A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a violent, graphic game intended for mature adults only. Characters are constantly killing each other, blowing things up, and cursing, and they engage in countless illegal activities like prostitution, drug dealing, assaults, and robberies. Players are rewarded for killing others by earning chains, clothing, and other items. Parents should be aware that there is also an online component via XBox Live.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
At the start of SAINTS ROW, you get to customize the look of your character, a man of few words who has joined the 3rd Street Saints, one of four local gangs who run the city of Stilwater. The Saints are being pushed back and killed off by the three other rival gangs, the Westside Rollerz, the Vice Kings, and Los Carnales. You take on missions to weaken the other gangs' strengths, ranging from hijacking a big rig to blowing up a recording studio. At any point in the game when you're not on a mission, the entire city is yours to explore.
Is it any good?
At a first glance, Saints Row seems like yet another Grand Theft Auto clone, with nonstop violence, sexual assaults, and other street crime. However, unlike so many games before it, Saints Row succeeds in almost every area, and is a blast to play.
Saints Row has strong appeal to players of this genre because it has both a story mode for traditional gamers, or free-roaming fun for players who like to pick up and play. The many side missions and collectibles will have you playing Saints Row for weeks, which is good because Saints Row makes being bad feel really good.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why this game is inappropriate for kids. Since this game offers an open world to explore, families might talk about why such an environment is so appealing. Families can also talk about why so much effort goes into making violent, sexed-up games. Is it because escapism and raunchiness sells? Why or why not? Do you think it's desensitizing people to violence or does it have no effect?