For Saints Row: The Third, it’s go big or go home. As open-world franchises go, Saints Row hasn’t always been the most popular, or the most respected, but it has a ton of creativity going for it.

To help show just how far this series has come, a new gameplay trailer has appeared online that is jaw-dropping to say the least. It’s a little bit dry at first, but once the trailer transitions into the meat of the sequence, don’t be surprised if you go off and pre-order this game instantly.

Featuring a little bit of back-story on the Saints’ new rival gang, The Syndicate, and a lot of awesome combat, this “trailer” is developer Volition putting their best foot forward. Sure, Saints Row has always been known for a certain sense of humor, and that isn’t going to change here, but there’s a real evolution for the franchise taking place with this iteration.

Check out a solid 8-minute gameplay sequence from Saints Row: The Third:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6_hLxbZtes

If there was any doubt in your mind that Saints Row, a series that often times plays second fiddle to the likes of Grand Theft Auto, was going to be anything short of awesome in this third iteration, it certainly has gone away after watching this gameplay footage. Not only is the combat varied, and the action fast-paced, but also the sheer inventiveness of the sequence rivals the likes of any triple-A third person shooter. Had either Microsoft or Sony pulled out this footage during their E3 presentation, there would have been cheering all around.

The game may have slipped under your radar, with silly trailers that favor a cheap joke rather than substantial game footage, but now the goal is clear: show how awesome Saints Row: The Third is going to be. This game just jumps higher and higher on our radar, and apparently the sky isn’t the limit.

What do you think of this gameplay sequence from Saints Row: The Third? What is it about this third entry that seems so much more exciting than previous Saints Rows?

Saints Row: The Third releases November 15, 2011 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

Source: YouTube

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