Saints Row The Third: Part 2

By Shamus
on Jun 11, 2012
Filed under:
Game Reviews

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I’ll repeat my earlier warning: Spoilers ahead. I mean, this game is really, really obvious and I sort of balk at the notion that any of this could spoil the game for you. Don’t get me wrong, Stuff Happens in this game, and People Die, but it’s all played for lulz and I don’t think the plot is the driving force here. But fair warning: Stuff will be spoiled.

In fact, we’re going to start with the biggest spoiler of all, which happens in the first 15 minutes of the game…

Jonny Gat Dies!

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So Jonny Gat… dies in the tutorial?

Throughout the game, I never believed he was dead. He’s easily the most recognizable and iconic character in the series, and his personality was a perfect snapshot of the game’s gleefully manic and single-minded approach to fun and murder. Jonny Gat was the personification of Saints Row itself and served as the visual representative of the game because the main character has no set race or gender.

I couldn’t imagine that Volition would kill him off, and so I wasn’t buying his off-screen death without a funeral, a body, or a proper goodbye. When the game began wrapping up and he was still dead, I was genuinely surprised.

Why did they kill him off? It’s not like they needed to manufacture a motive for the main characters to take over a city and kill their enemies. The cast certainly didn’t need much of an incentive in Saints Row 2. Besides, you kind of avenge his death at the end of the first act, which makes his death a very expensive means of driving a small part of the story that didn’t need any help in the first place.

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I still have this nagging suspicion that they might be planning some kind of “Search for Spock” gag in the next game. Maybe combine it with a parody of the “Tupac Lives” meme.

I’m not angry that they killed off Gat. I don’t miss him the way I might miss Garrus Vakarian or Jolee Bindo. Gat’s character archetype could easily be replaced with another new character if that’s what they wanted to do. It’s just a strange business decision. I think he was worth far more to the writers than he was to the player. It must have been very handy to be able to say, “And then Jonny Gat lampshades the whole stupid plan with a joke and the mission proceeds.”

I can’t imagine why they would get rid of such a useful character. It’s particularly strange that they didn’t really replace him with another lunatic muderjoke character. Speaking of which…

Shaundi

In Saints Row 2, this was Shaundi:

saintsrow2_shaundi.jpg

She was a hippie, a burnout, and a slacker. The kind of bohemian woman who would decorate her apartment with lava lamps, beanbags and beaded curtains, and would always have some nameless friend-of-a-friend sleeping on her couch. While everyone in the Third Street Saints is a homicidal maniac, she was always the mellow one in relative terms. Usually the voice of reason, Shaundi had a low, relaxed delivery.

Despite being burned out by drugs, she still managed to come off as the smartest member of the team. (Not that the competition was particularly fierce.)

In the sequel, this is Shaundi:

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A Maxim-looking babe who has no discernible personality beyond “angry”. You might argue that this personality shift was the result of what happened to Johnny Gat in the tutorial, but note that she was angry and complaining throughout the mission, long before anything happened to Johnny. It’s not that events changed her, it’s that Volition replaced her with a completely different and much less interesting character. They even replaced her voice actress. I don’t know why they didn’t just put her on a bus and bring in a new character that suited their purposes better.

At least once a week, someone says this while we’re recording Spoiler Warning.
At least once a week, someone says this while we’re recording Spoiler Warning.

New Shaundi comes off as crazy and angry all the time, but unlike with Jonny Gat she doesn’t get to be witty or clever. At best she’s used as a target for cheap laughs as the other characters agitate her into another fit of impotent fury. She doesn’t make jokes, she’s the butt of them.

In the middle of the game there’s a series of quests where Shaundi has to keep Josh prisoner. Josh is an annoying actor who has a crush on her and won’t stop hitting on her. All of the comedy here comes from Shaundi getting pissed off and growling without ever doing anything. She’s completely toothless.

Note that if someone was stupid enough to deliberately agitate Johnny Gat, he would have found an amusing way to shut them up. You’d come home to find Johnny hanging the guy out the window by his ankles, or that he and Pierce were taking turns tasering him for sport. Instead, Shaundi whines and makes empty threats. Ha ha! Look at how stupid and powerless she is in the face of an unarmed actor.

