Saints Row: The Third video preview

By Xav de Matos, Oct 20, 2011 1:15pm PDT

Sometimes, it's difficult to write about a game without showing you exactly what we're referencing. That's why for Saints Row: The Third, the upcoming game from developer Volition, we've produced a video preview of the game.

Watch as dildos bludgeon pedestrians, ATVs blow up vehicles, and the 3rd Street Saints handle their adoring fans in a preview detailing our quick impressions of some recent hands-on time with Saints Row: The Third.

Gameplay is largely unchanged from Saints Row 2. What has changed, however, is the dial on craziness. Developer Volition has turned the dial up to eleven, broke it off, and threw it off a skyscraper, whilst smoking a cigar.

Simply put, Saints Row: The Third is insane. It's over-the-top and crass, but manages to remain pure fun. It's pure popcorn entertainment. It's uncomplicated and doesn't take itself too seriously.

You can customize your character, his or her clothes, and more to create a unique experience. Sure, you could make a normal looking gangster, but isn't more fun to play as a giant blob in clown make-up?

The preview build I played did have a number of bugs, however. Vehicles and enemies became stuck in the environment, for example. In one instance, I activated my customized vehicles nitro booster as it soared toward a checkpoint. When the following cutscene was complete and I was back at my vehicle, the flames signifying nitro was activated were permanently visible.

The bugs don't work against the game, though, since they often make an already crazy world even more insane.

Gunplay was a lot of fun and the game has a slew of awesome weapons. At one point in the demo I grabbed the controls of a UAV drone that marked targets to rain down missiles into the streets of Steelport, a new area for the 3rd Street Saints to dominate.

The story in Saints Row: The Third is equally absurd. It revolves around the Saints as they have gone from hardcore gangster crew to a mainstream brand. You can beat civilians within an inch of their life and they'll happily ask for your autograph afterward.

There is no filler. Saints Row: The Third doesn't waste a lot of time. Each mission is fresh and somehow crazier than the last. The game opens with an intense bank heist gone wrong and the second mission tasks you with jumping out of a moving plane, jumping back into it to kill off a boss, then jumping out again and soaring to the aid of one of your allies who is falling to the earth without a parachute.

Co-op is fun too. Players can join each other and complete missions together, create mayhem as a pair, or explore the city on their own. In this instance, it appears that the host is the dominant person in the party, deciding on which missions to take. There's also 'Whored Mode,' which I wrote some impressions of last night. In short, it's fun but can get stale.

Saints Row: The Third was barely on my radar before E3. Since playing it, I can't wait to see what other insane secrets the game is holding when it launches on November 15 for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

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