A longstanding promise has been fulfilled as Saints Row is now finally gracing a Nintendo platform with its holy presence. It may not be the sworn Saints Row: Drive-By, which was announced for Nintendo 3DS during E3 2010, but Volition’s Saints Row: The Third – The Full Package has arrived and now prays at the altar of the Nintendo Switch.
While many sought Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V for Switch, the gods of gaming heard the pleas and sent saints to silence the cries. Saints Row: The Third – The Full Package offers a similar gameplay premise to GTA, but it turns up the absurdity to the highest levels imaginable & encourages the player to be reckless, violent, and irrational.
Saints Row: The Third – The Full Package for Switch may not differ all that much from the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC release of Saints Row: The Third; but the amount of content it offers at a budget price is hard to ignore.
To the game’s credit, it never attempts to hide or downplay its madcap nature. The opening mission has you rob a bank wearing comically oversized masks and this mission is rapidly followed up with you free falling from an airplane while shooting enemies on your descent back to Earth.
After these introductory missions, you find yourself grounded in the city of Steelport and motivated to have the city drop to its knees and worship your crew, the Saints. Preventing a simple take over are several eccentric rival gangs, and you’ll encounter them periodically over the course of the game’s campaign. Saints Row: The Third – The Full Package has a story to tell, but it mostly serves as background noise or gives a reason as to why a certain action is taking place.
Saints Row: The Third – The Full Package is at its best when you treat it as an unconventional sandbox game and just have fun with what it offers you. Accept story missions and advance through the main game or explore the city and make the game your playground. The experience doesn’t place many restrictions on the player. In fact, the game encourages you to cause havoc and unrest.
There is a wealth of secondary quests that will task players with creative objectives like committing insurance fraud by intentionally getting hit by a car. The secondary quests are often comical and provide some comic relief, though some are rudimentary and task the player with killing members of rival gangs or random pedestrians.
Thanks to the included DLC, Saints Row: The Third – The Full Package grants the player access to a vast arsenal of vehicles and weapons almost immediately. If you feel the need to leave a path of destruction, you can exit a garage with an alien technology powered tank and crush cop cars and shoot down police helicopters with ease.
Furthermore, the DLC elevates the merriment by contributing additional secondary quests like the outlandish ‘Gangstas in Space’ mission pack, in which you’ll find yourself aboard an alien space station and battling Space Amazon. It’s weird, it’s humorous, and it’s enjoyable.
If the main game doesn’t provide enough of a killing fix, there is Whored mode. Clever terminology aside, Whored Mode – also referred to as horde mode by other games, will challenge players to fight and kill waves of enemies. Yes, some waves will even feature prostitutes; however, each wave is unique and differs from the wave before it. Some of the later waves will have the player defeat zombie enemies or may require the player to use a purple dildo. It’s a very Saints Row spin on horde mode, and it is as bizarre as it is entertaining. Whored Mode can be played in local or online co-op.
Some of the game’s edgy humor hasn’t aged well and what was once viewed as extreme is now routine. Outdated humor aside, the biggest issue this Switch release faces is on the technical front. Though the resolution of the Switch version is higher than the PS3 and Xbox 360 release, the frame-rate remains inconsistent. During hectic sections, there is some noticeable slowdown, but we never found it to dip to unplayable levels. It’s a shame the game’s frame-rate isn’t a locked 30 frames per second, as that would have made for a more pleasant experience.
Saints Row: The Third – The Full Package is well endowed with content and entertainment value; nonetheless, this release on Switch isn’t perfect. Inconsistent frame-rate, noticeable pop-in, and dated humor put a limit on the game’s appeal. If you have never played this ridiculous game, then you should give this Switch release a look despite its technical shortcomings.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by THQ Nordic