to wait for a city area to load.

Saints Row Third has one of the best character building tools available today in gaming - you can spend hours customizing the look of your main character to get him/her EXACTLY how you want them to look.  But it does not stop there! Through out the city there are numerous clothing stores where  you can purchase what seems like an exhaustive number of clothing items to customize your character even more.

One of the problems I have with games that have complex and immerse character builders is that if you want to make changes to your character you generally have to create a new one and start again. This is not the case in Saints Row Third, there are plastic surgeons around the city that allow you to completely change your characters look - you can even change sex and every aspect of your characters appearance just like in the initial creation phase.

Weapons & Combat

The third person combat engine is very intuitive and easy to play, you can go for head shots, quickly change weapons and the Melee combat is utterly fun and at times hilarious.

There is a decent assortment of weapons available from hand guns to sniper rifles, Remote vehicle control and even a predator drone (first person remote view).

There are some out of this world melee and advanced weapons that become available later in the game - without spoiling the shock value I will not go into what they are. Leaving it up to you to find them and be surprised!

Movement controls are pretty easy to master - you just need to be careful of the subtle changes in control between all the different vehicles in the game. There are SO MANY vehicles that you can interact with and collect including Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles, Helicopters, Airplanes, Tanks etc. any vehicle in the game is up for grabs.

Note: If you find that your health is getting low you can run off and hide behind a building until it regenerates. Just be ware of snipers in helicopters.

Quick Cash Gathering

At the north west corner of the airport there is a hanger for purchase (its pretty expensive 10K I think) to store your aircraft, outside of this hanger is a small plane that spawns for you to practice your flying.

If you want some fast cash here is where you do it. Jump in the airplane and taxi out to the runway, make a smooth takeoff and stay low flying through some power poles at the end of the runway for a barnstorming achievement (this achievement pays out cash). You can continue to fly low across each of the runways where there are 4 barnstorming areas that net you some serious cash.

Note: There is a knife edge achievement that nets even more cash on each pass through so just hit the key or button to fly in knife edge and rack up some serious cash in the game. Once you have the cash you need for various upgrades you may as well by the hanger so you have a spot to store planes. You can go back here anytime and rack up for cash when you need it.

Collect Vehicles Fast

There are so many vehicles in this game that you can collect at your crib with a garage.  The ultimate vehicle is the Challenger Tank - there are cheats out there to enable the tank in your inventory but .. well cheating sucks, there is so much more gratification in earning the wicked game perks. 
There is however a creative way to get this tank and many other vehicles in your playable inventory.

Start out at a crib with a garage, making sure to stay very close to this crib and start creating mayhem until the police show up, 1 notoriety point will bring on the police cars. Steal one and put it in your garage, then keep causing as much mayhem as possible to get the notoriety up until the police bring a Bear SWAT vehicle. Again you want to steal this and put in your garage, repeat these steps until the military get there with an armored Hummer vehicle and store it in your garage. To maximize your time without getting killed you should pop into the garage and jump in one of the armored assault vehicles to create even more mayhem rapidly.

Eventually the tank will show up from the military, when this happens get close and jump in to steal it and drive it into your garage. Congratulations you now have the tank in your available inventory of cars.

This beast is all but unstoppable and is a blast when you are trying to clear out the gang areas around town. On many occasions one well placed shell in the middle of the gang group will clear out that area.

To bring your notoriety down and stop everyone from chasing you down just go into any store that you own and your notoriety both with gangs and the police will drop to zero and you will be free to wander around the city again.

Now that you have access to loads of cash for upgrades and an unstoppable vehicle for gang cleanup and damage achievements you are free to go and take on ALL of the missions with the knowledge and assurance that if you get stuck and need to increase your cash, cash flow for upgrades you can simple follow the previous steps and then go back to retry the more difficult missions. 
Well that's about it for this review - so if you are ready to spend some serious hours enjoying your self and maybe wreaking havok on the city of Steelport, then this is the game for you. 
With so much to explorer and a really good story line this is one of those games that you can just keep playing over and over again. Once you complete the game you are still free to go in and just kill some time reaping chaos and destruction (great stress reliever and an efficient way to burn off some pent up frustrations.)
You must give this game a try!.
Date Reviewed: June 11, 2012, 5:50 pm
Reviewed by Matthew Chitty
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