yummylee's Trouble With Clones (PlayStation 3) review

God giveth and God taketh away... again!

I have to admit, overall the Saints Row The Third Season Pass was a particular disappointment. While Trouble With Clones, the final piece of story DLC for Saints Row The Third, is my favourite of the three, its 30 or so minute running time and crushingly disappointing lack of rewards sour what could have been a suitable ending to the Saints Row The Third narrative.

Not quite the reunion I was hoping for.

Johnny Gat, the equally chaotic and cool best friend to The Boss, and his death in SRTT was one of my biggest complaints toward the game as a whole; not only because they killed Johnny Gat, but the way he was sent off was completely unfitting for such a focal factor of the series; it happens at the very start of the game giving you very little Gat time; and there's no real closure to any of it all. His Funeral was hastily cobbled in the middle and it was overall a very peculiar turn for the story to take. Trouble With Clones attempts to... patch things up so to speak by returning to us some form of Johnny Gat.

The poster-child for nerds everywhere, Jimmy (who you might recall was the dork with the frighteningly prominent lisp in the comic-book store asking for your autograph in the main game), has put it upon himself with his adoration to The Third Street Saints to attempt to clone the illustrious figure, only things don't quite go as planned. Johnny Gat, or Johnny Tag as the game (not the characters, though) has coined him, is but a hulking, monster variant of Johnny Gat. Unable to understand what's really going on, he escapes and leaves a wreck of carnage behind him. Jimmy then of course calls upon The Saints to let them know about the predicament.

The actual story is a great deal more enjoyable solely for the fact that we have some form of Johnny Gat within our grasp, though even with some nods and winks to prior games to prove to you that some semblance of the original Gat resides within, Johnny Tag is mostly just a re-skinned Brute ala Oleg. He even shares the same grunts and Russian caveman quips as well, dousing some of the believability that we truly have Gat back in our mist.

How the pack plays out is the same as the previous two packs; three missions across, though Clones is even shorter than the first two. The first mission isn't anything special, having you go through yet another on-rails sequence as you attempt to escape the Steelport PD in Jimmy's mum's car. But this time you're at least free to use your RPG, rather than relying on some mounted turret like Gangstas in Space.

Oh sweet baby Jesus.

The second mission soundly places the pack on an upward slope, portraying Pierce in a direction that's hard not to laugh along with as you spray people with a Bee gun. Though it's the final mission which is both the greatest and the most heartbreaking of the lot. Under the influence of some spiked Saints Flow concocted by Jimmy, you're temporarily given super powers. Super Powers. I mean that quite literally. You're able to run at an exorbitant speed, punch foes into a bloody pulp with a cute little ''Biff!'' or ''Zoinks!'' stamp like something out of a comic-book (or a particularly campy Batman TV show), and can even unleash a magical ball of hadouken! Just without the actual hadouken part. It's an incredibly refreshing way to play the game, and while it's awkward how actually hitting somebody while you're dashing through the streets will result in one of the non-super stock wrestling attacks, just being able to run like this with reckless abandon, and bring forth the true power of Saints Flow (ass-tasting be damned) was outstanding.

Unfortunately, once you complete the mission you don't get to use those powers once the game's over. You don't get the Bee gun, you don't get the powers - Hell, you don't even get to keep the Hazmat suit you wore. But most importantly, you don't get to keep the powers! All you unlock is two Homies (both of whom are just Brute variants, which, I think I've got enough of thank you) and a 'new' car, which is just a skin of the regular Criminal truck ordinarily used to transport Brutes around.

Y'know, I was initially all but ready to write off everything to do with Clones, then I was just as ready to slap a solid 4 stars on here and praise be the Lords and Ladies at Volition once more. Now I suppose I'm residing in the middle. The ''return'' of Johnny Gat is an exceptionally hasty one, but one that at least gives hope that the Johnny Gat as we knew him may return. And of course once again being shafted the actual stuff we get to play around with in the DLC missions now more than ever leaves me about as puzzled as when they decided to kill off Johnny in the first place.

However, I still can't ignore the roaring laughter this pack got out of me more so than both prior downloads (Jimmy's self-serious comic-book-esque narration was a tasty topping), and what little time you get to spend abusing the powers of Saints Flow is a memorable one. It gives me resounding hope that this kind of madness will once again prevail in the next entry for The Saints. And isn't hope the greatest treasure of all?... Well hey, letting me keep the powers would have given me even more hope, Volition dagnabbit! Whatever, 3 stars.

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