Saints Row: The Third Demo and Q&A

Everyone loves a game to chuckle along to once in a while, and it appears that Saints Row: The Third will be handling this duty in the near future. The demo and Q&A session held over on the Gamespot stage on the Saturday of the MCM Expo demonstrated the zany, and often hilarious, gameplay that fans of the previous two Saints Row instalments should remember.

The demo was played by Scott Phillips, the Lead Designer of Saints Row: The Third, and was presented by Greg Donovan, one of the game’s developers. Saints Row: The Third is, like the previous instalments, an open world sandbox game. Greg stated that they kept “fun, zaniness and wackiness in mind” during the development of this title, with the team working by the slogan, “embrace the crazy-fun trumps all,” which already promises for a fun experience.

The demo did not present any of the missions that will be included in the full game, but instead showed viewers the free-roam play aspect that so many players have enjoyed in the previous games and the Grand Theft Auto series before it. We were shown a variety of weapons, including the airstrike, which initiates an epic explosion targeted from above, and the Mollusk Launcher, perhaps the zaniest of them all as it propels octopuses into enemies, where they will attach themselves to their targets and proceed to attack them. 

The silliness continues in the character customisation screen, which allows players to play whoever they choose to. There are plenty of choices, allowing for a serious character, or, looking through the many customisation options, a rather ridiculous one. To demonstrate the silliness further, a “sex appeal slot” has been added to the character customisation screen, allowing players to reduce or enlarge certain physical attributes as they please. This gained a huge laugh from the audience when Scott demonstrated by moving the slider to enlarge the male characters nether regions to the maximum. There is no benefit to doing this, as like a lot of Saints Row: The Third, it is all a bit of fun. 

Character Customisation

Saints Row: The Third is based on an entirely new engine, which, Greg states, is “Saints Row at its full realisation.” The game begins with the Saints at the top of their game. Things are going so well that they’ve got a movie, merchandise and even a clothing range designed after them. However, this all changes suddenly when the Saints bank heist goes horribly wrong. Que some kidnapping, and a very disgruntled syndicate. So what next? Well, the game places the player in the Saints shoes, as they race to eradicate the syndicate, and return to the top. 

Saints Row: The Third will include over 70 different vehicles, from tanks, to cars, planes and hover-bikes. The humour seems to have increased somewhat since the already incredibly funny Saints Row 2. Some of the more popular crazy side quests will be making a comeback here, with plenty of new ones added too. Add this alongside the main storyline, and this should be a lengthy game. Plenty of humourous achievements have been added, one of which Scott demonstrated, titled, “Ow, my balls!” This achievement will be unlocked after completing a certain number of crotch directed attacks. Again, this provoked a large amount of laughter from the audience.

A new button has been added, called the “awesome button,” which allows players to execute some brilliant take-down moves. Some of these result in some hilarious final poses from the main character, and Greg stressed that this was included as he knows people’s first instinct in a free-roaming game is to mess about with the pedestrians. The “awesome button” will add some extra fun, and humour, to these interactions. Greg then stated that Saints Row: The Third was a very “collaborative process,” and “everyone contributed in some way.” He also hinted that a lot of fun was had during the creation of the game, especially during the setting up of the character customisation. 

The demo and Q&A session gained a highly positive response amongst the spectators, with plenty of laughter, clapping and cheering throughout. I think it’s safe to say that I have high hopes for Saints Row: The Third. I mean, who can resist that smiling mascot, Professor Genki, anyway?

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