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Despite all her bark, she does very little biting and doesn’t seem to get much in the way of revenge. In fact, this new “badass” Shaundi manages to get captured by the bad guys. Twice. So her new character focus is violence and aggression, but she’s apparently weaker then old “stoner” Shaundi. She’s our replacement crazy person for absent Gat, except she’s irritating, inept, and humorless.

She was arguably the most interesting character in the game, and she’s been replaced with a one-note dunce who basically looks like any of the generic bimbos that inhabit Steelport.

What a stupid waste.

Pierce

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Man, I don’t know what to say about Pierce. I mean, the opening crawl sort of covers it…

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Actually, his status as the “whiny one” goes to show just how badly they messed up with Shaundi. When Pierce is whiny it comes off as funny because it’s usually a set-up for a joke. Shaundi’s whining is the joke.

What a stupid waste.

The Newcomers

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Nerd-bait Kinzie Kensington was probably the standout success among the new allies introduced in the game. While the Kinzie missions were rudderless like almost everything else in the second act, hers were slightly more focused than the others. Also, the “computer hacker” archetype is a handy one for the purposes of mission design and exposition, so she was a much-needed addition to the lineup.

Q: Hey, how does Kinzie suddenly have such strangely detailed information on the bad guys required for this mission?

A: She computer-hacked it!

She arguably has replaced Shaundi as the source of direction and the voice of reason for the team.

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I also liked Oleg the gentle giant. It would have been nice if he’d had some missions for the player to do. I would have been glad to trade a few Zimos missions or a couple of the more pointless Kinzie missions for a chance to work with Oleg directly.

I also love that you don’t need to wait for him to get in the car when you’re rolling with him. He can run through the city and catch up on his own, on foot. He’s like the Hulk or something. This is important because all the other ally companions seem to use the same navigation code:

void Getaway ()
{
    //This is called when the player is trying to escape a gunfight in 
    //a vehicle and they're waiting for their companion to get in.
    while (NumPoppedTires () < 4) {
        RunTowardsCar ();
        RunAroundCar ();
        StareAtCar ();
        RunAwayFromCar ();
    }
}

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Angel was less interesting. I’m glad to see Hulk Hogan working, but they didn’t really do much with his character in this game. He didn’t have an angle on the Syndicate. He didn’t have money, weapons, power, or intelligence. All he had was fortune-cookie wrestleman platitudes. He starts off spouting wisdom about facing your foes, or your fears, or whatever it was that he was on about.

Later you help him recover his luchador mask from the casino vault. (Which is inexplicably hanging open. And hang on, I’m a gangster, right? Why am I in a vault and not filling my pockets with cash?) Suddenly Angel starts talking about how he never had the confidence to regain his mask until he met the Saints. Or something? So I guess he had a whole character arc take place off-screen while we were doing jobs for Kinzie and Zimos?

Again, I don’t want to give the impression that I’m expecting Planescape Torment level writing from this thing. I understand the story is mostly an excuse to blow stuff up. But the whole, “Meeting the Saints has somehow provided an unseen solution to an unseen problem” struck me as being an odd thing to put in there.

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Zimos was the weakest of the new lineup. He was funny at first, but “guy who says everything auto-tuned” is more funny on paper than it is in practice. After a while I got sick of his musical dialog and his sleazy pimp act. I suppose it doesn’t help that most of his missions suffered from a bad case of, “This is kind of fun but I have no idea why we’re doing it.”

Unlike all of the other characters, Zimos vanishes from the story once you’re done with his missions. You can still call him up and have him accompany you on open-world activities, but he doesn’t have any further involvement with the plot.

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From the Archives:

  1. Rutskarn says:

    These posts make me appreciate the story of the second one a little more. Say what you want about the nonstop hypergangster bulletgasm of SR2, but it had logical arcs and made a good amount of sense, given, at least, the inherently senseless backdrop.

    That’s one thing Saints Row the Third lost, putting it on par with…well, to be honest, too many other games.

    • James Pony says:

      I’m a bit biased in favor of SR3 because SR2 keeps glitching, crashing, failing to load areas, having crap FPS, I do not know how to use food items and I had to install some XBOX-controller emulator just to get the game to start (could get into menu, but New Game was instant CTD). Steam store’s MINIMUM system requirements for SR3 exceed my machine, but it runs way smoother and hardly ever suffers from glitches and I can really only remember one or two actual crashes.

