Saints Row: The Third is a game that's almost the complete opposite of its contemporary Grand Theft Auto IV. While GTA 4 was a darker, more serious title as compared to its predecessors, Saints Row: The Third ramped up the crazy with bombastic missions and surreal characters. To this day, it remains a game that's fun to go back and play; heck, I may very well spend a weekend re-experiencing the glory that is Saints Row: The Third.
It's difficult to single out any one moment as the best, let alone six. Nonetheless, I picked out what I believe to be the 6 most awesome moments in Saints Row: The Third!
Sky HighOne of the earliest missions you'll play sets the tone for the game right out of the gate. You're held aboard an airplane by the bad guys, but some fast acting on the part of your crew lets you make an escape. A shootout on a plane is exciting enough, but what happens afterward is even more entertaining (and equally improbable).
After making a fast exit, you have to free fall to the ground below. It's not quite that easy, though. An impossible amount of cargo litters the air, turning the mission into a sort of 3D platformer level. That would be enough of a challenge, but the developers deviously throw in some enemies who are shooting at you. Heck, even the plane itself is an enemy—it tries to ram into you as you're safely parachuting towards the ground.
A silly little thing like a friggin' cargo plane isn't enough to take out the Boss—instead, you blow a hole into the cockpit window and sail through the inside of the plane from nose to tail. Awesome.
A Powerful EntranceSaints Row: The Third flirts with high-flying action more than once. Once you make your first steps in Steelport, the Boss decides that he needs a base of operations. What better place to go with than to just steal a nice penthouse from your enemies?
A helicopter hovers above the penthouse as Kanye West's track "Power" starts playing. You'll jump down onto the roof and the chaos begins. The backing music makes for a perfect fit, wonderfully adding to an exciting mission. Securing the penthouse isn't enough, though; you'll then have to fly across town and keep your rival gang from blowing up the penthouse you just spent so much effort acquiring. Once you succeed, you're well on your way to controlling the whole of Steelport.
This is surely one of the game's coolest missions, and it introduced me to a musician that I had never listened to before. My opinion may have been colored by absurdly fun shooter gameplay, but it made for an unforgettable experience.
Fear and Loathing in SteelportSaints Row: The Third doesn't just have serious missions—it has its fair share of silly ones, too. One of these missions sees you purposefully drugged and left in a brothel that caters to all sorts of strange people with equally-strange kinks. Also, you're completely naked.
Several questions arise from this mission. One of the most disturbing is this: where exactly are you storing your arsenal of weapons while you're in the buff? I certainly don't want to think about it and I'm sure you don't, either.
After you bust out of the brothel, you then have to engage in a chase scene. There are plenty of missions with cars, but this is the only one that has you driving chariots. Did I mention that the chariots are being pulled by people in bondage gear and they explode for some reason? It's equally ludicrous and cool.
We Are, We Are VRIf bondage chariots and high-flying antics weren't enough, Saints Row: The Third takes you into a new realm entirely. One particular mission is a love letter to all of those terrible movie hacking scenes with 3D skyscrapers.
The mission itself gets plenty silly; heck, you're turned into a toilet as a bad joke from your opponent. You encounter literal firewalls and even get a Mega Man-esque arm cannon at one point. The entire level feels like you're playing through a game based on a madman's interpretation of Tron. It's ridiculous, it's beautiful, and it's a heck of a lot of fun.
The most awesome part of all, though, is surely the ending. You take command of a gigantic virtual mech and beat the crap out of your opponent's own mech. Although it's essentially one giant quick-time event, it's one of the least offensive ones I've ever played.
A F**cking Tiger?!Throughout Saints Row: The Third, you'll build up your power base by recruiting new people to your gang. Some of these missions get pretty wild. One of these missions has a wild animal.
Angel De La Muerte is a luchador who's all too happy to help you take down Killbane, the equally-boisterous wrestler who serves as one of the pillars of your opposition. Angel, however, does not feel that you're able to take him on a succeed. He requires that you undergo a series of different training missions, and one of them is a send-up of The Hangover.
Driving while distracted kills thousands of people every year, and I'm sure a f**cking tiger in your car would probably have something close to a 100% mortality rate. It's a moderately-challenging mission and it's equally hilarious—almost as much as its conclusion. It's a beautiful tribute to The Hangover and fits perfectly with the comedic tone of Saints Row: The Third.
The World Could Always Use More HeroesWhile the "Power" sequence is plenty of fun, the ending of the game tries (and in my opinion, fails) to capture the same kind of magic. You're faced with a choice of doing one of two different things at the game's narrative crescendo, all of which is set to the tune of Bonnie Tyler's "I Need a Hero".
Unlike the penthouse mission, this mission takes a heck of a lot longer. I feel that it loses some of its magic while the music drags on. Perhaps it may have been better if it had been saved for the climax of the mission rather than most of it.
Even so, it's a great mission and one of the most challenging adventures in the core campaign. You might have a harder time with some of the Professor Genki missions and other side challenges, but this is one of the hardest ones that you have to play to call the game completed. Hopefully, you'll be smart enough to leverage all of your assets you've gained in the game so far and bring your story to an epic conclusion.
Saints Row: The Third brought the franchise into the next generation. It had its fair share of troubles, but it had no shortage of awesome moments. As we approach the ten-year anniversary of this game, we can only hope that Volition and Deep Silver will soon be announcing a return to the series.
What do you think is the most awesome moment in Saints Row: The Third? Did you like the game more for its humor or its high-flying action? Let us know in the comments below!