Saints Row 2 was dumb but it wasn’t stupid. Saints Row: The Third on the other hand, is really dumb and considerably less stupid. Its own creators are (in their own words) attempting to create the guiltiest pleasure in history. And after witnessing an early mission being played – a mission that had LUDICROUS written through it like a giant stick of unhinged rock – it looks as if they may have succeeded in rather glorious fashion.
The Saints, who are now (absurdly) nationwide superstars with their own clothing line, lunch boxes and energy drinks, have just had a small band of their number captured by ‘The Syndicate’. The Syndicate are a group of hardcore criminals headed up by an obnoxious, bespectacled Belgian gentlemen, but before this “waffle” is given an opportunity to knock them off, the Saints are given a brief opportunity to fight their way out of captivity, and they take it. But not before a lightning brief moment of nonsensical soul searching has ensued: “We sold out…”
After a couple of fast-paced, trigger-heavy melee QTE’s, the group quickly realise that they’re actually being held captive on an aeroplane that’s in mid-flight. This means that after a few bursts of cover-based gunplay, the Saints (who still, happily, talk like cast members from a banned, adult reboot of Beverly Hills 90210) take to the skies with the aid of some parachutes. Which were very handily left lying around at the rear of the plane.
After a few enemies are dispatched with handheld machine pistols in mid-flight, a cutscene appears that depicts two people plummeting through the air at high speed, whilst a giant aircraft does a mid-air u-turn in an attempt to “ram” them. The solution? To shoot out the aircraft’s windscreen, smash through it feet first, and dispatch the aforementioned Belgian waffle’s key henchmen before diving straight back out again. If all of that sounds absurd, you don’t know the half of it.
The cartoonish, belligerent stupidity of everything that took place in this segment of Saints Row: The Third made for a genuinely refreshing-looking proposition and in all appears to be deeply entertaining; bolstered by the warm feeling that you get when you’re looking at IP that is totally aware of itself. When your high-speed descent turns (for a second time) into a third-person action sequence that involves having to dodge a hilarious amount of crates, canisters and other inexplicable debris, your character instantly bellows, “How much sh*t was on that plane!?” Dumb. Not stupid.
Saints Row: The Third is due for release on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC on November 18th 2011.
Watch the Saints Row: The Third trailer here: