Once upon a time Saints Row was the poor man’s GTA, but as time went on things changed. Saints Row is now the leader of the pack and GTA is left playing Betty, alone and teary-eyed.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the first mission in SR III takes place in a similar location to the best mission in GTA IV. The entire SR game is a fist in the ass of IV and its humourless mirror to realism. Volition know you don’t have to sacrifice fun to create something immersive. There are no boring rags to riches stories here—there’s actually very little story, but it excels in other ways.
It’s a third-person action game with wicked humour that keeps it from being just another sandbox clone. It’s as if they took everything that sucked about GTA IV and did the opposite: the world is colourful, the cars have a more arcade style handling, the comedy is full force, the character customisation is extensive and the music is better; all that adds up to a better game. It’s also a shorter game, but if you do all the side missions there's easily 30+ hours of entertainment. Each Act has two options to choose from to end it, so that gives replay value.
SR is pure, unabashed, guilty fun. What other game lets you dress as a transvestite cosplay Wonder Woman and wield a three foot flexible purple dildo-bat that you can use to beat a grown man in a bunny suit? There are none. Its absurdity sets it apart from similar titles. Volition made gaming fun again.
4 pony carriages out of 5