Saints Row: The Third

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

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 39 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 73 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.

 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13 and 15 year old Written byDanielle72 March 25, 2012

Saints Row: The Third, for 13 and up!

Rated M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language. The Blood and gore is the same as Red Dead redemp... Continue reading
Adult Written byItsGr8 December 30, 2011

Get It!

This game is great for all kids 12 years and up. There's a lot of violence but the sexual references are just cleavage and bikinis the language is bad but... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byTruthAboutGames December 27, 2011

Saints Row: The Third, Remember It's Not Reality

I have recently purchased Saints Row: The Third after reading the rewiews on this website and I have deicied that I like this game. Even though I am not a viole... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byShafr0 December 10, 2011

Kids know what they are doing

Saints Row the Third was ment to be violet if you know you child you think he/she can handle it why not let him play it. If they start taking as a reality the t... 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

For kids who love action

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate