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?