      • Johan says:

        Yeah, it’s a horrible port. The crazy thing is though, it seemed to somewhat work better on my old computer made of twine and powered by hamsters than it does on my new computer made of solid gold and powered by nuclear fusion

        On my old computer I had to turn the graphics to the very minimum just to run, but I rarely had CTDs. Of course I couldn’t run it for long, after about 1 hour or playtime the game would slow to a crawl, I would have to laboriously open up the menu, save the game, and then exit the game, and restart it just to play. Maddening

        BUT, on my new computer I have an entirely DIFFERENT set of problems. The most obvious one is CTDs, I have those now. Commonly I go to open a car door and CTD just as I’m about to get in. Then there are the cutscenes. Something happened so that objects in the cutscenes don’t match up any more. One cutscene has Tobius come out in a pilot’s helmet and then drop the visor, on my old computer that worked, on the new one the helmet is actually a foot to the LEFT of his head, hovering in space.
        Then there’s any cutscene in a car. In another cutscene Jyunichi is talking on the phone while driving. On my new computer the cellphone will clip through his hand and move back as though it stays in place as the car moves forward

        Yeah, it was a horrible port

        • James Pony says:

          My SR2 somehow refuses to let me turn the resolution to anything under 1600×900, so I can’t really even try anything meaningful to make it work better.

          Sucks, because it’s obvious that the game itself is great, but you just can’t, you know, actually play it for reals.

      • ps238principal says:

        Not owning either SR2 or SR3, has the SR2 bug-crash stuff been resolved somewhat since its release on Steam? Were patches made for these problems, or is it still prone to dump one unceremoniously back to the desktop?

        • James Pony says:

          As far as I know, the console version of SR2 was finished, then Volition took off for a Johnny Gat-inspired 30-day booze and cocaine bender, some hobo threw some lobotomized monkeys into the publisher’s offices while high on glue and somehow a PC port of SR2 came out and then it was available on Steam THE END.

          And according to wiki there was some console-exclusive DLC.

        • X2Eliah says:

          Ahahahahahahahaha no. Steam version has 0 fixes as far as I’m concerned.

    • rayen says:

      i dunno about anyone else but my first time through SR2, when Carlos died it hit me hard. Like when NPCs gave that random “whatever happened to that nice boy carlos?” to me, a fit of homicidal rage shook stillwater for a few minutes.

      Gat dying never really gave me that feeling. I don’t know if thats just me personally, but thats why i feel SR2 is superior (in it’s writing at least) to SR3.

      • AbruptDemise says:

        Interesting, since he dies very early on. It’s like the ‘taking away the character that the player was just introduced to’ thing that so many other games pull in an attempt to garner player sympathy. The fact that Carlos was mercy-killed seems a bit contrived, too, though it probably makes more sense if you factor in the boss’ super strength – at least in this case.

        Johnny’s death had surprisingly less impact, mostly because everyone thought that Volition wouldn’t do something like that, and he’d be back alive by the end of the game. I’m sure Shamus isn’t the only one who assumed that, I know I did. It just feels unsatisfying, since his death was pretty much pointless. Shaundi was going to have a character arc about Survivor Guilt, but that got cut, which… well, yeah. It would’ve been better if it hadn’t.

  2. Michael says:

    Regarding Gat
    In one of the DLC add-ons, Gat is cloned and returns as a Hulk-ed out zombie creature…

    • kuyo says:

      He’s given that treatment in the main game. He shows up in a hearse and runs around punching people.

      • Sagretti says:

        The DLC is way different than the Gat companion. The Trouble with Clones Gat is a massive, Hulk like monster that’s been cloned from the original Gat. He’s incredibly dimwitted and you have to chase him the entire DLC. Also, it’s the worst DLC of the 3 released, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, he’s definitely not a run of the mill, unexplained zombie like the Gat companion you unlock by finishing the standard game.

        • Irridium says:

          The zombie companions are kind of a trope of the Saints Row games.

          In SR1 an important character dies and you get a zombie companion out of it. In SR2 same thing. SR3 was just continuing the tradition.

        • Woodthorn says:

          The climax of that DLC was fun though, at least to me.

