What is it?
The city of Steelport is your no-holds-barred playground of mayhem and mischief in Saints Row: The Third, the latest wellspring of nonlinear insanity from Volition and THQ. After you, Johnny Gat — you know, that brash "kill 'em all" firebrand from the first two games — and top Saints lieutenant Shaundi recovers from a botched bank heist in Stilwater involving bobbleheads and a gargantuan air-crane, the crew turns their slick-shaded gaze on the vice-ridden streets of Steelport.
Why is it cool?
And that adherence to firm tongue-in-cheek fun and chaotic urban warfare is the hallmark of the Saints Row franchise. Every action in The Third can be punctuated by a deftly timed press of the so-called "awesome button" on the controller. The demo we were shown featured the protagonist missile-kicking car drivers out of their seats and employing ludicrously hilarious takedown moves on random pedestrians such as piledrivers and groin kicks, complete with a "I don't give a fuck" flourishing pose. Very rad.
The Third also brings wardrobes of new costumes that either pimp out or weird out your character. Selected samples: an astronaut suit, a furry costume, and absolutely nothing at all (with adjustable "sexual magnetism" sliders).
The moment I realized I couldn't stop laughing
Although The Third provides plenty of opportunities to humiliate foes with overwhelming firepower, no display of strength doesn't compare to smacking down random schlubs with a giant purple dildo. For the prudes out there, consider the provocative-sounding Apoca-fist: a Looney Tunes-sized glove that gibs hapless victims into bloody chunks.
Looking for more E3 news, previews, videos, and analysis? Check out our E3 2011 Coverage Hub.