Saint’s Row the Third and My Growing Appreciation of Maturity in Games

saints row the third

One of the many games I bought last Tuesday was Saint’s Row the Third, Volition’s newest entry in the kill-crazy crime series. I’ve put a fair number of hours into it (not as much as Skyrim or even Sonic Generations), and I think I’ve come to a shocking conclusion based on how some of the game is making me feel: I’m growing up.

This post isn’t a knock against Saint’s Row’s content; I know it’s full of juvenile humor, diving nut punches and mind-controlling octopus cannons and it does that all very well and even manages to pull off some insane gameplay without it being contrived. Besides, I’d have to be a pretty big troll to call out Saint’s Row for being immature. No, I’m just finding that some of the ancillary quests feel kind of silly and I’m started to get repulsed by the idea of shooting cops and civilians.

Yes, the old tried-and-true stand-by of the GTA-style sandbox game, descending into unbridled mayhem, no longer holds the appeal for me that it once did. I was showing the game off to my roommate and after shooting a mascot dressed as an energy drink and doing the same to a couple cops, I got a funny feeling in my stomach. I know these cops are just pixles and animated rigs moving on my screen, but busting a cap in them doesn’t hold the same thrill it once used to.

Saint’s Row the Third is still fun and I heartily recommend it to anyone who played the second one and loved it, but I’m kind of moving past the “see how long you can kill cops for” type of sandbox play and coming to appreciate structure more. What about you guys? Do you sort of feel the same, or do you think I’m just an old man yelling at Saint’s Row from his porch? Has any other game made you feel this way?

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mitch@gamersushi.com Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Lube182 Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Battlefield 4, Tom Clancy Double Feature: Rainbow Six Siege and The Division

7 thoughts on “Saint’s Row the Third and My Growing Appreciation of Maturity in Games”

  1. I absolutely agree. Years ago I loved the hash ‘n’ slash titles, your “grand theft autos” and the like, just something fun to play to kill a little time. I logged tons of hours into GTA3, Crackdown, and Just Cause 2 because of their open-world-so-go-f**k-s**t-up gameplay (who couldn’t have fun with that?). Especially if you’re just looking to get right into the action and mess around, there’s nothing better. But as with many sandboxes, time can wear. Things begin to get old, tried, stagnant, and eventually, the game gets shelved. So as a result, I’ve been playing more story-central games, and it’s actually a nice reprieve from the aggressive gameplay. Shadow of the Colossus is a perfect example of this. Actually, it’s the near-complete opposite example of the shoot-’em-up sandbox: no guns, no people, no cops, just a landscape with you, your horse, and 16 massive enemies. I had more fun battling and defeating the giant bosses of SOTC than anything I had done in a sandbox, especially shooting nameless people in the streets. Don’t get me wrong, those games are still fun. Red Dead Redemption deserved Game of the Year and to name a game otherwise is blasphemous! And have you ever played a sandbox better than Skyrim? Have you?

    Seriously have you?

    Perhaps it’s the setting of these games that’s off-putting. The modern-times placement just seems so overused these days. I can turn on the TV and see someone shot or killed on the 10 o’ clock news if I want to see that sort of thing, thank you very much.

  2. Correction on copy, that’s “hack ‘n’ slash,” not “hash ‘n’ slash.” Graveyard shift at work always gets me!

  3. For me any game in which I can attack a group of people with an air strike and then fly in on a hoverbike, shoot the survivors with the bike’s minigun before jumping off, landing on an old lady and beating the backup to death with a giant dildo – whilst dressed as a toilet with a hilarious British accent – is worth playing.

    I definitely wouldn’t want to play games like it all the time but right now it’s a welcome break from the 7 million FPS’s that seem to be getting released recently.

    I disagree with your “see how long you can kill cops for” example though. Nothing is forcing you to kill them, there’s maybe three missions where you fight SWAT and the rest are gang members and a PMC.

    Now go back to your porch old man, I just called my homie to drop off a VTOL and I wouldn’t want you to have a heart attack 😛

  4. It takes a certain amount of maturity not to take it seriously and enjoy the absurdity of it. No one should play a game like this because hitting people with a large, purple dildo is something they’d actually like to do.

  5. I’m personally staying away from the game because of its immature nature. I’m not going to criticize it for it, I know that’s its bread and butter and a lot of the appeal, but I know it’s not for me. I would end up rolling my eyes more than laughing, and as I’ve mentioned before, I’m the kinda guy that waits a streetlights in open world games. Obviously Saints Row is not my first choice of game to play this holiday.

  6. Nah, I get where you’re coming from. I’m a “structure” guy through and through.
    Just remember Mitch: Tastes change. It’s only natural. You aren’t that old. : P

  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YCcxL8oO9o&NR=1

    I get what your saying but I need a couple hours of ridiculousness once in a while. I think way too much in Skyrim, I have 3 unspent perks and 9 dragon souls because I cant decide what to spend them on. Saints Row is almost a polar opposite, together they actually make a really good duo… that feels weird to say

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