          • Sagretti says:

            Oh, that was definitely the only fun part of the DLC. Unfortunately, it was kind of spoiled when the DLC ended and you receive no way to access your awesome powers or the few interesting weapons you received again. At least the Professor Genki DLC gave you a lot of toys to carry over to the rest of the game.

  3. Lungman says:

    Yeah, the second game had a perfect mix of everything but people mainly praised it for being colourful in the midst of mud grey shooters so the developers took that and ran with it, for better or worse.

  4. Lungman says:

    Also, I never realised that Hulk Hogan voiced Angel until you pointed that out, which makes it really weird that they made his character this quiet, restrained honorable wrestler, rather than, you know, Hulk Hogan

  5. MechaCrash says:

    I assume that you chose to keep the tower for cash instead of blowing it up for respect? A friend who chose the “blow it up” option told me that after doing so, the Boss says that it’s time to go home and give Johnny a funeral. That’s why you’re all on the bridge that gets attacked.

    • Lungman says:

      Regardless of your choice, the next level starts with Gat’s funeral. Sort of. It shows you, Peirce, Shaundi and Oleg in cars with a pimped out hearse, never actually showing the funeral or anything.

      • Sagretti says:

        I think the idea is that you’re waiting for the bridge dedication ceremony to finish so you use it to get back to Stillwater for the funeral, which is when the Luchadores attack and frame you. Unfortunately, it’s probably the weakest story moment in the game, because I’m still not completely sure I’m right about what’s going on in that scene.

  6. Irridium says:

    I figured they’d have Gat come into the story later.

    I thought something would happen after that meeting in the park with that one hobo playing guitar. When you mention Gat dies, he stops playing, then after a bit he starts up again. It even zooms in so you can see it.

    Surprised nothing happened with that.

  7. krellen says:

    Regarding Shaundi: “Let’s replace Eliza Dushku” is always a losing proposition.

  8. Torsten says:

    One of the DLC packs has a story around some nerd fan of the Saints cloning Johnny Gat and bringing him back to life. It doesn’t go well.
    You can also get Zombie Gat as one of your homies later in the game.

    Shaundi did come of as a very shallow character. After SR2 she had apparently become a reality-TV star, so that could explain why she comes of as a diva. I also got the impression that she and Johnny had been together between SR2 and the Third.

    Personally I liked Viola’s character and missions the most. Her missions usually moved the plot forward, and she and Angel really seemed to be the only characters whose motivations to join the Saints were clear throughout their story arc.

  9. zob says:

    Those changes may have real-life reasons. Eliza Dushku and Daniel Dae Kim may have refused to participate, asked for too much money or didn’t have time for the game. Or producers might have axed them to keep budget under a certain level. Those things happen.

    • Torsten says:

      Those are probably the real reasons behind the changes. It is still a little weird that instead of killing both characters they kept the less iconic one but changed her personality.

    • Sean Riley says:

      Bingo. Budget hurt.

      Which STILL doesn’t explain why they couldn’t have done it better. Watch, I can write out Gat in a couple lines of dialogue.

      “That’s it. We need every heavy hitter we got in Steelport, NOW.”
      “Boss, after that bank stunt, we got the whole Stillwater PD up our asses. Plus, three colour coded gangs have shown up, maybe four. I dunno, intel ain’t workin’ out.”
      “Fine. Gat kills four gangs and the police.”
      “Fuck, why don’t I get a holiday?”
      “Everyone else, get your asses to Steelport.”

    • Michael says:

      I thought I remembered reading something about budget cuts before the game was released. They didn’t say specifically what was affected, but when the game came out I assumed that was the reason for “killing off” Gat off-screen in such a way that he could potentially be brought back in a sequel, and for the lack of polish in a few other areas. Now I can’t find the article, and I’m starting to wonder if I imagined it.

    • Mr Guy says:

      So, lemme get this straight…

      Daniel Dae Kim was too expensive for more than a few minute’s work. But there was money in the budget for Hulk Hogan, Burt Reynolds, and Sasha Grey?

      Oh, and also, since they basically announced with Shaundi they weren’t above re-voicing a distinctive character, they couldn’t have found someone who sounded close enough to keep Johnny G around? I mean, it’s Saints Bloody Row. They could have played it off as Johnny having a cold for the entire game.

  10. Tam O'Connor says:

    The usual explanation for Shaundi’s character shift is that she switched from marijuana to cocaine.

