Wot I Think: Saints Row – The Third

By John Walker on November 14th, 2011 at 5:16 pm.

This is my sort of gang.

Having completed Saints Row: The Third, I’m the Earth’s most qualified person to tell you all about it. Having already detailed a great many elements of the game in two recent previews, below I take on the task of explaining why such an excessively immature game is in fact quite so very mature. The game is out tomorrow in the Americas, before a team of dedicated THQ staff begin frantically rowing across the vast ocean of the internet to release it in the UK on Friday. Read on to see Wot I think.

I really bloody love Saints Row: The Third. It is, on so very many levels, an exceptional game. Its multiple layers of irony are coated in thick layers of idiocy and bombast, creating a game that’s simultaneously wickedly smart and phenomenally stupid. It’s a big, ridiculous thing that’s bulging at the edges with nonsensical things to do, yet rigidly structured and extremely well crafted. It’s a strong linear narrative precariously laid down within a deranged playground. And I feel immensely guilty for not being nearly bothered enough by how grotesquely offensive it is.

Where Saints Row was a naff GTA copycat with added foulness, Saints Row 2 was a splendid mass of noise and substance, brutally murdered by a lazy PC conversion that saw it running more like a flick-book than game. I am pleased to report that with Volition taking over the PC coding duties for their own game this time out, it runs like an absolutely dream. Well, the pop-up is awful, but I mean, it runs.

That’s pretty important. I mean, it’s good when a game works at all. But I think more important is that everything that SR2 did so brilliantly, SR3 does better. That’s fairly crucial. (Apart from spraying shit, but we’ll get to that.) You’ve got your open city, your side missions, and a central storyline of gang warfare. So let’s do each in turn.

The open city isn’t perhaps the game’s most special feature. It’s huge, it’s incredibly well built, but it’s peculiarly samey. I could never tell which province of the sprawling town I was in without loading the map. It’s a weird situation – it would be a special kind of madness to describe the game as lacking detail, but it seems to have achieved this at the microscopic level, slightly forgetting the macroscopic. Everywhere you go looks amazing, but it all looks amazing in the same way. I’ve said that three different ways now, and I still feel a bit bad about it. I guess it’s true to real life – I mean, you could drop me anywhere in That London and I’d not have the faintest idea which bit I was in without looking at my phone.

But what does make it such a joyful place to be is the scale to which you can raise trouble. As all good gangs are, all the baddies are conveniently colour-coded, whether they’re Lycra-clad green wrestlers, purple fancies, or blue futuristic technos. So easily picked out from the crowds (after you’re done needlessly picking out the crowds), shooting one of them will gather attention from their buddies. Kill them and you’ll likely see the police turn up. Their heads pop just as nicely, which will see SWAT get interested, and later in the game even more heavy duty forces. As well as more from the gang, as they bring in their armoured vehicles, perhaps helicopters. Until eventually it’s you (and any other Saints you may have asked to help) versus a couple of different armies, seeing just how long you can make the madness last.

But crucially, unlike Just Cause 2 and other similar games, it doesn’t inevitably end in your death. Not only is it possible to take on these ludicrous crowds for a surprising amount of time, getting away is always possible. Stealing a car and driving like a lunatic to the nearest building you own will clear your notoriety with everyone who’s angry with you. And buildings you own are pretty frequent, if you’ve been going around buying them to up your control of a district. District control doesn’t really change the core game significantly, but it gives you a further incentive for doing all those extra bits the game has to offer.

Which brings us to all those extra bits the game has to offer. In a slightly confused move, SR3 chooses to introduce all its side missions as if they were missions to do with the central plot. To an extent, they are, a bit. A key character will ask you to help out with something, loosely tied to the larger goals, which turns out to be a repeatable activity, later iterations displaced to being stumbled upon as you explore the city. I mentioned a few of them in a recent preview, and I’ve no desire to give them all away, so you can read about them there. But are they good? Mostly.

The big exception is the strange cyber-motorbike game. It has you riding a bike in a cylindrical tube, and the mechanics really don’t seem to be up for this. Get turned around and pointing your bike back in the correct direction becomes miserably difficult. And, really, in the end you’re just playing a crappy arcade driving game that offers no glimmer of originality. And while the familiar missions that ask you to cause as much destruction as you can are fun when the game equips your appropriately, for some reason it thinks the “Hard” version should not require more damage in the time period, but rather more damage with crappy weapons that don’t cause much damage. That’s under-fun.

The rest, and the latter above to the larger extent, provide modest fun. Prof Genki’s lunatic gameshow is I think the best, with so much dedicated nonsense accompanying. But weirdly lacking is anything to match or outdo the shit-spraying of SR2. So grotesque and so fun, its absence is odd to start with, let alone there being no attempt to put in something even more extreme or unpleasant. A weird gap, certainly.

And now to the core of the game, the plot. And I think that’s worth underlining – SR3 is unquestionably driven by its story, again writing an enormous, convoluted, and mostly utterly ludicrous tale to propel you through a pretty huge game. (I didn’t count, but it was at least 15 hours, possibly 8 million, I don’t remember.) Quite what that story was actually about, on completion, I’m not entirely sure, but I know that I wanted to keep ploughing through the mission list to keep it moving forward.

That’s not to say its incoherence is always welcome. When it’s because it’s about a gang of thugs believing they have some sort of unidentified moral superiority to other gangs of thugs, seemingly based purely on the fact that you’re playing as one of this gang, then it’s fun. When it’s because the end of one cutscene seems to have little to do with the beginning of the next, it’s a touch irritating. I’m not quite sure what’s happening there, but I did have trouble keeping track with it all in places.

I’m not really going to say what the story is, because it’s constantly changing madness is a good chunk of reason for playing, and if I do that, “And then your whole gang gets transmuted into butterflies, which I can tell you took me by surprise!” crap that reviewers love so much, then, well, it’s not nearly as much fun for you. But be told, that silly made up example isn’t entirely improbable. Because Saints Row: The Third doesn’t let anything so dull as reality get in the way of what it delivers. Okay, look, one example to convince you that this isn’t my hyperbole, and skip below the next picture if you don’t want to know anything… At one point the game turns into a text adventure. Yeah.

Car driving is immensely fun. It’s gloriously balanced, meaning it’s more about going really, really fast than worrying about skill. Master a handbrake turn and you’re pretty much sweet for the whole game. Add on nitro to a car, when playing around with the car optimisations and tweaks that you can apply to any vehicle you take to a garage, and then you can do this at such crazy speeds that hitting other cars causes them to explode in a fireball as you plough straight through. Then there’s lorries, ambulances, tanks, helicopters, V-TOL jets… Flying machines can be tweaked in the menu to be more or less realistic, just in case you’re mad enough to want that to be a challenge, rather than just a source for further uninterrupted mayhem.

