Saints Row the third is almost upon us, and the title looks like a mountain of crazy, ultra-violent fun, with nary a sombre theme to be seen in its narrative so far. Its this very disregard for anything serious that has made the franchise so popular, with THQ Core Games boss Danny Bilson explaining that the market is ripe for an open-world genre game that is both ambitious and goofy.
“I look at Saints Row as a send-up, a parody, a comment on all of the other big, open-world crime games that have come before”, Bilson told WorthPlaying. “Personally, I love those games and play them top to bottom, but some of those have become very believable in their own reality – almost like the Martin Scorsese version of a game”.
“This one has gone much more, for me, to the underground comic book version.”
Bilson then explained how Saints Row 3 had been designed in order to give gamers an environment that was more fun and exploration-friendly.
“It’s almost like the other games have gone more straight cinematic, and I can’t in any way criticize them” Bilson said. “I play them all and really love them, and this one’s gone really gaming, gamer, fun factor, wild, crazy and customizable”.
But don’t think that the market for for sandbox genre games can only lean to one side, as Bilson explained how both sub-genres could co-exist, provided that they remained ambitious.
“There’s nothing wrong with the more cinematic development of these epic experiences because I do think, whether it’s Saints Row and it’s epic comedy or ‘It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World’ kind of epic or a competitor’s phenomenal games, a great epic experience is really the only thing that’s going to work financially in the marketplace”, Bilson said. “You have to give the user a lot of value for $60”.
Personally, I love the Saints Row series. Everything from the characters to the way a car handles is what I want and expect in a sandbox game, with an abundance of crazy attitude thrown in. What other game would have allowed me to run around a city dressed in a mankini and clown make-up, armed only with a sex-toy?
Saints Row The Third launches November 18 on PS3, PC and Xbox 360 next month.
Last Updated: November 2, 2011