  11. webrunner says:

    Are you going to cover the enemy gangs separately? Surprised there’s no mention of http://DECKERS.DIE when talking about Kinzie’s missions.

  12. Johan says:

    “Nerd-bait Kinzie Kensington was probably the standout success among the new allies introduced in the game. While the Kinzie missions were rudderless like almost everything else in the second act, hers were slightly more focused than the others. Also, the “computer hacker” archetype is a handy one for the purposes of mission design and exposition, so she was a much-needed addition to the lineup. ”
    I hated Kinzie, it’s probably just because of the sorts of television I watched in my younger days… and continue to watch now, but she seemed a carbon copy of every nerd character that I didn’t like on television, example:
    Nerdy McNerd: “overly long and obtuse rambling about the task at hand”
    Straight man: “speak english!”
    From here the joke diverged one of two ways
    DIVERGENCE A: Nerdy Character says “I was”
    DIVERGENCE B: Nerdy Character says: “you need to put the ball in the cup” or something equally mundane

    See the problem with this isn’t the joke itself, it can work the first time… or even the second or third. But once that becomes the ONLY joke they make, it just becomes maddening. This might be entirely personal, but I had basically heard all of Kinzie’s jokes years before, and it was grating hearing them all again. Also the thing she did over the phone where she says everything then gradually gives it context over the rest of the phone conversation. I’ve heard that one too many times too.

    I liked her in the beginning, she was really fun to meet in the first mission and she seemed to be the one Lieutenant closest to actually doing productive things for the Saints, but otherwise I didn’t like hearing all the same jokes I’ve heard on TV

    Other than that you got the characters spot on, well spot on to how I saw them

    • PurePareidolia says:

      Ugh, the worst part is where they say something perfectly reasonable that I understand exactly, then they still do the “Speak English!” thing. Especially when it’s my character asking them to speak English. I loved that about the Fallout series – any time someone says something technobabbley a smart or sciencey enough character can understand them, and we don’t have to be told everything the long way as well.

      Last time I saw it was in Men in Black 3 where O’s telling J about the time travel shenanigans. They kind of had the cover of “you’re talking nonsense because if it was a real thing, I as a senior MIB agent would already know about it” but it still bugged me that a guy who works for the MIB wouldn’t have some basic understanding of sci-fi terms.

      • krellen says:

        You, the player, are likely a lot smarter than the protagonist of Saint’s Row. Smarts is not the “Boss”‘s strong suit.

      • Bret says:

        Loved the version in the Avengers, myself. Enough to excuse the standard use later

        Banner gives some technobabble. Stark turns to him with relief.

        “Finally, someone who speaks English.”

    • swimon1 says:

      Personally I kinda like that joke but if you don’t I get how Kinzie could be annoying. That said Kinzie do have more jokes than that. There’s also the shut-in jokes, the paranoid jokes, the workaholic jokes and the more subtle (by SR3 standard) jokes about her sexuality. Again I get not liking her since the Doc Brown jokes get revisited a bit much but saying she only has one joke is selling her short.

  13. Hitch says:

    I still have this nagging suspicion that they might be planning some kind of “Search for Spock” gag in the next game. Maybe combine it with a parody of the “Tupac Lives” meme.

    “Tuvok Lives?” I’m sorry. I feel bad about myself. I’ll go away now.

  14. Amnestic says:

    I was exactly the same with Gat. Even when I reached the final mission and cutscene I was expecting…something. It just seemed so weird that this central character who was basically a driving force for the Saints at the start of SR2 would get an off-screen death in the tutorial section.

    SR2 Spoilers:As others have said, contrast it with Carlos in SR2 which had a moving cutscene in which you were forced to mercy kill a guy who had been with you for the entire game, a young guy who was perhaps in more than a little over his head. He’d been tortured for hours(?) because of you. Yeah, you could call him back as Zombie Carlos later, but they still treated his death with the reverence it deserved. Same for Aisha and she wasn’t even a Homie.

    • Johan says:

      To be honest, I was never really moved by the Carlos scene, and actually felt worse for Aisha (who really was mostly an innocent bystander)

      My problem with Carlos’s scene was that it didn’t seem to work within the world, AND it pissed me off in the gameplay. The problem in the world is that SR2 is a game where you can fly your plane into the ground, be engulfed in a fiery explosion, and then immediately wake up outside the hospital. The problem with the gameplay was that if he was going to die anyway then WHY DO I HAVE TO RUSH? And why do I fail the mission if I take too long?