On foot shooting, enhanced with a mouse, is also enormously pleasurable. Headshots are fantastically rewarding (although somewhat spoiled by the armour-headed bads of the game’s second half), and the variety of weapons is as enormous as it is silly. You can tweak just about everything, from your face, clothes and floppy cat bags to cars, and even weapons. Each can be augmented in various ways, letting you focus on those you love best with the money you earn. Along with buying buildings, including shops (which has the rather strange effect of reducing prices, rather than making the stuff free – although I guess Simon WH Smiths probably can’t walk in and just take a Twix).

I’ve mentioned the city detail already. But special mention needs to go to the character detail. I dressed my slightly overweight character up in slobbiest jeans and jumper I could find for the most part, augmented by a floppy cat backpack, whose paws and head flap and loll about as I run with the sort of intricate detail that’s usually reserved for showing off a graphics card’s latest features. Such a small thing, but it makes such a big difference. Later running around in a bra, smart trousers and giant wolf head, I couldn’t bear to remove the catpack. (Although it’s worth noting that the game will reward you with a bonus if you charge about in the pixelated nude.) I don’t mean to sound insanely obsessed with that catbackpack detail, but I am. Also my hair looked great.

So that brings me to that guilt I feel. It’s nothing to do with the violence, the sweariness, the generally amoral attitude (or maybe it is). It’s the representation of women throughout. Which is confusing. Because, okay, I’m playing as a girl. And that’s not just a box I ticked at the start. It means that my on-screen character is clearly female, but more-so, is treated by the world as female. There are a few exceptions – some narration during a wrestling incident doesn’t recognise the player gender, for instance – but mostly the dialogue is written and recorded to recognise your sex. There are damn few games that can claim that. Then it’s packed with strong female characters. And girly ones. And dorky ones. And not all of them have their boobs flapping around. Women are as much a part of the gang as men, and play no secondary roles. (And, importantly, for once men are portrayed with variety, again mixing up thugs with geeks, smart and dumb.) Which is good, right?

And, well, then there are the rest of the women in the game. Who invariably are wearing bras, and probably lap dancing or prostituting themselves. You rescue “hos” from shipping containers, in which they huddle uselessly, chirping rubbish about how terrified they are. Characters refer to women as “bitches” throughout. It’s gross. And I think you could get some distance justifying it as parody, or perhaps arguing that it genuinely does seem to be the most affectionate use of “bitches” I’ve ever heard. But, well, it’s still pretty foul, isn’t it? So why does this not dampen my enthusiasm for such a tremendously fun game?

I have no idea, quite honestly. I asked Kieron, and he began a fantastic lecture on Ellen Willis, The Sex Revolts, and admiring the majesty of a descending missile. So yeah – that. What he said. But the reality is, Saints Row: The Third is a world in which that shit happens, and it’s honest about that. And there’s something about that honesty of yuckiness that, well, I don’t know. I just don’t know. Maybe it is that general amorality after all. Hell, the game doesn’t care about anything else – why should it with this?

Right, so I’ve got that out of my system, but I’m buggered if that’s going to be anyone’s focus of this review. It’s an astonishing game. It’s vast, idiotic, and brilliantly made. The pop-up on cars and the like is poor, and instantly needs fixing, but that’s really the only thing that excessively bothered me throughout. You’re so constantly rewarded with levelling up, new weapons, gang customisations, insanely powerful hovering aircraft that fire lasers, surprise mayors (that they insanely gave away in a trailer, despite its not being revealed until the last fifth of the game), ridiculous novelty hats and giant dildos.

This is a game in which you play one section as a toilet. Not making that up. It has a bonus mode called “Whored Mode” (because how could they resist that pun) in which you take on waves of enemies with certain weapons, including heavily armed sentient question marks. You can drive tanks from videogames in the real world – their explosions are in cubes. Yes. And rather importantly, I’m keen to play it through again, to see what happens if I make different choices at key moments.

It’s so fundamentally dedicated to being fun that its prehensile penile puerility ends up feeling redundant in the midst of the blaze of silliness and action, and barely noticeable. Car mechanics being called “Rim Jobs” doesn’t register as you play, and I do wonder if by SR4 they’ll have dropped the puns-for-eleven-year-olds entirely. Because what they’ve created doesn’t rely on that background hum of childishness – it’s got a foreground explosion of grotesquely violent entertainment to keep you constantly busy.

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178 Comments »

  1. Crimsoneer says:

    Why are so many damn good games out NOW? Somewhere, an evil coalition of game publishers are purposefully screwing over students who should be writing essays during reading week…

    • John Walker says:

      Reading week is ONLY for gaming!

    • westyfield says:

      Reading week? Oh, you mean that holiday that other students get when we physicists are having exams. So many games to play once revision and coursework are finished, and SR3 just got added to that list.

    • Nim says:

      Well gee, thanks for reminding me. I come here for escapism, you know.

    • bglamb says:

      Drop out and make video games, losers!

      That’s what I did. Now I just sit here in my pants with some beer, playing and coding and playing and coding.

      Living the dream baby. Living the dream.

    • noxxit says:

      I’d say the reason is called christmas.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Exams? Oh, you mean that week-holiday students get while us real people are busy working in wage-slavery. :P

    • skinlo says:

      Real uni’s don’t have reading week.

      Unfortunately :(

    • Commisar says:

      Well, long ago, say 2009, the heads of EA, Bethesda, Id, THQ, and Square Enix all got together and decreed that 2011, from August to December, would be the time of AWESOME GAMES and FAT PROFITS. So now you have BF3, DX:HR, Skyrim, Space marine, Saints Row 3, Rage and other great games being release. However, Activision was not invited and henceforth released MW3. Now you know the truth. Also, so I take it RPS liked Saints row 3?

    • roethle says:

      Yes everyone’s life is easier then yours.

    • Danny252 says:

      @Westfield: I’m a physicist. I just had reading week. Do I win a prize?

    • westyfield says:

      @Danny252
      You just had your prize, it was a reading week.

    • Koozer says:

      Westyfield wins the coveted ‘make Koozer laugh at the internet’ award.

    • orranis says:

      M.E. students, too. You physics-folk are the only program we find have a heavier workload than us.

    • Lord Byte says:

      If anyone wants to know the actual reason, it’s to do with the end of the fiscal year. Because the majority of the profit of the game will start coming in when the fiscal year is over they’ll only have to pay taxes to that the year after :) Another reason (why they don’t wait even longer) is that christmas period is still a very profitable period and being a recently released game and still prominent on the shelves means more sales.

      Apart from that, I think it’s only advantageous to me as I won’t have enough disposable income to buy them all so I buy some, play them, and when the others drop in price, I’ll buy those ^_^ Do remember steam sales are coming :D

    • Tams80 says:

      We just had our last Reading Week. =( Needless to say the essay had to wait, poor thing.

      On the bright side, next year we get 5 WEEKS FOR CHRISTMAS! After exams as well. =D

  2. Alistair says:

    That cube tank looks fab!

