Saints Row the Third

Saints Row 3 ( is a “GTA-like” game, where the player can explore/conquer the city as a gangster. (The game takes a light-hearted attitude to this theme).
ESRB Rating, M17+, Content Descriptors: Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language


  1. Lens of Endogenous Value
    1. As health will regenerate automatically over time, health is never important to the player for very long; if they have been injured, they will recover the health for free (so long as they are no longer in danger).
    2. Ammunition for weapons serves as quite valuable, as the player has only a limited supply of these. Enemies will drop some ammunition if they are killed. However, enemies do not always have the most powerful weapons, so the player will reserve ammunition for the more powerful weapons.
    3. The player earns ‘money’ in the game, from completing missions, or from regions they have conquered in the city. This money allows the player to buy ammunition, more territory, or to upgrade their character. (e.g. more powerful weapons).
      The player is motivated to use the money to improve their character’s ability so they can do things more easily.
    4. Vehicles are not valuable to the player, as the player can acquire a vehicle easily by stealing it; and once they ‘own’ it, they can then retrieve the vehicle for driving, even if the vehicle has been destroyed previously.
  2. Lens of Resonance
    1. Saints Row the Third allows the player to feel as if they are a powerful, violent gangster. When playing the game, you feel as if you can ‘own’ the city, or conquer those who oppose you.
    2. Part of this feeling of power involves expanding one’s influence and dominance, through completing missions, destroying hostile gang hideouts, or by buying property in the city.
    3. The city is very “open-world”, and allows the player to navigate the city however they choose; there are a variety of vehicles: the player can race about in a supercar, or ride on a motorbike, or even go on a reign of destruction in an army tank.
  3. Lens of Character
    1. The game takes a very light-hearted attitude to its violence, and the player is free to entertain a reign of chaos if they want to.
    2. However, the game is not very different in character from its predecessor, Saints Row 2.
    3. The game includes media both from the real world, as well as media ‘made up’ for the game. This media can be played on the radio in the game, and is referred to in the story.
  4. Lens of Visible Progress
    1. The game map visually highlights which areas of the city have been conquered. So, the player can see how much they have progressed from the proportion of the map which is highlighted.
    2. The more a player progresses in Saints Row the Third, the more powerful their player can become. They will have access to more powerful weapons.
      At the highest level of progress, the player can ‘unlock’ unlimited ammunition for their weapons, as well as becoming invulnerable to bullets and other such damage.
    3. At a smaller scale, the player can also ‘complete’ various mini-games which are scattered across the map, as well as completing available missions so as to progress in short, atomic steps.
  5. Lens of Freedom
    1. In the opening scenes of Saints Row the Third, the player must follow the storyline, before they are allowed to roam free and conquer the city. However, there are still restrictions: there are certain mini-games which can only be played after completing some of the main story missions.
      There is still a high degree of freedom allowed very early on for the player; although, the game does change as the game progresses (e.g. a certain district of the city gets invaded by zombies).
    2. The player is constrained by different sets of rules when they play the mini-games. These rules may grant the player unlimited ammunition for certain weapons for the duration of the mini-game, or may give the player a tank to cause mayhem with, or may give the game an entirely different focus by having the player race to various checkpoints.
    3. When the minigames were too restrictive, this did affect the player experience. However, the game had a huge allowance for freedom, which was never so much so as to be overwhelming.
      The game is almost a toy when the player is allowed to roam the city. (And the game does not necessarily “end” when the player has finished through the story).

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