      See when I finally won that mission, I saw Carlos laying there, attached to a chain, attached to a truck. He sort of moves/groans a little and I thought “oh, OK, he’s still alive, we’ll take him to the hospital the way we did Gat, he’ll have a few missions to recover and then, oh what’s that? I can’t get him off the bumper? Strange, bumpers seem to be attached with children’s glue on every other car, well I’m sure we can just call someone and- oh what’s this? oh, OH, I see where we’re going… but I don’t see why
      But I understand why it was moving for everyone else

      • Amnestic says:

        I get where you’re coming from. It didn’t happen to me, but the concept of not being moved by something because of niggling details in a scene is one I don’t think many people are strangers to.

      • acronix says:

        For me it didn’t work because Carlos didn’t fit in the Saints’ world. He had to either become a maniac suddenly or die. So his death was inevitable. The fact he only appears on one gang story-line at all didn’t help: I made every other one first, so I was sort of deattached when his death happened.

        • MintSkittle says:

          I did the Brotherhood missions last, and since he doesn’t appear in the other gang arcs, I forgot about him. When I finally got around to the Brotherhood missions, I had to stop a moment to remember who this guy was.

          • DirigibleHate says:

            I did the Brotherhood missions last and didn’t have that problem at all.

            In fact the only problem I had with the Brotherhood missions is that your gang is referred to as a tiny upstart that’s long past its glory days. After I’ve conquered two-thirds of the city.

        • Mr Guy says:

          I think he has the most interesting arc in the story.

          Carlos wants to be a big-time gangster. He admires you. He gets himself shiv’d just to get into the hospital to help you. He’s the one who busts you out of jail. He helps you rebuild the Saints.

          Then it all goes wrong. It’s harder than it seems, and it doesn’t come naturally to him the way he probably thought it would. He gets captured, tortured, and eventually his idol shoots him out of pity.

          He’s one of only two characters in the whole game (Donnie is the other) who represent “Hey, this whole being a gangster thing might not be as glamorous as we make it seem in this game!”

    • CalDazar says:

      Speaking of Aisha.
      Spoilers
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4928bfnr6E

      This is why I couldn’t imagine Gat being dead. Nobody gets the better of him.

  15. GEBIV says:

    The only guess I could make at the reason behind killing off Johnny Gat was Daniel Dae Kim having too much on his plate with the Hawaii Five-O shooting schedule to fully voice the character for the whole game.

    • chiefnewo says:

      I seem to recall that this is the reason. Not necessarily 5-0 specifically, but that Dan Kim didn’t have the time to voice a full game. Unfortunately Volition chose the most annoying way to work around this. The sensible option would have been to send him back to Stilwater and talk to him on the phone occasionally. And when you call him as a homie, he flies in on a jet and parachutes in as the jet crashes into a nearby building.

  16. Jokerman says:

    Shaundi really was the worst design decision in this game, she really was a decent female character and somehow pulled it off while her being a slut was one of the running jokes of the game. She was also vulnerable in the first, getting captured but she wasnt making threats and acting tough at the same time….

    • Johan says:

      Well one of the cool things was that, by common parlance she was a slut, but the game didn’t treat her like it was a bad thing, she was apparently on good relations with all her ex’s, enough to have an information network to rival the KGB
      She was like the reverse of Scott Pilgrim’s girlfriend

  17. Peter H. Coffin says:

    So, we’ve got one character written out (possibly due to voice talent being unavailable) and another radically changed (possibly due to voice talent being unavailable). The remaining option to deal with unavailable is to try to change as little as possible and end up with a Darrin Stevens situation. The question before us then is, all things being otherwise equal, which do we prefer?

    (Personally, I think I’m more in favor of the Darrin option. I can at least pretend nothings different then, along with the rest of the game world, and it’s a situation that a simple lampshade will tend to fix.)

    • Bubble181 says:

      There’s always the Luitenant Ivanova style of “replace with an eerily similar character to fill the exact same role”. Which I’m not a huge fan of, either.

      I still say just excusing their absence temporarily in-story is the best way to go.