  3. Baka says:

    Looking forward to playing it with my buddy with the excitement of a 10 year old one day before christmas. I’m curious if they manage to make us laugh harder than when we first discovered accident insurance fraud in SR2. Never cried so much laughing.

  4. djbriandamage says:

    After Volition fucked me with the PC version of SR2 their name is mud. There is no way on earth I will risk more than $20 on one of their games until they can prove to me once again that they are competent.

    I trust RPS implicitly but my relationship with Volition has been so sullied, so egregiously abusive, that I may never give them another dollar.

    • UnravThreads says:

      Volition didn’t do the port, it was a certain Polish company by the name of CDProjekt.

    • frymaster says:

      it’s your own business, but how exactly are they going to prove this to you, if it doesn’t involve you buying another one of their games and trying it out?

    • LionsPhil says:

      Convention would be a demo.

      Failing that, personally I’ll settle for a decent sale. (For a complete GOTY version after they’ve finished drip-feeding us to death with DLC, probably.)

    • Beebop says:

      *sigh* Why? Why post underneath a review, as so many people seem to feel the need to, effectively stating “I will be ignoring this review”? People are odd.

    • iamaelephant says:

      Amen brother. I absolutely WILL NOT support this company after their pathetic excuse for a port. Saints Row 2 on PC was a joke.

    • skinlo says:

      Its a stupid form of protest done to get attention and response.

    • Dominic White says:

      Volition DID respond, though. They stopped outsourcing their ports and now do them in-house. This is their second game done in such a fashion.

      Boycotting them for slights in the past which they’ve clearly addressed now is unspeakably moronic.

    • Seth says:

      You’re being ridiculous. Volition didn’t do the Saint’s Row 2 port. And they addressed the problem with that port by doing the Saint’s Row 3 port themselves, and by all accounts doing it right.

      What more could you want?

    • UnravThreads says:

      And even then, surely the final say would be with THQ – the publisher – not Volition?

    • MSJ says:

      I think I’m making it a personal policy to block commenters who did not read the review before commenting idiotically.

    • Tams80 says:

      Not to mention there is a mod that fixes most of the issues with SR2.

      Closed minded fool.

    • oceanclub says:

      “Not to mention there is a mod that fixes most of the issues with SR2.”

      Which mod? Am curious to reinstall SR2 with this on my new machine just to see will mod + brute force = WIN.

      (I was finally able to play RF:G at an acceptable speed, and ended up loving it.)

      (And yes, there are way too many good games out right now. I’m not even that upset that my copy of Skyrim hasn’t arrived, since last week I turned on my Wii for the first time in 500+ days (a figure it gladly announced) and have now gotten hooked on Twilight Princess….)

      P.

    • djbriandamage says:

      Why am I mad at Volition? Because they should choose better company to represent them when contracting work out.

      Why am I making this comment here? Well, why allow comments on a reviews website at all?

      Why would someone ignore the comments of a naysayer? Because they’re too insecure andor unintelligent to accept alternative arguments.

      Why consider a game broken when a community mod fixes it? Well, why get mad at a restaurant for giving you raw beef when you can cook it at home? DON’T YOU FOOLS HAVE STOVES?! Oh, I’ll just ignore you stoveless twats.

  5. UnravThreads says:

    The review seems to have justified me waiting for SR3 GotY/Complete.

    It sounds good, but… I don’t know. It’s like Batman. The “bitch” thing would annoy me, plus with the absolutely horrific way THQ are planning to abuse a DLC system? I think I’m gonna wait.

  6. piderman says:

    Weird. Saints Row 3 isn’t available on Steam in the UK. It is in the Netherlands though. And it’s available tonight at midnight. Yay!

    • AngryBadger says:

      This is just like Space Marine all over again. Why do publishers insist on making it hard for us to give them money?

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Bury the cash in an “Altoids” curiously strong mint tin, in your back garden.

      Place masking tape “X” on your window.

      One of their underground agents will deliver your game shortly.

    • bit_crusherrr says:

      I want to know why It’s out everywhere but the UK today. I’ve kind of accepted THQ games not showing up on Steam.

    • remmelt says:

      It was for sale in a store Sunday 13th, Amsterdam Central Station. Around €38 for the PC version, consoles were both almost €70. The PC version claims to include the pre-order goodies, too.

  7. alundra says:

    And here we go against doing the rounds about women issues in a game, hey, I’m sorry if games don’t fit your ideals for the real world, if such contradiction is possible at all.

    Instead it would’ve been much appreciated to have more focus put on how good the game is running, compatiblity, how much demanding is it, any crashes, sound problems, etc…

    All this is of vital importance because of the well known problems SR2 had on the PC platform.

    • Nick says:

      you mean like the part where he said it ran perfecly fine just has an annoying popup distance?

    • mjig says:

      I just don’t understand the constant focus RPS staff seems to have on gender issues. He has no problem with the violence and murder in the game, and talks about how the game completely spits in the face of reality, yet then goes on to complain about the objectification of women.

      I don’t know if it’s a product of the sort of universities that writers usually attend, or just over compensation because they’re desperate to prove that not all gamers/nerds “hate” women.

    • Cooper says:

      It may be a pond problem.

      Whilst the UK is hardly a place without sexism, we lack the certain forms of violent (literally, figuratively) misogyny which are so everyday, so banal (and so rarely noticed in the conscious manner John thought about it here) over in the US.

      At the same time, we tend not to get our pants quite so tied in regards to violence (especially darkyl comic violence) in the way the US do with respect to their cultural output.

      Also, RPS have been consistently great at picking up, in well thought out manners, ‘gender’ issues in games.
      This kind of focus and attention on a subject that (men) would like to think isn’t a big issue is never, ever, a ‘bad thing.’

    • Beebop says:

      Because RPS is at the forefront of gamer apologetics, those who are trying to convince the world that we are engaging with a genuine artform which can and should be respected and not a child’s toy which big business is using to infect our youth with sexism, violence and a below average IQ. And then people throw cheap sexism (for example) into games and it we have to back up, because someone just gave a certain Baroness some new ammunition.

    • s1gny_m says:

      Short answer: there is sometimes a good reason to be violent; there is never a good reason to be sexist.

      Rhetorical answer: I don’t see anyone running around in blackface in SR3. Surely that must be good for a laugh?

    • DiamondDog says:

      Cooper, I’d say domestic violence against women brought about by misogyny is a very common and very serious issue in the UK. I don’t know if I’m misunderstanding you, but it’s surprising that you think violence against women in this country isn’t an every day occurrence.

      Also, it’s both hilarious and depressing that a person would link together being concious of gender issues and being one of those ‘university types’.

      Can’t have people thinking. Won’t do.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I don’t know if it’s a product of the sort of universities that writers usually attend

      That’s only anti-intellectual if by “that sort of” he means “existing”, Diamond Dog.

