Saints Row: The Third E3 2011 Preview -- The Joys of Freefalling ShootoutsBy Jake Gaskill - Posted Jun 13, 2011
What We Already Know: For Saints Row: The Third, THQ and Volition Games are pulling out any remaining stops that might have somehow been left in place after Saints Row 2. You wouldn’t think there’d be any way for Volition to out crazy themselves, but they are definitely on track to do so. In our pre-E3 2011 preview, we introduced you to the world of The Third and ran you through the opening level in the game where the saints pull off a spectacular bank heist, only to be caught by the bank’s controllers, the evil corporation known as the Syndicate.
What We’re Seeing Now: For E3 proper, THQ showed us the follow up to said bank heist, which features the saints being arrested for the bank robbery, only to be freed by the Syndicate and taken aboard a airplane to answer for their deeds. Once on board, the saints manage to break free from their captors, kicking off a high-thrills shootout filled with over-the-top madness.
The gunfight through the plane played out as you’d expect, but once the saints reach the rear of the plane and Shaundi, one of our fellow saints is knocked out of the plane without a parachute on, the action takes on a whole new dimension. Freefalling from 35,000 feet to catch someone would be insane enough, but for this sequence, you must maneuver through falling debris and cargo like cars that be blown up in midair or massive storage containers, all the while shooting enemies who are also skydiving around you. As some points, you have to blow up falling cars just to clear your path that’s how much stuff there is around you, and you can even grab enemies and use them as human shields as you're falling.
With the city of Steelport twinkling below and rising up to our character at a terrifyingly quick pace, we catch Shaundi and pull our chute. However, the now peaceful rendezvous doesn’t last long as the plane we leapt out of has now descended, and is heading straight for us. With no other available option, we let go of Shaundi and unlatch our parachute just as the plane comes roaring towards us. We crash through the cockpit windows, fly straight through the plane, capping dudes along the way, until exiting the back of the plane through the cargo hold we just leapt out of moments before. For there, we have to freefall to catch Shaundi yet again, shooting enemies and blowing up cars along the way.
As you can probably tell, this sequence typifies precisely the tone and scale Volition is shooting for with The Third. Given the two levels we’ve seen, the game is more brash, absurd, and varied than the previous installments, and will no doubt be the premier “I can’t believe that just happened” title of 2012.