  18. Klay F. says:

    Forgive me if I’m incorrect, but isn’t killing a character off-screen like they did pretty much guaranteeing that they’ll come back? I thought that was like a rule of storytelling or something. I have literally never heard a story that killed a character offscreen that didn’t have them come back at some point. Honestly, amateur doesn’t even begin to describe that kind of screw up.

    • MintSkittle says:

      While that is normally true, there is a cutscene just after act 1 where the Saints are waiting for a bridge dedication to finish, and one of the Saints’ vehicles is a pimped-out hearse, implying that their going to a funeral, and the only noteworthy Saint who’s dead is Gat.

      • Amnestic says:

        Where would they have gotten his body from though? And I’m fairly certain the hearse in that cutscene got exploded (or at least launched off the bridge) during the attack. If it did have Gat’s body, was it then blown up too? Or sank to the bottom of the river?

        • MintSkittle says:

          Maybe the Syndicate guy mailed them the body? Or maybe it was in a crate in the loading dock of the Syndicate Tower? It’s never explained how they got Gat’s body, but yes, the hearse did end up at the bottom of the river after the bridge attack.

          EDIT: Maybe they didn’t get the body back, and were doing an empty casket thing.

    • Bubble181 says:

      Either that, or “disappearance due to contract issues”. They’ll usually just put them on a bus, but if the contract negotiations were especially rough, sometimes they’re just killed off off screen.

      This case? If they can convince the voice actor to come back, sure he’ll be back.

  19. Sucal says:

    Personally I have a feeling that Johhny Gat will be the villain of the next game. I mean according to rumor its been referred to as ‘return to stillwater.’ Perhaps Johnny got sick of complaining about the way that gang has turned into media whores, and decided to do something about it.

    Perhaps he intends to become the Julius to your Benjamin King. Or he just wants the gangs to drop the Media bullshit, and intends to bring that about the only way be knows how. I mean, it can’t be co-incidence that the people who destroyed that bridge were somehow in place on the stillwater side of the city, despite that being saints territoriality.

    Of course, any boss battle against Johnny gat will likely involve several buildings being blown up, a duel on the wings of an air plane, and one or more pairs of sun glasses.

  20. JPH says:

    As I said before, what bothered me most about Shaundi was that they didn’t ever lampshade or even acknowledge this extreme change in character. Everybody seems to pretend she was always this way. It felt like whoever wrote Shaundi this time had never even played SR2.

  21. X2Eliah says:

    Myeah – I’d say that in SR3, Shaundi was the worst character of the lot. Shallow, annoying, unfunny and stupidly stereotypical. At least Zimos and Angel had *some* saving elements, some novelty value; and they weren’t forced into every second mission.

  22. Mr Guy says:

    OK, so I don’t love the new Shaundi, but…

    There was essentially nowhere for her to go after the last game. She was a slacker stoner, and the main reason for her usefulness was that she’d slept with basically everyone in town, and so had everyone giving her information that you couldn’t get otherwise.

    It was well done, played for laughs well (especially against Pierce), and worked in the context of Stillwater. She literally slept her way to the top. But Shaundi was usually successful in spite of herself – she was lucky to be in the right place, or mention the right thing in passing at the right time, or ask an ex a pertinent question not because it occurred to her but because the player told her to. With the exception of the Loa Dust, almost everything from Shaundi is either an accident or an “information ex machina.” It kept up amazingly well for one game, but I don’t think it would have translated to a sequel.

    Would you expect Steelport to be littered with Shaundi’s ex-boyfriends to the extent Stillwater was? That seems to be pressing the joke too far. And without the near-infinite supply of ex’s to draw on, what does Shaundi have to offer?

    Also, if Shaundi is “the person who finds everything out,” do we cut Kinzie? We don’t need two “offbeat sage” characters in the game.

    • X2Eliah says:

      Hmyes, but the new Shaundi doesn’t realy go anywhere either.. Her major role seems to be “go in, whine a bit, shoot some stuff, growl” – no growth and no purpose either. A laidback stoner chick could also do the part, and the “can growl can’t bite” shtick would have worked better withthe character – also allowing for breakdown moments when she would, in fact, bite back way over-the-top.

      Also, a laid-back stoner chick thrown out of her depth (no more information contracts) and trying to deal with close friend’s death that’s perhaps affecting her more than she would let on, all the while struggling to find herself being properly useful to the Saints – all that sounds like a far better character concept & arc foundation, imo, than just having a Bitchy McBitchqueen stripper bitch.

