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Saints Row: The Third – Itagaki and the octopus gun

Thursday, 22 September 2011 06:31 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The Saints’ next adventure looks to push the concepts of dress sense and decency to their inevitable limits. Brenna Hillier gets overwhelmed in Tokyo.

Saints Row: The Third

Third in Volition’s ridiculous gang-based action series.

Original released in 2006, and was followed by a sequel in 2008.

Out mid-November for PS3, PC and 360.

Saints Row: The Third’s Wikipedia page.

Tomonobu Itagaki really likes Saints Row: The Third.

Speaking at THQ’s Media Showcase at Tokyo Game Show last week, the ex-Team Ninja lead said he became a huge fan of the game after seeing the E3 trailer.

“I’ve probably watched it ten or more times since then,” he said, adding that he’d developed a liking for Syndicate leader and primary antagonist Phillipe Loren.

That helps explain why the flamboyant Valhalla boss was escorted on stage by a pair of models to the strains of Kanye West’s Power, an entrance strongly reminiscent of Loren’s own.

“I even asked THQ if I could be his voice actor,” Itagaki said, sounding quite genuine.

“But the answer was no. They said if I had so much free time I could finish my own game,” the THQ-published Devil’s Third.

Iatagaki remained on stage to watch a gameplay video in which the protagonist had been carefully customised to look remarkably like him – stern features, flowing black hair, and trademark sunnies and black jacket.

Itagaki’s laughter as he watched his twinned avatar call down an airstrike from a laptop, fire one of Professor Genki’s madder weapons, and kick pedestrians in the balls was obviously genuine – he threw back his head and roared when his on-screen self acrobatically flipped over an innocent bystander’s shoulders, waited for him to turn around, and then punched him in the face.

The echoes of hilarity continued throughout the demonstration, as we got a sneak peek at the Dreckers.Die mission sequence trailered recently. The Saints’ newest member, the incongruously young ex-Intelligence officer Kinzie Kensington, has sent the protagonist into a virtualization of the Syndicate’s network, protected by a gang of young cyberthugs, the Dreckers.

Unfortunately, she hadn’t finished customising an avatar yet, and the player is left hopping around the first area as a toilet. Kinzie assures us she’s doing the best she can.

“I don’t have arms,” is the angry response, but her next effort – a blow up doll – isn’t much better, and when we reach a Lawnmower Man style wire-frame model, it seems best not to argue any more.

Humour, a disdain for political correctness, and crazy bullet-sponge action sums up the demonstration, and a hands-on session thereafter did nothing to dispel this impression.

In between a baffling amount of laser firefighting, the dialogue driving the mission forward is exactly what you’d expect. “It’s easy to laugh when you’re hiding like a pussy!” the level’s final boss is taunted, before the delivery of the now-famous line: “In the real world, you’re just a bitch with a keyboard.”

Mankini

Humour, a disdain for political correctness, and crazy bullet-sponge action sums up the demonstration, and a hands-on session thereafter did nothing to dispel this impression.

Someone had thoughtfully provided me with an enormously fat Saint with a purple mohawk and mankini, and I sent many a longing glance at my left-hand neighbours svelte, severe assassin with the Jackie O bob. In the course of a mission, triggered by purchasing an apartment, I acquired and tricked out a vehicle – burning orange base, flouro green highlights, and spinning-razor rims a lá Grease – and visited a clothing shop where quite by accident – the menu was in Japanese – I stuffed my pyramidal warrior into an orange backless dress. This seemed an improvement to me, but at this point we were attacked, so I guess the game disagreed.

It was impossible to hear what my AI companion was telling me or to understand the moon language mission prompts, so I returned fire. The rival gang, resplendent in suits and red shirts – or in the case of the female members, similarly coloured uniforms which screamed “negotiable affections” – continued to spawn, and I, thanks to unlimited ammo, continued to blow them, the police, and hundreds of idiot pedestrians up.

Eventually, a helicopter turned up, complete with snipers, and as I was mysteriously light on rocket launchers, I had my arse handed to me.

Respawning, I decided to forgo that mission for a moment and try another. Hopping in the shotgun seat with a fellow whose green shield icon screamed “escort mission”, I gleefully threw grenades out the window and sniped at grannies until we drew to a mysterious halt to face another random attack.

