Oh, When the Saint’s Go Marching In …

Well, the excuse that Shamus Young is giving for not updating much over the past while is Saint’s Row the Third. I can’t even use that as an excuse; for me it’s mainly been work and then being too tired to care about saying anything witty, pithy or intelligent, as well has getting sucked into some comment discussions at various places. But this post interests me.

Now, I’ve never played either of the two previous Saint’s Row games or any of the Grand Theft Autos. I don’t generally like that sort of “go out and drive around killing things and acting like a jerk” sort of game, and while random destruction can be fun (“Woo, woo, mass destruction!”) I tend towards story gaming and not open-world, sandbox things. So I never really had an interest in playing them. But now, I’m tempted to pick Saint’s Row the Third up. Why?

  1. Saints Row the Third has an Awesome Button. The game even explicitly calls it the Awesome Button. When you hold the button, it modifies the other actions you perform. Why punch somebody when you can suplex them? Why enter a car through the door when you can enter feet-first like the Dukes? It’s analogous to the “high profile” button in Assassin’s Creed, only completely bonkers.

    It would be neat to see how all of these interactions work out and what you can and can’t do with the Awesome Button. I’d get some decent entertainment just out of that.

  2. As with the previous game, Saints Row the Third lets you build an entire person. Age. Race. Gender. Physique. Do you want fat? Old? Supermodel? Beefcake? Grotesque? Do it. It’s all there. I’m pretty sure this is the only game where you can play as the transvestite / transgender person of your choice.

    You can even play as a zombie, complete with zombie voice.

    Massively huge character customization, letting me be as close to whoever I want to be in terms of looks as I could possibly be? Count me in.

  3. In Saints Row, you make choices by doing things. If the Kaiden vs. Ashley choice took place within the context of this game, then you would have picked who lived or died by going to where somebody was and saving their life. This sounds like a small thing, but it’s amazing how much more “free” a choice feels if you do it instead of making a selection like you’re at a vending machine.

    That “choices through actions” thing sounds really cool.

  4. In contrast, the Story in Saints Row The Third is an epic tale that speaks to the very foundations of what it means to be a human being, and offers a deeply moving look into the nature of love and friendship.

    Nah. I’m just messing with you. The story is mostly idiotic nonsense, but I give it points for charm and audacity. It doesn’t work any better than GTA IV, but it has the virtue of being more consistently funny (assuming you have a high tolerance for lowbrow humor) and matching the tone of the gameplay.

    If the story is more goofy and not an attempt to make you feel like you’re really being completely evil dude as a serious lifestyle choice, I might be able to sit back and enjoy it without it bruising my tender sensibilities.

The main issue, though, is that I don’t generally like combat that much, and don’t care that much for lowbrow humour. If the game is hard and doesn’t have difficulty levels, then I simply won’t play through it enough to actually enjoy the things listed above, and if there’s too much lowbrow humour, I won’t find it funny.

Well, maybe if I can get it cheap/used …

2 Responses to “Oh, When the Saint’s Go Marching In …”

  1. maxff Says:

    It does have difficulty settings. I myself played it on easy. I guess it will vary for each person but I found easy to be easy, not like some other games where easy means, “less ridiculous than hard but still not very easy” although if you don’t like combat I’m not sure how much playing on easy will help, you’re pretty much shooting dudes in every story mission, and many of the side missions.

  2. verbosestoic Says:

    Good to know.

    I can put up with combat to get to the fun parts. Right now, I’m playing “Record of Agarest War Zero” and in order to be of even remotely the right level to face the bosses I’ve had to grind out the tactical combat a bit. But so far the rest of the game and events are fun enough that I don’t mind doing it. I also managed to get through the X-Men Legends games which is all about real-time combat that I didn’t find that interesting, but the game was, which is all that mattered.


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