Saints Row 3 Impressions [E3 2011]

At E3 this year, we dropped by the THQ booth where they gave us the opportunity to check out the third game in their over-the-top, open world, third-person shooter series, Saints Row 3. We were actually shown gameplay of the game without having the controller in our own hands, but from the looks of things, a lot of the great action that gamers have come to expect from THQ’s series definitely remains.

During the play through, we got to check out the new city of Steelport which is run by a gang called the Luchadores, a crew of masked Mexican wrestlers. Instead of starting off as a newbie in the city and trying to recruit your crew, we were told that in Saints Row 3 you start off at the top of the pile with much of the city in favor of the Saints running things, treating them like celebrities. Although, by the end of the demo it looks like our character will be having an extremely bad day after a bank heist to help out an actor goes sour when it turns out the bank is owned by another powerful gang, resulting in a huge gun battle.

Graphically, the game looks like it received some big improvements. All of the insane action that gamers can take part in looks a lot better this time around. Whether it’s blowing up half the city in a jet or using a flame thrower shaped like a cigarette built into a Johnny Gat mobile, it’s all there and it all looks great from a visual standpoint.

It also looks like the map is going to be pretty big and all of the environments have a fair amount of detail as well as the characters, animations and even the weapons, such as the Apocafist which pretty much makes the victim explode upon impact. One thing about Saints Row 3 I was pleased to see is that the vehicle controls seem to respond much better than the previous titles. In the first two the controls always felt sluggish and the cars just weren’t very much fun to drive but everything about Saints Row 3 seems to show that the developers put more attention into it.

Saints Row 3 is definitely more extreme and can take things a bit too far with the mature content, but that is what separates it from many of the other open world games and makes the game more entertaining and fun to play. Gamers who want to just have a little fun causing a ton of destruction while getting some great laughs will definitely want to check it out when it becomes available.