    • alundra says:

      There are certain circumstances surrounding this game that just can’t be ignored in fairness:

      *You can play as a woman, and fit her anyway you like with the broad char. creator, and exercise the same amount of violence against both men and women as if you were playing a male character.

      *this game, as an artform or whatever you want to call games now, is a *satirical parody of society*, what are you complaining at? why don’t you try to relax and enjoy life (and games) as a whole instead?

      That being said, this game, and being a satirical parody, manages to reflect a reality of life and the world we live in, not all women can be dignified and empowered, just as much some women go through life f***ing others, there are also women that go through life being f****d, the same, some people can develop a career and be successful at life, some others have to conform to clean toilets to be able to eat, it’s the reality of the world we live in, and the same applies to every human being out there regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation.

      This will only go away if humanity as a whole does away with social status and classes and opts to live in a perfect Utopian civilization, do you see humanity doing that any time soon?? I don’t, as long as there is hunger and social inequality in this world, all the social changes in a gaming environment won’t do a thing.

      So, choose your path, play as a woman and decide that you will leave the hoes alone, decide that you will rule with an iron fist and use violence as a last resort, and that you won’t be helping people get in contact cropophilia either…

      it’s up to you, but for fucks sake, **enjoy the game**

    • Cooper says:

      @DiamondDog

      I completely agree. We’re not exactly free of scarily banal misogyny.

      The thing is, as much as domestic violence is of epidemic proportions here, it comes with (an absurd, hypocritical) kind of ‘hush hush’ in pop culture about it.

      It is a Bad Thing (TM) whenever it does rear its head as a topic of pop culture (or even most political discussion).

      The kind of misogyny on display in SR3 is common in US pop culture, it’s not even registered as a problem by many.

      So, yeah, the US embrace their misogyny by forefronting it in much of the pop culture. We get all po-faced and hand-wringing about it, or just ignore it. Not that the UK isn;t without insiduous sexism in everyday parlance, we’re just, like so many of our differences, a bit less brash and more nuanced.

      It’s a difference of style. We share the same bloody awful patriarchal mess.

    • eanzy says:

      So you have no problem taking a shotgun to an in-game character’s face, pulling the trigger and seeing his head explode but once women are called “bitches” it grosses you out? YOU are the one that’s sexist with your double standard. No problem with man-on-man physical violence but get your panties in a twist when women are verbally abused. You have no questions about blasting away hundreds of in-game fodder and suggest games as “art” because of it but get weirded out because women are being called bitches. It’s a video game, not real life. Get off your high horse.

      If you argue that this is sexist, then you must also argue the fact that the giant brutes, tough guys, hired muscle, etc. are all men is also sexist. And the fact that for the past 10 years the villains and enemies you’ve shot in the face many many times over are almost always men too.

      Keep at it and you’ll always find something to complain about. I’m too busy playing video games..

    • DiamondDog says:

      I don’t understand what you mean, LionsPhil? Although I am willing to accept that I judged him wrongly on what he said.

    • Highstorm says:

      I just assumed he had to touch on it after the still-recent Arkham City debacle, lest people later brand RPS as hypocrites. “It outraged you here, but you didn’t even mention it there!

      But it was my understanding from reading the text that he wasn’t actually bothered by it, though he couldn’t explain just why that was. Personally I think the answer is context.

    • Quizboy says:

      I just don’t understand the constant focus RPS staff seems to have on gender issues. He has no problem with the violence and murder in the game, and talks about how the game completely spits in the face of reality, yet then goes on to complain about the objectification of women.

      I think at least 80% of the Internet is composed of this non-argument by now. Hint: murder and violence are crimes. There is no segment of society actively working to convince everyone else that they are okay. A game featuring murder does not join a chorus of murder-is-fine messages in society.

      Also, it’s worth five points every time some poor little maligned man uses the term ‘political correctness’. It’s a term coined to imply that nobody anywhere could actually believe in equality: they’re just saying these things for political reasons! Selfishness really does motivate everybody’s actions! Whew, worldview reinforced. Another hint for purveyors of chronic muppetry: it’s not expedient or feigned, it’s just correct. And I’m glad someone has the wherewithal to keep saying it to an audience with their fingers soundly jammed in their ears.

    • Thants says:

      Do people not see the irony of saying video games should just be fun and you shouldn’t get worked up about them, and then proceeding to get worked-up about a couple lines in a review?

      “Keep at it and you’ll always find something to complain about. I’m too busy playing video games..”

      This just in: Man who is too busy to argue about video games on the internet argues about video games on the internet.

    • Limey says:

      I usually appreciate these equality discussions; they always seems refreshing compared with the rest of the gaming world. But I have to think that the criticisms in the review seem a little.. flaccid.

      Any game featuring gang warfare that excludes prostitution would be untrue to life, and the fact that the prostitutes are content to huddle in the corner instead of grabbing a machine gun and running outside seems to be perfectly normal behaviour for an ordinary citizen. The use of the word ‘bitch’, whether a term of endearment or not, doesn’t strike me as particularly misogynistic. I don’t know; maybe it should, but I expect you spent a lot of time running around calling men ‘bastards’ and similar, so it seems a natural extension of that.

    • It's not me it's you says:

      Right, so I’ve got that out of my system, but I’m buggered if that’s going to be anyone’s focus of this review. It’s an astonishing game.

      The reason it keeps getting brought up is because it is a massive and systemic problem in our society. One way in which this problem is expressed is in the way we choose to entertain ourselves. If no one mentions it, it’ll never change. Every small bit of exposure helps.

      But then you probably know this full well, you just feel that even spending the 30 seconds you’d have spent on reading that paragraph is too much of a bother for you.

      Note: It is quite possible to write a review about something that is meant as entertainment and has no higher aspirations and still manage to touch on some serious issues. All without taking away from either the entertainment value of the product itself, or from the review.

    • LionsPhil says:

      @Diamond Dog: mjig wasn’t saying they’re all tip-toey mustn’t-offend-the-fragile-girlyfolk because they’ve been to university at all. It’s because they’ve been to some specific kind of university, with all their patronizing writer buddies.

      (But I suspect he was actually bang-on with his second hypothesis.)

    • oceanclub says:

      “Also, it’s both hilarious and depressing that a person would link together being concious of gender issues and being one of those ‘university types’.”

      Reminds me of the Bill Hicks quote:

      “Well, looks like we got ourselves a ‘reader’”

      P.

    • John Walker says:

      “So you have no problem taking a shotgun to an in-game character’s face, pulling the trigger and seeing his head explode but once women are called “bitches” it grosses you out? YOU are the one that’s sexist with your double standard.”

      You’re right! I’m sexist against guns!

    • Nick says:

      But John, how can you be sexist if they turn you on?

