Saints Row: The Third

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Saints Row: The Third Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Violent open-world crime adventure earns its mature rating.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 42 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 74 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Do not look to this video game for positive messages. Players take on the role of a street gang member determined to destroy three other gangs. There is a lot of violence and blood in this game, as well as sexual imagery, profanity, and drug references. It suggests wanton violence and exploitation will lead to rewards.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game does not have any positive role models. Players become members of an organization that wants to rule the streets and will do whatever it takes to take down other gangs. You can customize your character in a number of ways and even play "naked." You can also kill pedestrians and police officers.

Ease of Play

This game isn't much different than past Saints Row titles. The console controller's analog sticks handle most of the movement and camera angles, while buttons are used to aim and fire weapons. Not too difficult, but those new to the franchise should play the intro mission to learn the mechanics.

 

Violence

This video game is extremely violent, bloody, and gory. Players can take chainsaws to enemies, resulting in copious amounts of blood and chunky flesh. They can also drive into people with vehicles and use weapons including pistols, shotguns, grenades, rockets, and swords to destroy both enemies and innocent civilians. Players can also kill police.

Sex

The game does not show full nudity but there is plenty of sexual imagery, references, and dialogue. Female characters show large amounts of cleavage, and the camera zooms in on their body parts, including breasts and buttocks. Prostitutes appear in the game and sex toys can be found lying around. Sexual intercourse takes place off camera, with moans and suggestive comments such as "how deep is it going in?" Some characters appear to be nude but genitalia is blurred out.

 

 

Language

Expect lots of strong profanity throughout the game, with words including "f--k," "f--king," "f--ker," "s--t," "c--k," p-ssy," as well as slightly less offensive words like "hell" and "damn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

This game includes imagery and references to illegal narcotics. Players will see drug paraphernalia lying around (bongs, etc.) and hear stories about someone trying heroin or being on crack. Some characters smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Saints Row: The Third is a mature title that attempts to push the envelope. The story is about a fight between rival gangs, and revels in actions both depraved and violent. Players can use ranged and melee weapons to kill rival gangs, as well as police and pedestrians. There is blood and gore in the game, too, though it's not very realistic. The game also has sexual imagery, including scantily dressed escorts, nude men and women with blurred genitalia, and moans and groans associated with sexual intercourse. It has strong profanity and drug and alcohol references, as well. Parents should note that this game supports open voice communication in online play, so players may hear inappropriate language and conversations.

 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bythornwivans April 18, 2019

Adult themes

Just watched someone beat people up in Santa Row 3 with a giant purple dildo then smash them to death with giant fists. It's cartoony but some things are t... Continue reading
Adult Written byKodie08 May 2, 2020

I think it’s okay for 11+

I think that as long as you occasionally check on them when they play and make sure they’re not doing anything you see as bad. Then it’s fine.
Teen, 13 years old Written byDani xlll August 10, 2019

my favorite game

its ok for 13+
sex: 2/5 sex drawings.
violence:4/5 violence in heavily glorified
cussing:4/5 f--k s--t a-s d--k said frequently
Kid, 11 years old July 17, 2012

Common Sense Media brought to you by Jack Thompson.

Okay, parents out there are probably thinking, “Oh my! It’s rated M for mature, so it HAS to be bad.” That’s completely wrong. First of all, you see blood every... Continue reading

What's it about?

THQ's SAINTS ROW: THE THIRD is an over-the-top, mature adventure with the same amount of violence, sex, and irreverence that made its predecessors become more than just Grand Theft Auto clones. Having taken over the city of Stilwater, the Third Street Saints organization –- now a household name in the city -- has set their sights on Steelport. The problem is that three rival gangs already have their claws dug into the city. The main goal throughout the many varied missions is to crush the competition and take over Steelport.

After a short introductory mission to get players familiar with the controls, players can begin customizing their character in myriad ways, adding bizarre animal, alien, and monster-like features if they desire. They can then begin diving into the game's wealth of primary and side missions, which include the franchise's popular insurance fraud challenges that have players steering their avatars into traffic to cause as much bodily harm as possible to net a big payout.

Is it any good?

Saints Row: The Third is ridiculous and outlandish, ending up as an entertainingly silly sequel for adult gamers. There are so many customization options, non-repetitive missions, memorable characters, and other extras packed onto the disc that it's plainly evident a lot of work went into the game's making. The money and respect players earn can be used to buy and unlock new goodies for your character (outfits, weapons, vehicles), so there's incentive to take on as many missions as possible, going on violent adventures that see them taking out rivals, protecting a convoy in a vehicle, and stealing evidence from a police station. It's worth adding the single-player game can be played in co-op mode with an online friend.

Downsides include so-so-graphics, a few technical glitches and slow pacing. However, those who take the game for what it is -- an absurd adventure that doesn’t take itself seriously -- will no doubt enjoy the cheeky experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the game being over-the-top and purposely irreverent. Do you think this dark fantasy appeals to some players because it is so forbidden in real life?

  • Families can also discuss the portrayal of gangster life in video games.  Should the game include realistic consequences for killing innocent civilians and law enforcement officers? What is the impact of media violence?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
  • Price: $59.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: THQ
  • Release date: November 15, 2011
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language
  • Last updated: June 20, 2019

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