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Game Reviews: Saints Row

July 8, 2011

This is the prequel to a game that i hold very near and dear to my heart, Saints Row 2, a game which i reviewed in this post. It doesnt quite reach the level of near-perfection that its successor does but it excels in its own right.

The game starts out with a create-your-character screen, which you should really expect from an RPG like game. I personally made a skinny white guy but im sure alot of you will probably just go with generic-bald-muscley black guy. It has a fairly wide-range of features that you can change regarding your character, for example, you can make there face extremely long and thin with a fat nose.

Naturally players figure out new ways to abuse this system (although i wouldnt count what they end up doing as abuse generally) and they start creating weird characters or even celebritys. The system is so easy to manipulate that Joe Average could pull of making a Michael Jackson clone provided he knows what Michael looks like.

After creating your character, which may take anywhere from 30 seconds to a day, your given a cutscene which features your character strolling down the street when a gang fight breaks out. Its between two gangs that are fighting for Stilwater and your caught in the middle of it all. After one gang finally finishes killing there opponent they turn on you to get rid of any witnesses.

Your rescued by a miraculous (and on your first playthrough unexpected) Deus Ex Machina by another gang, the Third Street Saints. Your told by the leader of the Saints that he started the gang to combat the other three gangs in the city entering the neighbourhood that your in. If you havent been able to guess yet given that this is a crime-sandbox game then ill just tell you openly that the Saints are going to war and your joining them.

In order to join the gang you go to the church that is used as there headquarters and talk to the boss, he hands you a bandana, a rifle and tells you to go start killing rival ga- oh wait. He talks to you a bit and using his charismatic abilities (or maybe your characters forced muteness) gets you to join his gang. Its not as easy as just talking though, you have to get into a massive brawl with other gang members which is called Canonizing, which they describe by saying “Blood in, Blood out” (presumably meaning if you want to be in the gang you have to bleed).

You start working on taking apart the three gangs which are the Westside Rollerz, a gang that seems to largely be inspired by the Fast and the Furious (the leader even looks like Vin Diesel). Los Carnales (if you say The Los Carnales your essentially The The Carnals) who are a mexican drug cartel supplied with cocaine from the Columbian drug cartel. The last gang outside of the Saints are the Vice Kings, a gang that started out like the Saints but started to change with the success. You find out later that your gangs leader was a former member of the Vice Kings before dropping his flags.

After taking down all 3 gangs and killing almost all the leaders (the leader of the Vice Kings left on an airplane) you start to go after city officials.

You kill off the Mayor, the police chief and inadvertantly Aldermann Hughes who is killed in a game ending explosion that also leaves your characters fate as unknown.

The gameplay and graphics are largely the same as Saints Row 2 with a few major differences, you dont get experience from killing rival gang members.

The map is also very different, indicating that alot of things where changed in the city between the end of this game and the start of Saints Row 2

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