    • TaroYamada says:

      Gotta agree, I used to leave adblock off on RPS to support them financially, now I leave it on because they won’t keep their vapid political analysis to themselves. I find SRTTs humor entirely entertaining.

  8. Fiwer says:

    Is it in your contract that every one of your reviews needs to include some whiny gender politics bullshit? Oh my god, a game in which you and your gang murder endless hordes of people for fun has the word “bitch” in it! How offensive!

    • Latterman says:

      it is. right next to the part where they agree to cover up the Red Orchestra 2 launch and say no bad word about Tripwire.

    • westyfield says:

      Did you (and alundra, above) even read the article, or did you just skip to the bottom for a good old moan? John specifically stated that it’s not an issue and that it fits in with all the other awful, mental, horrible shit that the game contains.

    • tungstenHead says:

      I’ve read about a half dozen reviews of SR:TT and John’s review is the only one to touch on it, which means that the portrayal of women here is not especially offensive if your sensibilities are at least du jour. Because it could easily be so incredibly offensive though, it’s worth a quick look-in to see why this actually isn’t riling people up. Maybe it could have been cut from the WIT and been made into its own article, but because no other “buying advice” style reviews touch on it, there’s value in it being in the WIT. Hopefully, if someone asks the question, “Does this game treat women like dirt?” when they want to buy it, they can find an answer now.

    • Beebop says:

      Wait, it does still say “What I Think” at the top right? No part of what Mr Walker thinks should be cut from such an article. I won’t explain why.

    • Hanban says:

      So, the simple fact that he mentions the portrayal of women has you this whiny? Why do you even read RPS?

      The writers of RPS has been covering these issues for a long time, and are bound to keep on doing it. You may want to find some site that won’t touch on the subject for fear of their PC-hating audience.

    • LionsPhil says:

      When it says “PC GAMING SINCE 1873” in the banner, it doesn’t mean “Personal Computer”.

      I honestly don’t know why it gained so much attention in this WIT (three paragraphs, while driving and shooting get one each?). DNF or modern LSL games, sure. Here it really does seem to ring uncomfortably of “look how sexist I’m not”.

    • Commisar says:

      @ Latterman, don’t forget their mindless EA hate crusade. They also REFUSE to speak ill of ANY idie devloper or publisher. I mean, Steam could steal peoples souls and they would ignore it for a “OMG, Origin sux” post. I do like their reviews though.

    • LionsPhil says:

      >Mindless EA hate crusade
      >Battlefield 3 adverts adorning the site recently

      Something something accusations of bias more revealing of bias of accuser etc.

    • Shooop says:

      @LionsPhil:

      Don’t pay Commisar any credit. He’s an EA lacky or angry fanboy from their forums.

    • Commisar says:

      @ LionsPhil: I was trying to back you up, and @ Shoop, no, you need to shut the fuck up, I am no EA apologist, I just know how to stop sucking Valve’s cock, unlike certain writers and forum posters on this website.

    • Nogo says:

      Imagine you’re a woman who likes games and is thinking about buying this.

      See, now don’t you feel silly for perpetuating the notion that games have a “no girls allowed” sign on them by saying reviews that dedicate three whole paragraphs to the fairer sex are obnoxious and should go away.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I dare say I’d be disgruntled that John wasted three times as many paragraphs on that as he did on telling me how good the driving was, or the shooting was.

      After all the most pertinent part there would be the “who likes games”, unless we’re being the kind of patronizing chauvanists who think “woman” is the most important part of that clause and we need to tip-toe around their frail and sensitive minds.

    • Apples says:

      Hi, as a woman who likes games: no, I’m pretty sure lots of women who were interested in this game (including me) would have legitimate worries about how women were portrayed, going off the advertising and dubious ‘humour’ (e.g. ‘whored mode’) thus far. Seeing how women are portrayed in games is really important to me, and John is basically the only reviewer I ever see talk about it.

      It’s both funny and awful how many people here think that the smoothness of the driving and the ease of shooting people is more important than whether the game excludes half the world’s population from its intended audience.

    • Nogo says:

      “I dare say I’d be disgruntled that John wasted three times as many paragraphs on that as he did on telling me how good the driving was, or the shooting was.”

      I find it really surprising that you’ve managed to locate a comment section on the internet while seemingly being unaware of the fact that complaints generate far more words than praise.

      But you’re also the guy who thinks reviews should cater specifically to your whims, so I don’t think anyone can adequately explain what male privilege is, much less why it’s bad, to you.

  9. shoptroll says:

    So we start the year off with Bulletstorm, descend into the ravine that was DNF, and emerge glorious in SR3? Not a bad year for games that are just there to have fun.

  10. Drake Sigar says:

    It’s a good year to be a gamer.

  11. Johnny Law says:

    “unlike Just Cause 2 and other similar games, it doesn’t inevitably end in your death. Not only is it possible to take on these ludicrous crowds for a surprising amount of time, getting away is always possible…”

    Ha ho, SOMEone didn’t figure out the grapple in Just Cause 2! :-)

    As it happens, I’m just coming off of an enormous JC2 binge, and the reviews for this game have me in a quandary. One the one hand it sounds like it would be great fun for a lot of the same reasons, but on the other hand I’m not sure I’m really in the mood to dive right back into open-world chaos for another few dozen hours. Onto the Steam wishlist for now I guess? It’s a nice surprise though, I really didn’t expect to have any interest in this one.

    • Gnoupi says:

      To be honest, Just Cause 2 has its frustrating moments with the amount of enemies it throws at you when you dare to have a little too much fun.

      When you reach the point in which they just keep sending helicopter after helicopter, it’s a bit ridiculous.
      Yes, you can escape with the grappling hook, or with an helicopter, flying as high as you can… But it feels a bit annoying.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Just Cause 2 reached a point in the middle of the game where the game stopped being fun because of the damn helicopters. I wish that you could blow up the airbases and they would stop coming.

  12. iamaelephant says:

    Saints Row 2 was BY FAR the worst console port I have ever played. I absolutely refuse to support this pathetic company after that nonsense.

    • Dr I am a Doctor says:

      Now let me tell you who did the PC version! It was CDProjekt. Enjoying your Witchers?

    • LionsPhil says:

      Heh. I do believe that also knocks out the entity of GOG for these guys.

    • Seth says:

      Which pathetic company? Because Volition, the company that did Saint’s Row 3 PC (as well as all forms of Saint’s Row 3), didn’t do Saint’s Row 2 PC, which they outsourced to CDProjekt. So you have nothing to worry about. Right?

    • skinlo says:

      Grow up.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      I keep hearing about how badly SR2 ran on people’s computers, but it ran just fine for me. Granted I didn’t buy it until the Steam summer sales earlier this year and it was all patched up to remove the frame rate limiter and everything, but it ran fine.

      I played with a controller and it looked like ass, but the performance wasn’t anything to complain about. That or my two 470′s and i7 950 just managed to bulldoze through any performance destroying shoddy coding.