Once again I spent several minutes soaking up enough lead to open a pencil factory, even taking down two helicopters, before inevitably succumbing to sheer numbers – helped along by a series of enormous heavy-type enemies who wouldn’t bat an eyelid to anything short of a shock grenade, and even then required half a dozen clips and a button-prompt finishing move to dispel. Two at once? I went down like lentils at a Hare Krishna convention.

The Dreckers.Die mission.

Puzzled, I tried the mission again, twice more. We stopped in a different random place on one occasion, but on every attempt I was knocked out by the sheer numbers of enemies and my own inability to understand what the game wanted me to do.

This was frustrating, so I stopped, and spent the rest of my brief brush with insanity firing octopuses at civilian heads and watching them dance around before exploding, calling down airstrikes on lone policemen, and driving mysteriously weighty vehicles into obstacles while looking for the brake.

Surrounded by seven-foot high banners of the Saints, and having just been exposed to the scripted laughs of the story missions, faffing about in the sandbox actually felt unsatisfying. That trailer is just part of THQ’s ongoing efforts to ensure the Saints personalities and antics get as much attention as yours, and it’s certainly working – given the chance to blow stuff up randomly for half an hour or delve into the tussle with the Syndicate, I’d have given an octopus gun for the latter option.

Saints Row: The Third launches on November 15 in the US and November 18 in the UK for PS3, 360 and PC.

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3 Comments

  1. TBell


    ——-
    I even asked THQ if I could be his voice actor,” Itagaki said, sounding quite genuine. “But the answer was no. They said if I had so much free time I could finish my own game,” the THQ-published Devil’s Third.
    ——-

    To this I would have responded, if Danny Bilson has so much time that he’s “writing” the story for Devil’s Third, perhaps he should work on the THQ stock price that’s dropped 75% (and still dropping) since he took over as creative director. Apparently his writing team was responsible for Red Faction Armageddon, and we saw how that turned out. Seriously, if the VP is writing the story, and it’s crap, who is going to speak truth to power. Especially when Bilson has cut and burnt so many studios already.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. CoreGamer

    TBell, with all due respect, I don’t think you fully realize the breed of talent that Bilson brings to the table for his $750k annual compensation. For instance, read this article:
    http://au.gamespot.com/news/6307414.html

    Here’s a couple of quotes, in case you’re busy:

    “The reason Bilson said he’s EVP of core games at THQ now is because he played games, apparently a rare quality among gaming executives. ‘In the game industry, it makes me a genius,’ Bilson said. ”

    See?!! He’s a self-proclaimed GENIUS! And not just your average genius either–he’s genius because he plays games as a VP of a games publisher.

    Also, I like this quote in which he claims that he did the dirty job of laying off employees as an act of humility; “He did some more TV and film work and wrote a few comics, but it wasn’t enough to pay the bills and he dove back into games with THQ. Within six weeks, he received a call saying the publisher was cutting half its production budget, and a lot of the studios he’d been befriending, he now had to close. “It’s really awful,” Bilson said, but explained he needed the job and “wasn’t arrogant enough” to quit again.”

    #2 4 years ago
  3. TBell

    Good counter points, CoreGamer:) He’s the Uwe Boll of video games.

    No, I don’t actually believe Danny Bilson is that bad. I fear that he is only mediocre, but he imagines himself the auteur (despite increasing evidence to the contrary). It is said that ambitious people will rise to the level of their incompetence–perhaps he has found his level. He does appear to be searching outside the company for the talent necessary to reach his goals, instead of relying upon his own abilities. I hope that bodes well for THQ, though it probably won’t be a smooth ride for THQ’s internal studios.

    #3 4 years ago

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    It’s the final week of Sony’s Spring Fever Sale which means more games have been added to the mix. Shovel Knight, which launches today is one offer, and the rest are all Cal of Duty titles. The Taken movie series is on sale as well. With Shovel Knight available today on PlayStation 3, PS4 and […]

  • Drivers for Xbox controllers, voice messages, more features available in Xbox One preview

    Microsoft has announced new features coming to Xbox One and the Xbox App on Windows 10 through the preview program this month. Some of the new features have been requested by the community for both Xbox One and Xbox One SmartGlass. Here’s what to expect, straight from the horse’s mouth: Xbox on Windows 10 Game […]

