Los Angeles based publisher THQ has had a busy year. Starting with a logo change at the beginning of the year and continuing with their wireless sell off, closure of Kaos Studios, announcing the end of the Red Faction series and seeming to disavow movie licenses it comes as somewhat of a surprise they are taking on the South Park RPG with Obsidian Entertainment. Though Saints Row is an action game, there are a good amount of RPG elements and if the South Park game can aspire to what Saints Row the Third has accomplished, it should be a smash hit.
It is impossible not to compare Saints Row to their better known Rockstar counterparts. Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire have filled in the space since Grand Theft Auto IV came out a couple of years ago. Except for L.A. Noire, the formula has been: big open sandbox, lots of sex and violence, and a fairly light narrative. It’s difficult to have a strong and consistent story with so many ways to play the game. Even open world games like Fallout 3 and Elder Scrolls have trouble maintaining a compelling and consistent plot.
There is no need to have played the previous iterations of Saints Row and honestly, it’s a bit tough to recommend anyone go back and play them at this point. Saints Row the Third takes place a few years after Saints Row 2 and the Third Street Saints have now evolved from street gang to household brand name, with Saints sneakers, Saints energy drinks and even Johnny Gat bobble heads. Their celebrity status has however, not gone unnoticed. The Syndicate has turned its eye on the Saints and sees them as easy prey. In Saints Row the Third, you take the fight to them in a new city, Steelport.