      Perhaps some combination of the two.

    • Gnoupi says:

      @Doctor – not sure about the link with The Witcher, though.

      Porting a game from another company, made for consoles, or making your own game, with your own engine, it’s not really the same thing.

    • Tams80 says:

      @ Gnoupi

      No, it’s a response to the “I hate company X and all their new games” because of just one game when in fact company X didn’t even port that game, rather company Y did. Therefore the complainant should be saying “I hate company Y all their new games” and thus must therefore refuse to play company Y’s new game, not company X’s. I’m sure you can work out who X and Y stand for.

      I can’t believe that needed to be explained. ¬.¬

  13. Deviija says:

    Thank you, Mr. Walker, for touching upon the representation and portrayal of women throughout the game. I had cringing reservations after some of the recent trailers and the whole adult film car-washing stint. SR2 may not have been the best about representation and portrayal of women, but it was a lot better than the majority of games out there. In a game where I can play as a woman (and person of color, and/or choose different sexualities), it is important that I feel like the game reflects that I am playing as a woman for more than window dressing and audience fanwankery. That a woman can be powerful, in-charge, competent, and kickass (regardless of morality and plotlines) is important for me to see and feel while playing.

    I’m a little reassured, given that ladies are shown in a variety of ways within the gang and of varying prowess. The bits about “bitch” being used ALL the TIME is grating, however. As is objectification of the NPC women, or at least that so many NPCs are “hos” and poorly portrayed sex workers. I’d be more fine with such if men and women were shown in such roles.

    • Grape says:

      Jesus-fucking-Christ.

    • Commisar says:

      What?? This is a gaming website, not a damn Gender Studies class. Goodness, I agree with Grape on this one.

    • RobF says:

      Yeah, I mean, god forbid we should want to talk about how we portray characters in videogames or how that effects peoples enjoyment of said videogames on a videogame site, eh lads?

      Keep fighting the fight!

    • Seth says:

      Agree with you, Devija. I hope RPS continues to include commentary like this in all its reviews. This kind of dialogue is necessary to bring gaming into something resembling adulthood.

    • skinlo says:

      I’m Grapes side. People need to get a life.

    • wererogue says:

      I’m on Deviija’s side. People need to get a life.

      Oh look, I can do ad hominem attacks too!

      Analysis of gender issues in video games gives valuable information to many potential customers of those games. It has a place in games journalism, and its inclusion in John’s articles are a large part of why I’m still reading RPS.

      On the other side of this coin of a comment, I don’t really care about the graphics quality of a game unless it’s appalling, but I don’t resent games journalists including their thoughts on that topic for other readers.

    • Dominic White says:

      It’s not like women are the only ones to get dressed up in ridiculously skimpy outfits and get paraded around as sex objects in the game, as you can see here:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pONdAC3e8mY

    • wererogue says:

      For the record, I don’t have any big problem with the gender portrayals in SR2 and I fully expect to enjoy them in SR3 too. I do have a problem with people thinking that journalists should ignore them.

    • Fiyenyaa says:

      @ skinlo
      Getting a life = ignoring real-life social issues? I’m fine without one, in that case.

    • Thants says:

      New Internet Rule: When you’re arguing with someone on the internet you’re not allowed to accuse them of having no life because they’re arguing on the internet.

    • alundra says:

      @Thants

      Perhaps the people skinlo refers to, those who need to get a life, are those people like Deviija, who are prone lean unto others for reinforcement to hide their own insecurities, and/or need to squirt their own misery into those around them, so they don’t feel that lonely.

      This applies both in and outside the internet.

      For the record, I’m on Grapes side on this one. And Commisar is right too, this is not gender studies, it is gaming.

    • RobF says:

      Yes, because the two things have to be exclusive, right?

      We can’t possibly have people *daring* to talk about the portrayal of women in games without making it pretty clear that talking like that is unacceptable, can we? That’d be insane! What will they want to talk about next? Where will this madness end?

      Jesus, guys. If you really don’t want to talk about gender politics, stroll on, scroll down and leave those who do to it.

      If it offends you so, good. I have no sympathy for you. Trying to shut down discussions on the matter is pretty low.

    • John Walker says:

      My heart, it hurts.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Are we sure Deviija isn’t being sarcastic? Because… I can’t tell anymore. :(

    • Apples says:

      If anyone believes Deviija is being sarcastic, they can insult me instead, because I agree with their post genuinely and without sarcasm. Apart from the very last bit, maybe, because I think I remember SR2 did have male prostitutes, though I’m not sure if I’m remembering right.

  14. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    why the FUCK is everybody complaining about virtual sexism

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Don’t worry! They’re virtual complaints.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I think somewhere between the giant neon pink cat face and the VTOLs with lasers some people got confused and thought that this game was trying to be taken seriously about something.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I get way more tired of the people complaining about people mentioning virtual sexism. Any time it’s mentioned really ugly people come out of the woodwork almost instantly to spew some vitriol. If it’s so inoffensive and really doesn’t matter, why the rush to defend it and why get so animated about it?

    • John Walker says:

      You truly *are* the Internet Batman.

    • wererogue says:

      Don’t get excited, it’s just the Internet Frank Miller

  15. Shooop says:

    But are there any technical issues?

    • alundra says:

      that I would love to know, not from any other pre paid bullshit review site but from RPS.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I am pleased to report that with Volition taking over the PC coding duties for their own game this time out, it runs like an absolutely dream. Well, the pop-up is awful, but I mean, it runs.

      It’s right there in the article, chaps.

      You want a wider story, wait until some pre-order types have tried to run it on their toasters and try to judge the overall level of internets forum wingeing.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      When run on Samsung microwaves the turntable is quite jerky.

    • wererogue says:

      The timed missions work wonderfully, though!

    • alundra says:

      @LionsPhil
      Well, unfortunately after the horrendous issues SR2 had, a “but I mean, it runs.” is not enough,. I agree and we will have to wait and see what kind of comments this one arises from people before deciding to purchase.

      Maybe after the first patch or so…

  16. Vinraith says:

    I was about to comment on how some of the gender sensitivity here seemed, well, excessively sensitive. At least in the US, being offended at the use of the word “bitch” would be a full-time job, I’m surprised to even see it mentioned.

    All that said, the response in the comments has made it more than obvious why RPS continues to bring up these issues. Far too many gamers are a deeply backwards, angry, misogynist lot, and anything that encourages that is at least worth a few words in a WIT.

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      Yes.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      It’s not the mere usage of the word, though. It’s the deliberate use as a demeaning gendered insult, especially from a man towards a woman, that makes it icky.

      I haven’t been back to ‘Murka in a couple years now, but I’m pretty sure that calling a woman a bitch without good reason (ie, bitchy behavior) is mostly unacceptable. That’s what John implies is the case here. There’s an understandable usage as a synonym for asshole, and then there’s calling women bitches by default, which isn’t remotely okay.

