It’s hard to review an open world game and Saints Row: The Third is no exception. So while we’re waiting on that (soon!) I figured the audience at large would be interested in some opening hints on how best to manage their character. Newcomers will no doubt be flattened by the sheer amount of customization and tweaks in the game (see my blue-jacketed, British-accented avatar above) and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. No matter! Inside I provide you with some tips on how best to wade through your ascendancy to greatness!
Don’t get caught up upgrading your vehicles. Since the game allows you to store any vehicle in the game in your garage and replicate it (and its customizations) any time you want, it’s tempting to grab obscure vehicles and then doll them up with weird colors, chassis upgrades, or kneecappers. Don’t. Not only is it super easy to do, it can also get expensive the more you do it. In reality, you’re not going to have access to your garage that often so out on some random intersection, any stock car is going to work just fine. Use your garaged cars for specialty missions where you need a beefier machine. Upgrades to ignore: nitrous is bungled because of a lack of straight-aways and kneecappers never seemed useful.
Min-max your weaponry. From the get go, you have access to quite an arsenal. Rather than try to upgrade all your weapons to slightly more useful forms, focus on two or three tops and upgrade them all the way through. End level pistols dole out explosive tips and end level machine pistols unleash incendiary rounds that can easily torch your targets. You’ll thank yourself when you’re not blowing through tons of ammo trying to accomplish the same feat with lesser guns.
Buy every property you can. This is the easiest stuff you can do in the game and you should knock it out early and often. This will bank roll your other operations, help you upgrade your skills, guns, cars, and so on, which will allow you to tackle the missions with as robust a deck as possible. Grabbing territory this way also increases the spawn coverage for members of your gang when you need them.
Bricks. These are the gargantuan guys that run around in vanilla, flamethrower, and minigun variants. You need to do two things: keep away from them in any event and use your pistols to train a bunch of headshots. Both shotgun and spray and pray weaponry require you to be too close to be dangerous, in which case they will rip you up. Level up those pistols and let their heads have it! When they’re down for the count, be sure to finish them off with the QTE event or they’ll recover with some health. Don’t leave yourself open like that.
Professor Genki’s Super Ethical Reality Climax. This crazy game show’s challenges lead you down obstacle-filled corridors populated by armed mascots while the clock ticks down. Do these:
- Stick to your initial side arm. It seems small and silly, but I honestly found myself getting more head shots with the flashlight-enabled pea shooter (which actually packs a punch!) than most anything else.
- Learn the layout. The enemies are always in the same spots each time. Use this to your advantage as you build up combos and get faster times.
- Shoot all the pop up signage. All of the signs throughout the level are useful, minus the Unethical ones. When you see a Health, Money Shot, or Ethical sign, pop that thing right there and then!
- Get a hefty four-seater. If you need to upgrade it, do so. This vehicle is going to be your initial ramming tool and ultimately your escape plan. You can kill gangsters with a faster vehicle, but they’re often fragile creatures that will become an explosive liability as soon as they catch on.
- Recruit homies before you bounce. Use this time to upgrade to two or three followers. Don’t do these alone, it sucks.
- Execute quickly! Remember you only need to take out the reticled targets! These things get ultra messy if you’re not mowing down opponents fast enough. As soon as your massacre begins, reinforcements will begin to stream in immediately. Remember that these are not your targets! Your targets are the fifteen to twenty original people that lit up with reticles when you arrive. Target anyone else, especially during your escape, and you’re wasting life and weapon.
- Keep high. Drawing closer to the ground opens the opportunity to smash into stuff really quick. You’re a big hockey puck in the air and need space to maneuver, so take advantage of it. It’s also easier to target and assault targets while they’re still on the perimeter of your radar when you can see more.
- Use the missiles, the minigun isn’t that great. Remember the missiles follow your cursor and will only lock onto enemies if, surprise, you trace them with your cursor.
- Each event will present several ‘hot zones’, use them. This mode’s currency is adrenaline. The more you get banged up, the quicker you’ll enter ‘Adrenaline mode’, which allows for a crazy Burnout-style “after touch” effect that lets you aim your flailing body at another vehicle. If you can build it up faster, do it.
- The simpler the intersection, the better. Four way stops are a pain to manage, traffic-wise. “Okay, which cars just went? Which ones are turning now- Oh, too wait, missed them.” If you can narrow the carnage to a single two-way street, it’s going to be easier to build and maintain momentum.
- Run toward cars and rag doll right before you hit them. Just do it.