A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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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."
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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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.