  • Total War: Warhammer has been announced for PC, Mac, SteamOS

    Total War: Warhammer has been announced after previous teases from The Creative Assembly touched upon it. The game will contain “gigantic monsters, flying creatures, legendary heroes and storms of magical power.” It is also the first in a trilogy which includes two additional standalone titles and extra content packs. It will feature thousands of warriors […]

  • This video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features a quest from the prologue

    A new video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, showing off the Precious Cargo quest contained in the game’s prologue. The quest tasks Geralt with helping a merchant retrieve a mysterious box from the swamps. The scene looks familiar, but we’ve seen so many videos for the game it’s hard to tell […]

  • Limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online kicks off tomorrow on consoles

    The limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One tomorrow, and Sony has provided details on the tester for those who’ve been invited to participate. The beta test contains the full version of the game and will run from April 23-27, and will start and […]

  • Dying Light debuts in second place on Media Create charts

    Techland’s Dying Light made its debut in Japan lats week, coming in a respectable second place behind Nintendo’s Girls Mode 3: Kirakira Code. The zombie shooter sold 25,530 units on PlayStation 4, while the top earner for the week moved a little over 55,000 units on 3DS. Another western release when landed on the chart, […]

  • Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven will release in the west this June

    Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven has been given a release date by XSEED Games, which announced the localization back in February. The title will launch for 3DS in North America on June 2 digitally and through retail. It will be an eShop only title in Europe and Australia when it releases on June 4. A […]

  • This Overlord video teases four new faces of evil

    A new Overlord game is in the works, going by the previous teasing and this video – which teases the possibility of four-payer co-op. Or just four characters to choose from. We don’t know just yet – all we know is the team is asking you to “join the fellowship.” A new entry in the […]

  • GTA movie will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar’s Sam Houser, the BBC confirms

    The GTA movie Game Changer will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar co-founder and president Sam Houser, theBBC has confirmed. The BBC also confirmed Bill Paxton will play Jack Thompson, a role Paxton already confirmed last week when speaking with Deadline. Here’s the synopsis per the BBC: “Conceived for an adult audience, this special 90-minute drama […]

  • Take a look at Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode

    Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode has received a trailer today. Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold will come with two modes, Classic and Story. Classic Mode was trailered today and in it, you’ll get to make your party by choosing from 13 classes. You’ll be able to customise them too using the character creation tool. Revamped […]

  • Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows to come with new challenge mode

    Shovel Knight’s upcoming expansion Plague of Shadows will bring with it a new challenge mode. Shovel Knight developer Yacht Club Games has revealed the challenge mode, one of the new additions coming to the game with the free Plague of Shadows expansion. “Are you more into digging than distillation? Already have your Feats book long […]

  • Nvidia releases complete graphical guide for GTA 5

    Those with GeForce cards will be happy to know that Nvidia has released a comprehensive graphical tweaks guide for GTA 5. Nvidia usually produces graphical guides for the big AAA games, and GTA 5 is no different. Their guides offer in-depth coverage of each in-game setting, how much they affect framerate, if they can be […]

  • Cthulhu voodoo: why Bloodborne is the best Lovecraftian game

    Sherif Said tackles Bloodborne’s links to Lovecraftian horror, explaining why you should face the madness and immerse yourself in its lore. Spoilers inside. No other game could commit to its themes so religiously without feeling the need to compromise its vision and veer towards accessibility. Bloodborne stands tall above any game that dares attach itself […]

  • WWE 2K15 is coming to PC this year

    WWE 2K15 will make its way to PC this spring. WWE announced that WWE 2K15 will make its debut on PC in the spring. The game will be based on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, both of which came out in November. MyCareer and 2K Showaces modes are included, as well as all […]

  • GTA 5 PC: new mod adds snow to GTA Online

    If you’re looking to get some snow in your GTA Online, someone figured out a way. Modder ECB2 created a mod that works with GTA Online on PC. The mod is called “Snow in GTA Online” and it does what it says on the tin. YouTube channel imperfectplayers captured a video showing it in action. […]

  • Deals with Gold: Call of Duty edition

    Xbox Live Deals with Gold for the week of April 20 are now live with mostly Call of Duty games. Various Call of Duty games are on sale on Xbox One and Xbox 360 through Xbox Live this week. Indie games Never Alone and We Are Doomed managed to sneak in as well. With the […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: PSN sign in problems fixed in new patch

