Published on July 18th, 2013 | by Greenie860
Why I prefer Saints Row to the GTA series
In eight years we have been graced with three Saints Row titles that have been an absolute pleasure to play and has provided many hours of fun and deep gameplay. It was quite bold of Volition to make this game and at the time there was not another game that had challenged the Grand Theft Auto series in both the gameplay and the storytelling. I personally, like many others downloaded the demo to see what was in store and boy Saints Row had me on a hook, reeling me in at a rapid amount of nots. I was not alone 350,000 Xbox Live users also downloaded the demo within the first week. It would be inevitable that the game would get compared to the mighty Grand Theft Auto and I do not think you would be telling the truth if you weren’t.
What strikes me with Saints Row is the less focus on a hardcore storyline and the lack of taking itself to seriously. To many people who do compare the game to Grand Theft Auto you would think this is a massive failure of the game, this is not the case. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with sandbox games that have deep storylines and complex game mechanics but the fun factor must at some point be a vital role in a game like this. Running round playing missions where the only objective is to smash as many bones as possible or to cause as much damage in the space of 90 seconds has kept me playing since the first game. Each Saints Row game has improved over time and the pinnacle of the series is Saints Row: The Third, featuring some great story driven downloadable content the game is bigger than ever with more outrageous stories featuring Hulk Hogan and battling huge brain dead men that if you must take out and if you so require can run around with a massive 100 foot dildo or the Genki Octopus Cannon
Most Grand Theft Auto fans will claim that Rockstar games have a fantastic story. While they are better than most of the stories that video games have to offer, they’re nothing special. Most of the time, your character is being contradictory to what his dialogue contains. For example, the main character in GTA IV Niko, claims that he wants to change the dangerous life he once led. Yet throughout Grand Theft Auto IV, you are killing cops, dealing drugs, and other criminal activities. The same can be said for Red Dead Redemption’s lead, John Marston. Although, I feel Marston’s character is much more justifiable, due to the circumstances he and his family are in. It still doesn’t make sense why he would assist a Necrophiliac though.
Saints Row avoids all these missteps by not taking itself seriously. The characters are completely off the wall and don’t abide to a serious story like GTA. The sections of dialogue are funny, while still being well written and very self-aware. The ability to create a character all on your own makes some situations that much more entertaining to watch. When choosing what voice you want your character to sound like, I chose the British accent. Partly because I am British but because it sounds more badass. You can also pick a zombie, in which your avatar mumbles and grunts when spoken to.
the fun factor must at some point be a vital role in a game like this
While I will acknowledge that Grand Theft Auto III changed the way we play open world games, that doesn’t mean another game can’t come along and improve upon it. Sure, you can drive around a realistic looking city, while cranking some of the well-known tunes that Rockstar is very adept and well-known for providing. But, there’s also a terrible checkpoint system that hinders most players from enjoying the intended experience. Not to mention that you have to drive to every mission location, making it tedious and boring. Contrary to this, LA Noire did the smart thing and gave you the option of letting your partner drive for you albeit taking a lot longer. The shooting mechanic also doesn’t exactly work the best. GTA IV is a five-year-old game at this point, and the third person shooter has since then evolved. Hand-to-hand combat is also somewhat clunky and just not very inspired.
Saints Row takes all of the major gameplay flaws of Grand Theft Auto and either streamlined them, or discards them completely. With the ability to replay the mission immediately after failing and unlocking missions once the respect is earned while completing side jobs. For example: in Saints Row: The Third, you can simply toggle a button to jump straight into a car, removing the wait time, and get your avatar on the road as quickly as possible. In that sense, Saints Row understands that your time is valuable and video games should first and foremost be about having fun. While the gunplay is nowhere as tight and refined as games such as say a Gears of War , it still gives a better sense of movement with the weapons. Not to mention all of the bizarre weapons as I mentioned earlier that Saints Row: The Third lets you play with. People either play Grand Theft Auto for the story, or to simply blow as much up as possible. Saints Row takes the blowing up part, and gives you an open world in which to do whatever your heart desperately desires. By the end of my twenty odd play through, my character was invincible and I felt that I deserved for my character to be like that unlike in other sandbox games. I think that the more amount of time you put into the game, and becoming a killing machine was a perfectly acceptable reward. How can I forget? There is a button strictly used for punching a person in the groin. No Sandbox game can really beat that You can’t beat that.
Rockstar did a great job with the multiplayer portion of GTA IV. The game lets you and your friends cause plenty of chaos throughout the city. In addition, you have a plethora of multiplayer modes to choose from. It would be great to see GTA V add more to these modes, just please don’t make it be deathmatch only, Rockstar.
Saints Row: The Third lets you play the campaign in its entirety with a buddy via co-op. This is one thing Grand Theft Auto has not done.
After the fourth installment of Saints Row there might be a complete change of story and might get a complete reboot to match, this will refresh the series again re invent itself of which the likes of Grand Theft Auto has done and being honest done well at.