Review: Saint’s Row: The Third

Saint's Row 3

When ranking the great surprises of this past generation, I would have to stick both Saint’s Row 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV somewhere near the top, for completely opposite reasons. GTA IV was heralded as the savior of all fun things ever, but turned out to be a game that I found soulless and dull. On the other hand, Saint’s Row 2 was dismissed as nothing more than a Grand Theft Auto clone — yet it found a way to make its sandbox a true chaotic playground in nearly every sense, offering up scores of hilarious rabbit holes, lots of customization and a decent story to boot.

Enter Saint’s Row: The Third, Volition’s follow-up to the mayhem manager and one of my most anticipated games for 2011. This entry into the bombastic franchise promised even larger scales of destruction, more violence, greater levels of absurdity (there’s a dildo bat, for goodness’ sake) and an all around hilarious time. But does it deliver the goods? One thing’s for certain, Steelport and the Saints will never be the same. Continue reading Review: Saint’s Row: The Third

Mafia 2 and the Question of Realism

When I first played Grand Theft Auto 4 many moons ago, the city seemed so vivid and real (like a double rainbow) that I was almost afraid to be bad in it. I wanted to obey traffic laws such as stopping at stop signs or maintaining a proper and safe speed limit. Eventually, the guise wears away and you’re off on your mayhem.

However, the release of the Mafia 2 demo (the full game is coming on August 24 to PC, PS3 and 360) brings with it a new question to the method of driving in a sandbox world: if a cop sees you speeding, they give chase. Now, in many other open world GTA clones, cops will pursue you if you are breaking other laws, but speeding always seems to be OK.

My first reaction to hearing about this was that it was cool to have that level of realism in the open world. But the more I thought about it, it would be like asking someone playing Crackdown not to leap across buildings, or someone playing Prototype not to fly. The thought of 20 hours in, obeying the speed limit really doesn’t seem like something I’d like to do. But I could be alone. What do you guys think? Vote!

What do you think of the Mafia 2 driving system?

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Red Dead Redemption Launch Trailer

I don’t know a whole lot about Red Dead Redemption, but every passing trailer I see for it looks more and more awesome. I never played the first game in the series, and I continue to hear good things from people that were fortunate enough to do so. The newest entry from Rockstar releases tomorrow, and so far it has gotten some rave reviews.

However, Grand Theft Auto 4 received the same kind of lavish praise, and we all know how I feel about that game. Still though, Red Dead Redemption holds a lot of promise, especially judging from this brand new kickass launch trailer. So who’s going to play this, and who’s played the first? Tell us what made the first game so good!

GamerSushi Asks: Overrated Games

Grand Theft Auot 4- Lost and the DamnedThis one’s sure to start an interesting comment thread, I think.

Over the weekend, I picked up Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, which contains both DLC expansions for Grand Theft Auto IV, considered to be one of the best games released in 2008. While I wasn’t crazy about the game back when it came out, I thought I would give it another shot because of the great things I’m hearing about the Ballad of Gay Tony, the second of the two downloadable episodes.

I decided to play Lost and the Damned first, knowing full well that if I played BoGT first, I would never go back to L&D since it is rumored to be inferior. The game opened up and within a few minutes I was shocked by a couple of things. In particular, the writing is what has taken me back the most. While writing is generally pretty good in GTA, L&D just screamed out cliches and inconsistencies. One minute, Jonny is saying he’s too old to do the biker thing and urges the others to settle down, and the next minute he’s leading the chase to go kill some police officers. It doesn’t help that the voice actor is awful, either.

Playing this game reminded me of all the things I disliked about GTA IV. The driving, the shooting, the control scheme, watching cut scenes and then driving to x to kill y… all of it. I still can’t believe how overrated this game was for the time, and having played better open world games since then (Assassin’s Creed 2, I’m looking at you) just makes the flaws all the more visible. I know that many people love this game, but I’m just not seeing it. I’m declaring it to be on my list of what I consider to be one of the most overrated games of all time.

So what about you guys? What games do you think are ridiculously overrated? Go!