You probably looked at the title of this article, raged furiously, and went straight to the comment section before even listening to what I have to say. Or you’re a well-mannered individual that enjoys a good debate. Whatever the case, the following is why I think that Saints Row: The Third is a better game than Grand Theft Auto IV.
Most Rockstar fanboys claim that Rockstar games have an fantastic story. While they are better than most of the hammy stories that several video games consist of, 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 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. Just sounds more badass. You can also pick a zombie, in which your avatar mumbles and grunts when spoken to.
I acknowledge that GTA III changed the way we play open world games, but that doesn’t mean another game can’t come along and improve upon it. Sure, in GTA you can drive around a realistic looking city, while cranking some of the well-known tunes that Rockstar is 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 inconvenient. Contrary to this, LA Noire did the smart thing and gave you the option of letting your partner drive for you. The shooting mechanic also doesn’t exactly work the best. Granted, 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. Hopefully GTA V will learn from other third person shooters, refining the shooting mechanic that was previously implemented in the previous games.
Saints Row takes all of the major gameplay flaws of GTA IV and either streamlines them, or discards them completely. 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 Gears of War 3, it still gives a better sense of movement with the weapons. Not to mention all of the bizarre weapons that SR3 lets you play with. People either play GTA for the story, or to simply, ”blow shit up”. Saints Row takes the “blowing shit up” part, and gives you a playground to do whatever your dastardly heart desires. By the end of my thirty-hour playthrough, my character was invincible, and I felt that I deserved that. I put a hefty amount of time into the game, and becoming a killing machine was a perfectly acceptable reward. Plus, there is a button strictly used for punching a person in the groin. 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 GTA V could definitely use. However, I hope that the next game in the Saints Row series has a better multiplayer mode than “whored mode” which, given its poke at Gears of War, is a poor man’s version of Horde mode. Something like the multitude of multiplayer modes in GTA IV would work really well in a Saints Row title.
I have nothing against Rockstar or its games. But the fact that GTA IV has one of the highest scores on Metacritic just screams that the game is highly overrated. The game was overhyped by Rockstar and the sales prove that point even further. Less than thirty percent of the people that played GTA IV finished the game. Weather you agree or disagree with me, I hope you understand that I want every game to be an enjoyable experience. The world of video games would be better for it. Here’s to GTA V and the Next Saints Row being better than the former.
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