Saints Row : The Third – Full Package Edition
Developed By : Volition
Published By : Deep Silver
Category : Open World, Action
Release Date : May 10, 2019
Five Years Later…
Set five years after the events of Saints Row 2, we join our Third Street Saints as they’ve blown up from local street gang to worldwide branding. Movies, clothing products, energy drinks and random toys, you can find the face of Johnny Gat emblazoned on any of these things as a long-time member of the gang.
As a publicity stunt, Johnny along with Shaundi, Josh Birk and the playable character attempt to rob a bank to help promote the Saints. Expecting it to be a joke of a job, the quad are shocked when they’re met face to face with a lot of fire power and resistance. Birk sets off a silent alarm and runs away as an army of SWAT starts showing up, leading to a massive shootout that eventually ends with the Saints in handcuffs.
Eventually, the Saints find themselves face to face with Phillipe Loren, the leader of a worldwide crime group known as the Syndicate. They see what the Saints have become a joke and are coming after them and Stilwater. Enraged, Johnny smashes Phillipe’s head into a window on the plane causing it to decompress. He sets up to defend everyone else onboard so the player and Shaundi can make their escape, which they do.
On the ground, the Saints refuse to give in to the Syndicate. They band up and set their sights on Steelport, a city that’s under the Syndicate’s control. Looking to revive the name and image of the Saints, you’ll be starting from the bottom of the ladder looking to force your way to the top and show the Syndicate who’s really in charge.
Putting In Some Work
Taking over an entirely new city isn’t going to be easy. Luckily, you’ve got a few Saint’s with you to get the ball rolling as you begin to leave your mark on Steelport. You’ll find the city set up as a small series of connected islands, all of which are controlled by one of three gangs : Morning Star, Luchadores, and Deckers, and there’s going to be plenty to do to wrestle control away.
Your main way of taking over the city will be through the missions that are offered up to you. These are provided by people who have former ties to each of the three warring gangs, and they all have a reason to want to help you instead. For each mission you complete, you’ll gain a portion of control over that specific district, as well as money and respect. Early on, a lot of your missions will serve as introductions to many of the extra activities that the game has to offer, but we’ll talk about those in a bit.
One variation on the missions is a type called Strongholds. These will have you waging an all out war with one of the opposing gangs over one of their headquarter locations. Come out on top, and you’ll find yourself with a new HQ for yourself. HQ’s in addition to your Crib locations are little access hubs scattered throughout Steelport for you. While they may be at different locations and have different layouts inside, they all serve the same purpose. You can adjust your weapon loadout, your characters image, and even the look of your Saint’s members that represent out on the streets.
Kick Back for Some Fun
Everyone you meet is going to want to relax and have a good time after completing jobs, and your character will say it’s not time yet. However, that’s just for show during the cutscenes, since you have plenty of opportunity to partake in everything the city has to offer. Some activities are just within the city themselves, while others are tied in specifically to another character. Either way, there is a ton to offer and none of it will leave you feeling bored.
One of your new connections in Steelport will ask you rescue some “ho’s” from their abusive pimps and bring them back to him and his safe haven. Another new friend will teach you to toughen yourself up by throwing yourself into traffic, racking up a high hospital bill of injuries. You can find yourself behind the wheel of a tank destroying as much city property as possible within a time limit, or driving a dealer around and offering your services as protection while they meet with a few clients.
Some of the more eccentric activities involve things like the local game show hosted by Professor Genki. Taking place in a warehouse-like area, you’ll progress through a series of rooms earning money for skills such as pulling off headshots or chaining quick kills together in succession. Each time you participate in the show there will be a minimum monetary threshold you’ll need to meet before the exit becomes unlocked.
Saint’s Row : The Third has a small sampling of collectibles to keep you busy as well. There are four types you can find scattered throughout the city : drug packages, money pallets, sex dolls, and photo ops. The first three are all tied in to the introductory missions, when the plane depressurizes. As the craft crashes down, all of its cargo rains down on the city below, containing many things but including these collectibles. The very next mission you’ll even get a news bit on the radio discussing the contents that rained down on Steelport. The last collectible, Photo Ops, are just random citizens scattered around that simply want a photo with your playable character, all you need to do is walk up and interact with them. Each of these collectible types has twenty to discover, making for a total of eighty in the entire game.
More Bang for Your Buck
Players picking up the game on the Switch will be picking up the Full Package release variant. This comes with a bunch of the games DLC including three mission packs, and over a couple dozen items like weapons and outfits for your characters customization. So once you complete the main story, and even if you do everything Steelport has to offer, these DLC packs will offer even more to do. Furthermore, two specific packs that had been included in previous versions of the game have been omitted from the switch due to fan feedback and making the game more balanced.
Speaking of the character creator, the options with this thing are absolutely limitless. Male, female, normal or weird, you can do anything with your person that you want to. Give yourself blacked out alien eyes, or pink metallic skin, your Saint can be anywhere on the spectrum from casual businessman to downright alien. Change the way that they walk and talk too, literally nothing has to look or sound like it goes together.
It goes beyond the character itself even, as every piece of your wardrobe can be messed with as well. Individually you can change your upper and lower body pieces, as well as swap out some earrings, throw on a hat or mask, and give yourself some nice sleek gloves to hit the town with. If you’re a person that likes making tons of different outfits for your characters, you can save them in Saints Row as you make them, so you can change your outfits as frequently as you’d like.
Don’t want to individualize your outfit? There’s full suit’s on display as well, and not just the casual business kind. Choose from full samurai armor, a purple pimp suit, or dress up like a hot dog and take to the streets. You may end up looking silly, but before long everyone who sees you will fear you.
Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta
Saint’s Row on the Switch is seriously one hell of an experience. At a glance, most gamers will want to write this series off simply as a GTA clone. However, that’s a comparison that only works if you don’t want to even scratch the surface. These games are all about bringing you a fun, over-the-top experience unlike any you’ve experienced elsewhere, and this one certainly delivers that and more. One moment you’ll find yourself defending your homies with a rocket launcher from a helicopter, and the next you’ll be in a “high-speed” rickshaw chase being pulled by a half-naked pimp. It’s lewd, it’s crude, but it’s never repetitive.
The two things you’ll be earning in Steelport are money, and respect, and you’ll need lots of both. Money is how you’ll keep your self armed to the teeth, and respect is just your in-game representation of a level which caps at 50. One of my favorite aspects about this game is that no matter what you do, you’ll always be earning one (if not both) of these things. The more you control of the city and the more properties you own, you’ll generate an hourly income which you can transfer straight into your own pocket. As far as respect, you’ll be pulling this from missions, activities, collectibles, even just simply driving around. Nearly missing other drivers, being on the wrong side of the road, and pulling some fun powerslides are just a few ways you can rack up some respect just by being behind the wheel.
All in all, I was surprised when I’d heard this game was coming to the Switch. Having gotten my hands on it though, it just feels natural. The game plays great, looks amazing, it handles smoothly, and the licensed soundtrack sounds great even in just handheld mode. If you’ve always been a Nintendo exclusive player, this is certainly a series you’ve yet to encounter. My advice to you is don’t hesitate, you will absolutely want this game to be a part of your library. Whether you pick it up physically or digitally, you’ll be treated to the same batches of DLC and both drop for the same price today! So hit the eShop or your local retailer and start taking over Steelport now!