    • Starky says:

      “Far too many gamers are a deeply backwards, angry, misogynist lot”

      The word for that I think you will find is “Teenagers”…

      Most people grow out of it.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Absolutely this.

    • Mman says:

      “The word for that I think you will find is “Teenagers”…

      Most people grow out of it.”

      People tend to be less open with it when they grow up, but the actual ingrained bigotry is still there in a lot of cases, and can only really be removed by pointing out why it’s wrong.

    • oceanclub says:

      “At least in the US, being offended at the use of the word “bitch” would be a full-time job”

      …which is odd when you consider that swearing in the US seems to be, generally, less acceptable than in Ireland. (I know of American colleagues – admittedly midwestern types – who were genuinely offended by the casual (but at least creative) use of swearwords in the Irish office).

      P.

  17. thenagus says:

    As a counterpoint to some of the gender sensitivity complaints in the comments, I want to say that the consideration of this kind of thing is why I read RPS more than any other gaming site. Don’t stop.

  18. Urthman says:

    Yeah, all the people who are so insanely defensive at any mention of misogyny are pretty definitive proof that we need to keep talking about it when writing about games like this.

  19. Jimbo says:

    “And not all of them have their boobs flapping around.”

    Here’s where you lost me. Bitches.

  20. Synesthesia says:

    “I mean, you could drop me anywhere in That London and I’d not have the faintest idea which bit I was in without looking at my phone.”

    It’s the FUTUURE!
    wait, where did this belly come from?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LkusicUL2s (i dont know how to embed, i’m so bad at this)

    • Hoaxfish says:

      London is pretty easy to get around. If you can find a bus-stop, they usually have a map of the local area, and you can usually ride one into the centre. Same goes for tube-stations.

      Plenty of people you can ask too.

  21. metalangel says:

    Damn you Botherer. I was trying to resist but looks like I’ll have to buy myself ONE MORE game this year. It was the PCG review of SR2 that finally tipped me over the edge on it, and this looks even more ridiculous.

  22. JohnnyK says:

    The game just unlocked here in Austria, so it seems continental Europe gets it today (it’s 0:15am)

  23. Moonracer says:

    My only complaint is that I don’t like the color purple.

    I enjoyed SR2 but loathed that my gang was all purple. I suppose it would make no sense if you could just change your gang’s color whenever you wanted.

    Otherwise I’m quite excited to play this game.

  24. Pamplemousse says:

    Wont someone please think of the children!

    Lets ban this piece of crap for featuring such vile language as bitch! Why can’t we all just get along and engage in the wholesome act of beating a man to death with a dildo.

    Oh the hilarity!

  25. Xathlien says:

    @John

    How truly “open world” is the open world? I’m curious as to whether or not there really is countless hours of messing around (?) that can be done, or if they made a more “linear open-world game”… it’s the one thing I’m not really clear on, as every review seems a little ambiguous regarding the issue.

    Excellently written review, btw!

  26. MistyMike says:

    I’m not convinced by this review.

    It states repeatedly how the game is the FUNEST in the history of fun things and also FUN but doesn’t really delve into the WHY. See, for some people, placing waypoints on a floor plan for hours (a la Rainbow Six) is a wickedly fun activity. Would they think the same of SR3?

    I would specifically like to know what is expected from the player in story missions and does it differ from the standard two missions templates in the crime-sandbox genre which are:
    1) drive somewhere and shoot all enemy gangsters 2) chase down the enemy car and shoot enemy gangster.

    • Delusibeta says:

      Probably for much the same reasons Just Cause 2 was fun: blowing shit up. Or in this case, blowing stuff up using predictor drones, or your instagib fists etc. etc.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, Saints Row 3 is basically an urban Just Cause 2, rather than being a GTA clone anymore. It’s an anarchic comedy sandbox shooter and doesn’t try to hide it.

  27. Jake says:

    How’s the co-op mode? Is it a full blown co-op with both characters in the storyline or is it that drop into someone else’s game type? I really want to play it, just not sure how much effort I should put into finding a partner in crime.

    • Xathlien says:

      It’s been stated that the entire game is co-op from beginning to end, but only the host is shown during things such as cut scenes etc. However, what ever you do in co-op extends into your own single player game/experience.

      So, you’re both playing the missions, and you’ll both have completed them if done in co-op, but only the host is really “featured”, and the missions don’t necessarily feel geared towards two people, though you’re both participating in/completing the missions.

      Info taken from the devs, previews and new reviews. Hope that helps.

      Still would like to know just how “open world” the open world is, however. Is there really a great amount to do in just just running around for hours? Enough to mess around with to keep you coming back for more “just messing around”?

  28. bluebogle says:

    It’s a shame, as this would have been a day one purchase were it not for Skyrim. You hear that SR3? You got shafted because of Skyrim. I’m sorry. Maybe xmas.

  29. MadTinkerer says:

    “And I think you could get some distance justifying it as parody, or perhaps arguing that it genuinely does seem to be the most affectionate use of “bitches” I’ve ever heard. But, well, it’s still pretty foul, isn’t it?”

    Okay, look: no. It’s not.

    I think it’s dumb that “bitches” has become a term of endearment in some circles, whether it’s the hip hop culture or (usually female) hipsters using it ironically, but no. It’s not always foul or sexist anymore, and it entirely depends on context. In the cartoony over-the-top context of Saint’s Row 2, I think that it’s pretty acceptable.

    It’s about the same as calling someone “chicky” or “girly”. Actually possibly less sexist than that in the context… Dumb, but not foul. Bear in mind the kinds of characters using the word. Also see Farscape.

    (If you don’t agree, it may be because you are British. I think I detect a hint of cultural misunderstanding here…)

  30. Quaib says:

    Sexism exists in society that runs both ways. What about the “fairer” sex? Women getting better treatment just for being women?
    At this point I think women are more than equal, in fact there is plenty of “positive” discrimination in their favour.
    Differences in the sexes exist. Do you want everyone to remove their genitals and join one collective hivemind in order to eradicate all individuality and difference?
    What about all the sexism against men? But you don’t hear most men complain, because it’s not a big deal and they can deal with it.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      I think you might be skating on thin ice here. There is still a lot of discrimination going on, for example in regard to salaries and job opportunities (granted, there have been major improvements in comparison to past times). The reason you hear less complaints concerning discrimination by men is most likely because there is less discrimination towards men than towards women.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I fail to see how that has any relevance to the game at all unless you’re just feeling that ol’ “oh no I’m a man” guilt and gushing over to apologise for it at every opportunity.

    • John Walker says:

      It’s strange. People who like to fantasize a reality where others are all equal always then make themselves the one who is left unequal. You’d think if you could pretend that woman have equality, they could also pretend they do too.

    • LionsPhil says:

      It’s strange. I said nothing of the sort.

