The Saints Row series is one that, if it is not explained to you the right way, you would assume that it is just a Grand Theft Auto ripoff. For all intents and purposes, the first 2 Saints Row games pretty much are with just a bit more humour to them. Saints Row: The Third was the game that really jumped to the next level in my opinion. It was the first Saints Row game I played and upon falling in love with the characters. Since playing The Third, I have gone back and played the first two games as well as Saints Row 4 and Gat Out of Hell. You might say that I love this series quite a bit. Just a fun factoid about this reviewer, I actually met my wife the night of the release of Saints Row 4 on PlayStation 3, but that’s another story for another day.
Are you new to Saints Row? If so, then I would say you are in for a game that takes all the great bit of sandbox gameplay and rolls it up in a tight little ball of joy and then proceeds to chuck it at your face. Thankfully you don’t NEED to have played the previous games to have an understanding of what is going on in The Third. You play as the leader of Third Street Saints and your gang has become so popular from the first two games that your gang members are now celebrities! This fame catches up to them immediately in the intro to The Third and you almost find yourself starting from scratch. The cast of characters that you interact with are longtime favourites of the series, but if you are new, you will quickly fall in love with them. The Third is the story of the Saints getting back at a rival gang, among others, for the wrongs they have put on you.
Moving around in The Third is pretty simple. There are constantly vehicles of every type around you that you can steal, if not by pulling the driver out of their vehicle than by diving feet first through their window! As you progress in the game though, other options open up to you such as stealing helicopters to even stealing a futuristic fighter jet! Upon buying the abilities, you won’t have to steal vehicles anymore and instead, you will have them delivered to you from calling your homies on your cell phone.
The cell phone is where you go to for many of the game’s functions from calling your homies to deliver a vehicle or as a backup, to starting new missions, setting up a GPS for a specific location, to using in-game cheat codes. I have played Saints Row: The Third multiple times over the years, so I do admit that after playing the Switch version for enough time to make sure everything was working fine, I used the in-game cheats so that I could blaze through the game a bit quicker. There are multiple lists you can find online that will give you every possible cheat for the game, but I do suggest NOT using them if this is the first time you play the game.
You come to Saints Row for the fact that it is a big sandbox game like Grand Theft Auto, but you stay because of the insanely offensive humour the game throws at you. This could be a major turn-off for people but at one point in the game, you will likely be beating the hell out of enemies with a massive purple dildo baseball bat. At another point, you will be on a chariot that is being pulled by gimp that has a voice that is always auto-tuned and shooting at other gimp chariots as you run from an S & M ran the club. All the while every known swear word ever invented is being said. I promise the scene is hilarious!
Now, here is the part of the review I have been dreading the most. I LOVE this game, but holy smokes this port is riddled with performance issues. I want to be fair and say that the developers are working at patching these issues even as I type this review, so hopefully, you won’t have any problems if you pick the game up. The issues that I came across were that I noticed whenever the screen was to be filled with action, the framerate takes a massive beating. I mean, it gets to a point that it is almost unplayable. I’ve noticed that it kept losing frames in the beginning cutscenes as well. The difference between Docking and Undocking your Switch is very obvious as well. It would be in your best interest to play the game undocked as the game does look better on the Switch screen as well. That has to do with the fact that the game is a bit older.
Saints Row: The Third is a game that pretty much came out of left field when it comes to games that are getting that port treatment on the Switch. I feel conflicted because if I were reviewing this game and there were no issues with performance, I would rate this an easy 8.5, but as there are the issues that are there, it makes the game very difficult to play in spots. Is it worth it to pick the game up though? HELL YES. I cannot forsee Grand Theft Auto making it to the Switch yet, and this would be the second best option for most people. Just don’t get beaten to death by the dildo bat!
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*