[Update: I've been informed that that Saints Row 3 will not have a skinny/fat feature. Most of the info seems genuine from what I've received from Volition, but definitely not that bit!]
The first details for Volition's Saints Row 3 have made their way online, and naturally, we're here to soak up the news like big, dirty news sponges. The biggest nugget of gold is the fact that online competitive multiplayer will no longer be part of the game, although co-op will still remain.
That sounds alright to me. Less time spent on a forgettable multiplayer equals more time spent on an even more memorable single-player. I don't think every game needs a competitive online mode, and that was never why I played Saints Row 2. What do you reckon? Good idea, or bad idea?
In any case, check below for the full details. There's a lot!
Saints Row 3 starts with a bungled heist that sees the majority of the gang jailed. This raises the ire of a new gang, the Syndicate, which holds you and your closest allies prisoner on a jet. The gang wants to squeeze a percentage of the Saints' monthly profits, which of course leads to a fight and causes your character to jump out of the jet. That's how the Saints roll.
Johnny Gat and Shaundi, two of your major allies from Saints Row 2, will be returning as accomplices.
Weapons can now be upgraded. For example, you can fit sniper scopes and under-barrel grenade launchers to the assault rifle.
Another character is Oleg, an eight-foot-tall monster of a man that can toss cars around. The Syndicate attempts to clone him, but science goes wrong and creates a bunch of dumb copies. These will show up as new enemy types in the game.
A new RC gun lets you shoot an electronic bug that can control vehicles remotely. You will be able to upgrade it to control tanks and air transport.
Three new gangs: Morning Star, which model themselves after masked wrestlers. The Deckers, computer nerds into money laundering and security. STAG, a government-sanctioned group designed to destroy other gangs.
Missions can be completed in multiple ways. For instance, you could blow up an important skyscraper, or take the building over. Another example if stealing a Morning Star boat full of prostitutes -- you can sell the boat back to the gang, or keep it and pimp the girls yourself for profit.
A traditional leveling system has been included this time. Your Respect gauge now works like experience points. You'll rank up with increased respect, and kit out your character with new perks and weapons. Player choice will be paramount. You'll also earn points to make yourself skinnier or fatter, similar to GTA: San Andreas.
Cars can be upgraded with more features this time. Various aesthetic and performance tweaks will be offered, such as durable bumpers, extra speed, oversized spoilers and colored underglows. More costume options for the player character are, of course, available. Confirmed costumes include space suits, cowboys/cowgirls, cheerleaders, mexican wrestlers, superheroes, pirates, ninjas, and furries.
New weapons include a giant dildo and tactical airstrikes. That is the most extreme spectrum I've seen.
Every single weapon has included a specific animation for nut shots. With a pistol, you'll drop to a knee and whip the gun into the fruits. With a bazooka, you'll take a full golf swing at the tender portions.
The button for sprinting has been dubbed the AWESOME button because, in contextual situations, it will make your character do cool things. For example, if you sprint to a car, you'll do a missile dropkick through the window to hijack cars more efficiently.
Confirmed Activity side-missions include: Professor Genki's Super Ethical Reality Climax, a Japanese game show full of dangerous stunts and, I'm sure, plenty of charming racism. Tank Mayhem, in which you use a tank to destroy specific high value targets. Guardian Angel, where you must drive carefully around town with a tiger in the back of your car.
As earlier stated, online multiplayer has been killed off, but the co-op remains intact.
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