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Mortal Kombat X and it brings an end to the aggravating sing in issue encountered by some users on PS4. Mortal Kombat X 1.03 patch has been released. The patch fixes bug CE-34878-0, which affected the PlayStation 4 version. The bug caused users to have to log in and […]

  • GTA 5 PC: new patch fixes Windows Media Player issue, getting stuck in the clouds

    GTA 5 has received a new patch on PC to fix issues caused by the lack of Windows Media Player and getting stuck between online matches. Patch 335.1 is now available to all owners of GTA 5 on PC. The strange issue that affected those who didn’t have Windows Media Player installed, has been fixed. […]

  • Halo 3: ODST and Relic remake come to The Master Chief Collection in May

    Halo 3: ODST and Halo 2′s Relic map remake are coming to Halo: The Master Chief Collection next month. 343 Industries has announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection owners will get Halo 3: ODST campaign and the Relic remake in the next content update, due in May. And as promised, the April update has […]

  • Rockstar says Social Club wasn’t hacked, account details leaked from other websites

    Following a number of reports from users who had their Social Club accounts hijacked, Rockstar has confirmed that the service has not been hacked. Over the last couple of days, a few users on Reddit and Rockstar Twitter support started reporting getting kicked out of their GTA Online sessions and seeing an error telling them […]

  • That Destiny: House of Wolves teaser is packed with new intel, Reef reveal at 11.00am PST today

    The new Destiny: House of Wolves social space was revealed more fully than you might believe in today’s teaser. A teaser for a Destiny: House of Wolves’ new social space went live earlier to advertise today’s full reveal. But resident Destiny expert Arekkz went over the teaser with his very fine-toothed comb and turned up […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront content not shaped by DLC plans, says producer

    Star Wars Battlefront may have DLC on the cards already, but DICE hasn’t built the game with extra content in mind, apparently. Star Wars Battlefront releases on November 17, and then on December 8, before the launch of the new movie, it’ll receive a slab of tie-in DLC. This early, pre-meditated content drop is a […]

  • We’ll finally get a look at Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 at E3 in June

    CI Games will show off Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 at E3 in June, according to the event’s official website. The Lords of the Fallen developer confirmed the game was in the works back in December as a AAA “production effort”. It is set during a modern day conflict in Eastern Europe and players will be […]

  • Ultima 7 Complete, Wing Commander 3, others added to Humble Origin Bundle 2

    The Humble Origin Bundle 2 has been updated with four more titles. The new titles are for Windows only and are SimCity 2000, Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger, Wing Commander 4: The Price of Freedom and Ultima 7: The Complete Edition. All can be yours if you pay above the current average, which […]

  • Don’t Starve Together has been updated to inlcude Reign of Giants expansion

    Don’t Starve Together has been updated and now includes “the vast majority” of the Reign of Giants content. Players who currently own Don’t Starve on Steam will get Don’t Starve Together for free when it exits Early-Access. During Early-Access, current owners of Don’t Starve get 2 copies of Don’t Starve Together through the Frontier Pack […]

  • Xbox Live Gold Members can play NBA 2K15 for free this weekend

    NBA 2K15 is free to play this weekend on Xbox Live for Gold Members in celebration of the NBA Playoffs. All Gold Members can play the basketball game for free starting at noon PDT April 24 through 12.01am Monday, April 27. Should you decide you want to purchase the game, your progress will carry over […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power hits Steam Early Access and is 10% off

    Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power has finally arrived on Steam Early Access and until April 28, you can knock 10% off the list price. After that, the title will run you $19.99/€19.99/£14.99. There’s also a three-pack available if you want to buy some friends a gift. It will run you $44.99 with the 10% […]

  • You can now grab Killing Floor 2 through Steam Early Access

    Killing Floor 2 is now available through Steam Early Access. Players who purchase Killing Floor 2 during Early Access for $29.99/₤19.99/€26.99 will given free content which carries over to the full release and even more content upon release. The Early Access version of the game contains the following, per Tripwire: Three non-linear levels – The […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves livestream will reveal The Reef social space tomorrow

    A Destiny Twitch stream will take place tomorrow and provide a sneak peek at the House of Wolves expansion. The stream takes place at 11am PDT/2pm EDT tomorrow and will show The Reef social space along with a look at new Vendors. House of Wolves contains new Strike missions, The Prison of Elders three-player arena […]