  31. sabrage says:

    Fix the pop-in and I’m sold. It can’t fuck me up any worse than The Binding of Isaac. (I mean, can it?)

  32. Toploader says:

    Just got this game based on this review and a good deal from the savygamer.co.uk/ site. Looks fantastic, I never got to try SR2 despite it being on my Steam account, due to it running at x2 speed on my pc.

  33. Kleppy says:

    I just find it hilarious that RPS needs to mention that a game which lets you kill people with a huge dildo, refers to some women as bitches. I suppose I can see some people being offended were the ladies in Skyrim or something called that, but this is obviously a game built on being brash and offensive. Why is this even a (constant) point of discussion? Wouldn’t a much more serious statement about our society be the fact that we are not even slightly bothered by SHOOTING COPS IN THE FACE?

    Internet white-knighting is really very embarrassing.

    • Nogo says:

      For one, there’s nothing hilarious about consumer advice being conscious of the women who may be interested in the product they’re reviewing.

      For two, excusing the use of “bitch” because the game is intended to be brash and offensive means you would happily argue for the inclusion of “nigger” as an insult, and honestly I’d love to see you try.

  34. Belsameth says:

    I think SR would go the way of GTA when they loose their 13 year old humour…

    Besides that, and I’m saying this having only finished chapter 1, too busy pissing around with the minigames and causing general mayhem, I find the Saints a bit too much of the good guys.

    I mean, in SR2 they were one of the gangs and extremely vicious in fighting off the others. While the Saints were the “heroes” of the story there, they were on equal footing with the other gangs for pure evilness. Here it feels more like they’re the good guys which saddens me.
    It’s still a bloody amazing game tho! I love it to bits and back. Twice.

  35. Apples says:

    I like how people just repeat the same three “It’s just a joke!”, “The game’s already offensive!” and “You can never do anything to stop sexism so why bother?” (and sometimes an extra “B-b-but you’re being sexist against MEN!”) arguments over and over, even when they have been combatted in the comments of every other review where sexism is mentioned. As other people have said, it shows why John needs to keep bringing this up – because you lot won’t learn.

    Apart from that, the game sounds good, and I’m pretty excite for Friday.

    • lordfrikk says:

      @Apples

      “As other people have said, it shows why John needs to keep bringing this up – because you lot won’t learn.”

      I’m genuinely curious what is that you want us to teach us? That the word bitch wasn’t used jokingly in a game that is batshit insane and satirical? I agree that misogyny is a problem, but this kind of behavior is antagonizing (for me, at least).

      Why is the rest of the game ok — in the sense that no one feels the need to pick apart the particulars and mention them? Does this post or does the sole fact that you people rub me the wrong way make me misogynistic? I honestly don’t know anymore.

      It’s like coming to a party and suddenly while everyone’s busy having fun a guy stands up and starts talking about misogyny because he overheard one of the partygoers say the b-word.

  36. luckystriker says:

    Can somebody hurry up and invent human cloning please. I need 3 of me to be able to play all these bloody great games coming out now.

    • chackosan says:

      But think about it, those clones won’t be you and you won’t be able to partake of their experiences. Well, at least not as vividly as you would yours. Unless I’ve missed something about cloning beyond what Calvin & Hobbes and that Schwarzenegger movie taught me.

  37. Bluerps says:

    Actually, I prefer not having to spray anyone with shit. I’m not a big fan of shit.

  38. Chris says:

    The car handling in the PC version of SR2 was abysmal, and killed the game for me.

    How is the handling in SR3?

  39. Syra says:

    I wish you guys put a TLDR summary at the end, there are alot of games I’m only interested in in a cursory way and dont wana read the whole thing for, afterall I have exams and interviews and skyrim taking up all my time (oh and if you were wondering skyrim is the one doing the majority of that, goodbye to my future prospects..)

  40. strange_headache says:

    This is a review where the reviewer spends most of the time apologizing himself for liking an idiotic, silly and over the top game. And the worst part is that it doesn’t even tell us anything new that hasn’t been already said a hundred times in previous RPS-articles about this game.

    What confuses me the most is that, suddenly, it’s OK again to call females “bitches”, while in Batman: Arkham City it was not. And the reason why it is OK in this game but not in others is even unknown to the author himself. Has sexism become context relevant now or what? Considering that “context” is a highly subjective concept I find this quite dissatisfactory. I am aware of the fact that the game is supposed to be silly and not taken seriously, but so is a game about a guy who dressed up as a bat. To me at least, both games appear to be equally silly. I say “to me” because as stated above, context is a highly subjective affair. Maybe John Walker has a different perception of the context of both games? I don’t know.

    • alundra says:

      Has sexism become context relevant now or what?

      Well duh!!, the answer should be pretty obvious, eh?? as a matter of fact, it didn’t become, it has always been context relevant.

      Considering that “context” is a highly subjective concept I find this quite dissatisfactory.

      It’s evident all of this is a matter of personal opinion. If you consider context a highly subjective matter, how can you find it dissatisfactory?? Unless you need everyone and their cousins to feel and think exactly the way you do so you can feel safe and secure.

      Hint, this entry is no longer showing the main page, let it rest.

  41. Mijit says:

    “I am pleased to report that with Volition taking over the PC coding duties for their own game this time out, it runs like an absolutely dream. Well, the pop-up is awful, but I mean, it runs.”

    Hasn’t been my experience at all, my rig is more than capable of pulling GTA IV’s panties down & giving it a solid spanking even with a ton of visual tweaks yet Saints is running like an inside out dog, a quick perusal of the Steam & Saints Row forums confirms i’m certainly not alone.

  42. Apocalypse 31 says:

    This is an extremely generous review of SR3.

    Almost feels as if RPS was just happy to get their hands on a free copy of an over-hyped game. SR3 offers nothing new in the realm of open world games. I can attack someone with a giant purple dildo…ok great, big deal.

    Boring and redundant mini-games – that are required to unlock any decent equipment or abilities. Redundant campaign with a terrible story line. You’re really just spending a great deal ranking up, and trying to earn money so you can unlock/buy things.

    The game performance is absolutely horrible. In many cases, my audio will lag behind my actual game (which in turn will either freeze my game or cause a weird quiet wait period)

    Just Cause 2 is still #1.

  43. WhatKateDoes says:

    Many thanks to RPS and its reviewers for simply being aware of this perpetual trend in games and the entertainment industry in general. I dont want to repeat anything already said here and in other posts, aside from reminding people of the links below.

    I, however, will still be buying this game, and ignore the misogyny, which to be honest is a least mitigated a bit by the story adapted for a female protagonist and her cronie(s) – it looks brilliant, fun, and hilarious – and I’m particularly looking forward to playing the game with my fellow bitches.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/4719-Gender-Games

    https://gomakemeasandwich.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/to-dudes-who-think-gaming-is-sexist-against-men-youre-wrong/

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