Grand Theft Auto 4 was the best thing that ever happened to Saints Row. When it originally launched, THQ's open-world rival was little more than a cheeky copycat, offering the same transgressive thrills in a cruder, cheaper form; the Zit to GTA's more successful Viz.
Then GTA4 came along, and with it a sharp detour from the sort of knockabout nihilism that had typified the series. In the midst of Niko Bellic's downbeat immigrant saga, going on a rocket launcher rampage seemed a little weird, and Saints Row 2 was quick to position itself as the gleefully silly sandbox game that still let you smash your toys until something broke. If GTA was aiming for high drama and critical acclaim, Saints Row was happy to fly the flag for those playing "for the lulz".
And so comes Saints Row: The Third, a game that has been marketed almost exclusively on the basis of all the wacky stuff it will let you do, silly costumes, sex toy weaponry, ragdoll mayhem and all.