I started Saints Row: The Third and forgot my PS2 controller was attached. Whoops! All the menu items indicated buttons from an XBOX 360 controller prompting me to assume that the UI for the game was simply never ported. In “controller mode” the menu is fairly broken visually and functionality wise if you don't actually pick up and use the controller.
So after my little mistake was resolved everything worked like a charm. I pushed the graphics settings up a bit (resolution specifically to 1920 x 1200) and everything worked fine. I guess my GTX260 won't be going into the dumpster just yet.
The introduction crawl to the game (ala Star Wars) left me wondering what I had jumped into. I do not know who Peirce is so at least one, of a likely thousands, joke was lost on me. There was also a nice sprinkling of swearing for good measure. As I am not a twelve year old trapped in the body of a thirty-something it was only slightly entertaining.
The first mission is a great over-the-top introduction to the action and simplicity of the game. The characters are reasonably voice acted and the tongue-in-cheek humor about the never-ending SWAT team members was fitting of the insanity of breaking a vault out of a bank by helicopter. The characters wore huge "masks" (more like helmets) with big versions of their own face on it. It was like robbing a bank in NBA Jam's big-head mode.
I spent an extensive amount of time creating my character. In any game where I create a character I always create a female character for some reason. Unfortunately the lighting in the character creator did not reveal how nearly powder white I had made my character. Oh well. My scarred green-eye reddish haired female will just have to look a bit like the living dead. … and on that topic I opted to not give my character the voice of the zombie... however tempting. I noticed that a lot of the physical motions for gloating were stolen directly from wrestling. Definite nods to Ric Flair, Undertaker, Randy Orton, Hulk Hogan, and others for their inspiration in creating the animations...
Then I ended up in jail only to be bailed out (?) by some rich guy. He indicated blah blah blah and how blah would need to blah. As I was not punching anything, shooting anything, or being bombarded with swearing it was a welcome reprieve and a zen moment. (just like opening your cell phone mid combat)
The next mission involved learning to fight hand-to-hand and with other weapons. This was another over-the-top mission with very great visual stunts. I was mostly happy with the decision to script of the sequences though a bit less would have been nice. The entire sequence took place on a plane. After a fire fight the plane goes out of control and fall a bit and then actually return to the plane for a Hollywood movie stunt, albeit a scripted one.
The third mission involved an attack on a base and showing off the satellite capable of firing down on the city. This mission was a perfect example of the madness I expect to see. Lots of stuff to take out backed up with powerful weaponry to do so.
After the mission I opted to roam around in a car. I also poked through my in-game cell phone only to find it has more functionality than my current computer.
While driving I saw a cliff and felt the urge to drive over it. I landed in a very bland area above the shore and proceeded to drive around to find a way back to the road. None apparently existed so I got out and jumped into the water. Immediately I was prompted to “press E” to return to shore. I pressed E and warped somewhere on shore near a road. It was a bit peculiar...
Then I bought a meth lab. Not the classiest thing to earn money with but it will do.
A bit later I received a call from my friends asking me to take care of some annoying police. I completely underestimated this as I figure it was the three located where I was told to go. Instead this turned into wave after wave of police which eventually resulted in my death. After being taken out I was told I was charged a small fee. Is it that hard to tell me how much? I need the money to buy more meth labs.
A minute later I received a call indicating that some gang was having a rave and that I should “do something about it.” I responded by driving my car through the rave and angering a good number of TRON cosplayers. This also turned into a set of waves of combat again. Victory would have been mine if a Heavy from Team Fortress 2 had not shown up. I am not kidding. A character from another video game appeared in Saints Row: The Third. (cross promotion is a beautiful thing) Instead the Heavy blasted me to bits even after surviving all of the waves of enemies. I even tried to hit him with my car resulting in the humorous (well not to me at the time) recreation of the game Flatout where my character went flying through the windshield. Hitting the Heavy with my car had no impact.
With my death I quit the game. I again lost an unknown amount of money. Money I need to buy more meth labs with...