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I Finished: Saint's Row: The Third (PS3)

Glitches can be fun. They can help alleviate frustration with some well-timed slapstick (cue the Yakity Sax), they unite us under the umbrella that we are all playing a broken game and they show that not even the best game is free from some busted-ass gameplay. The bugs and gameplay oddities that I experienced while playing Saint's Row: The Third go beyond fun and mirth.

No, these infestations kept me from properly playing the game on more than one occasion. I might start a mission and find that the helicopter had taken off with out me, though a few restarts revealed that I was clearly supposed to spawn inside before the scene played out. Even worse, some might play out during the endgame of a particularly vexing assault (I'm sorry, Oleg, but if you jump on that VTOL, there's absolutely nothing I can seemingly do to save your ass). I broke my time into several chunks, and it seemed that at least one major bug would creep up in each session.

Yeah, I'm shooting an RPG out the window of a moving car. Ain't no thang.
Yeah, I'm shooting an RPG out the window of a moving car. Ain't no thang.

Soul-crushing code maladies aside, Saint's Row: The Third provides just as much raunch and insanity as the Giant Bomb crew intimated it would. Zombie apocalypse? Got it. TRON look-alike where you're a toilet, bouncing through the third-person landscape in search of a foe? Mmm-hmm. Masked luchador ally voiced by Hulk Hogan? What the hell, why not? It seems there was no idea too silly for the writers of this game to say, "No, we can't have that in our game." Normally, this could lead to a watering down of all included elements, but because both the creators and the avatars in the game embrace this ludicrousness fully, it just seamlessly works.

GTA: Vice City is the most fun that I've ever had with an open world game (Just Cause 2 being the close second), and Saint's Row: The Third now falls squarely in between those two as a game that's a joy to just pick up and go nuts with. In the days of 30-40 hr. AAA titles demanding more time than is available (for this relatively new father, at least), a quick distraction like that is a welcome one, indeed.

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