Saints Row: The Third Co-Op Review
Ninja? Check. Dual wielding SMG's? Double check. Women with guns and low cut tops? Triple check. Naked lady statue? Quadruple check. Let's do this.
You’ll find many felonious side activities in Steelport. There are several Town Takeover missions that come in varying difficulties and levels of debauchery. These could include eliminating gang activity, racing through a course on an explosive ATV, or protecting fellow gang members with massive air support. You can bring a pal along for the ride in all of them. Co-op is easy to access if you have a friend. If you don’t, you can leave your game open to random strangers joining in your game, or you can jump into another player's world. You may want to turn off friendly fire. Just a suggestion.
The host controls the story progress. Money, Respect, collectibles, and completed Town Takeover activities will stay with your character when you leave a host’s game. If you’re in an advanced player’s game, you won’t earn story progress. If you’re on the same mission, story progress should apply to both characters. You know the drill. If you’re playing with two characters who are in different areas of the story, let the character who’s less advanced host until you’ve synced up. You will have access to all of your gear if you’re a guest, so long as the host has unlocked a crib, garage, etc. Don’t be a jerk and use your superior skills, weapons, and vehicles to nerf their missions. Unless they want you to.
When you complete tasks, or do anything, really, you’ll earn money and/or respect. Consider respect your XP, and money, well, your money. As you gain respect levels you unlock several perks and upgrades for purchase. These upgrades could make your homies stronger, your weapons mightier, or even upgrade your stronghold, which in turn gives you more cash and respect bonuses. Or you could just say “eff it” and start beating up the first pedestrians you see. That’s how I spent the first couple of hours.
The insane part? My character is a 65 out of 100 on the character creator boob-o-meter!
There are some technical issues that can be a little irritating. The same button is used to purchase property, take human shields, and get into vehicles. This can cause some unwanted chaos at times. The story missions feel very disconnected from their cut scenes and the rest of the game. The screen wipe cutaway is jarring at times. There are the usual little nit-picky things that come from an open world title like this, but nothing particularly egregious. Even when something weird happens, it rarely detracts from the fun.
SRTT is adequately long, but not incredibly so. It took me about 24 hours finish the story, with 79% of the overall game completed. I didn’t try to stomp through the story for a review, either. I played at a leisurely pace, succumbing easily to distractions.
That brings me to the much talked about Whored Mode. This is a fun little co-op side note, but nothing more. The waves of enemies are funny, but there’s not a lot to it. You have to use a preset character, so you can’t even show off all your hard work you put into making your own crazy persona. You don’t even earn money or respect. You’re simply awarded points that don’t really mean anything. It amounts to nothing more than a moderately fun waste of time.
Overall, Saints Row: The Third does exactly what it promised to do, and it does it well. It’s a fun romp as a single player adventure. When you add a second player it becomes one of the year's better co-op experiences. This chaotic waltz is best enjoyed with a friend.
This review is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.
The Co-Op Experience: The entire Saints Row: The Third experience can be enjoyed by two players through online play or system link. The game requires an online pass for co-op play.