Let's just address the elephant in the room right away: This game does not look good. The artwork lacks detail much less style and the animations are far from smooth. In fact, there is little motion in this social edition of Saints Row to begin with. Worse off, the music becomes a bother minutes after logging in. Shoddy graphics and animations? Check. Annoying sounds and music? Check. That leaves one hopefully redeeming quality: gameplay.
Back to the clicking. The majority of your actions boil down to either Thugs, another word for Energy, or weapons. Thugs are spent doing nearly every task and replenish over time, but weapons are required to attack and take over increasingly tougher territories on the isometrically displayed map. Of course, taking down wandering enemy gang members and taking over buildings awards you coins, yet spends Thugs. In other words, Saints Row embodies the eternal balance of risk versus reward--the more you do, the more you spend--of nearly every social game in existence.
Frankly, Saints Row has plenty of shortcomings. While it's certainly differentiated itself from the industry leaders, it misses the point of gang games: competition. Sure, there's a sense of camaraderie in helping friends out. But where are the cutthroat rivalry and ruthless attempts at domination amongst players? Not to mention the presumably unintentional hilarity of your thugs aimlessly shooting at things, which counts as "taking over the neighborhood." There's no reason that a flash game in 2011 shouldn't look better than the first Grand Theft Auto. Despite all this, it'd be lying if I said that aimlessly shooting down passers by and slowly watching the neighborhood map turn purple wasn't fun.
Click here to play Saints Row: Total Control on Facebook>
Have you played Saints Row on Facebook? What do you think of this game's approach to the mobster sub genre? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.