    • MintSkittle says:

      Old Shaundi wouldn’t be completely useless in Steelport, though she would lose most of her support network. I just started playing again(thanks Shamus) and on your first mission after landing in town, Shaundi mentions she’s been here on spring break, and even identifies a couple of places she knows(“I used to score weed there”). Also, on the way to the armory, she mentions she’s already contacted one of her exes, and arranged some temporary lodgings to stash the guns until the Saints can find a more permanent home.

      Info gathering could still have been her job, being a (former?) druggie, she has to scout out all the local dealers, chat up the locals, go to parties, and rebuild her network from the ground up.

      • Cyndane says:

        But if they did that with Shaundi, then what roll would Zimos play? With Zimos in the game, they had to have Shaundi perform a different role, or else they would be stepping on each others toes.

        And without Gat being around, someone “had” to play the psycho gun nut apparently (even if the main character does that well enough). If they had developed her relationship with Gat, perhaps the character shift would have felt appropriate. As it was, it just feels like it came out of left field.

        • Amnestic says:

          Don’t include Zimos as a ‘homie’. Have him pop up and be an ally (not entirely unlike the role Aisha had in SR2) so we can keep his autotuned voice (which I found pretty damn funny), but have Shaundi fill his Homie role. Keep Gat alive as the psycho gun nut.

  23. ACman says:

    I remember Spoiler Warning suggesting that T-Pain should be a selectable character in Mass Effect. Which again is probably funnier on paper than in practice, though I guess the juxtaposition of the ridiculous character with the more serious tone around him could be more amusing.

    Is it because the ridiculous nature of “Everything Autotuned” guy is drowned out because the ridiculousness around him?

  24. Jarenth says:

    Not having played Saints Row 2, at all, I only knew who these characters were from Wiki articles and hearsay. Imagine Gat dying the way he does, and not even knowing why I should or shouldn’t care. It was very weird.

    Also, why does nobody give a fuck about Pierce? I loved Pierce. His role in the story makes sense, he’s a straight man without always being the joke-butt, and it looks from all angles like he’s just enjoying life, which is something New-Shaundi (again: no idea she wasn’t like this earlier) is sorely lacking.

    Also, Oleg is the best massive walking trope character you could ask for.

    Also also, Angel needs to be not in this game. Is there DLC for that?

    • Woodthorn says:

      Clarification: None of the in-game characters gives a fuck about Pierce. As you said, he’s the straight man. I remember that he came up with several plans in at least one of the two games which someone then made a few alterations to and then took credit for.

      Case-in-point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWc1j_Ee47o

      • Klay F. says:

        Yeah I actually liked Pierce also, though much more in SR3 than SR2. In the Clones SR3 DLC he dresses up in drag and sings Aisha songs during a mission, which was, in my opinion, the best part of an otherwise terrible DLC addon. It was absolutely hilarious, especially if you’ve heard Pierce sing beforehand in SR2.

  25. Greg says:

    I found that Angel didn’t make any sense to me because I skipped a whole truckload of his stuff. If you run around the map doing the activities that are actually story missions then the game just skips the start and end cutscenes of those missions. I’d done all of Angels so the first time I spoke to him it’d skipped 3-4 cutscenes of stuff and jumped straight to complaining about a tiger I saw in a random activity a few hours of play ago.

    • Naota says:

      I did this exactly, except with every one of the activities in the entire city. I expected this to work like Assassin’s Creed, but instead I wound up screwing myself out of almost the entire act’s worth of character interaction. Having never spoken to any of these strange people supposedly in my gang since their recruitment missions, I called up all four of them in series just to say “good work”… and then the story moved on expecting that we were now close friends and comrades.

      • Adam says:

        Wow, so if you’ve already finished a character’s activities by the time they come up in the “story” they get skipped entirely? The game actually PUNISHES you for playing it like SR2? That’s incredibly stupid. (Or would be, if this game had decent story beats to be robbed of.) Yes, I’m a little bitter over the change in tone and writing quality.

  26. hardband says:

    Johnny Gat does come back in the game! As a brute clone in one of the DLCs. There is your awnser, they saved him for DLC :3

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