'Saints Row: The Third' seems like it was written by a hyperactive 13-year-old with an overactive imagination. That's kind of a compliment.

The opening hours of the game take you through a botched bank heist that leads to a tower shootout, followed by a helicopter rescue and requisite crash, then a mid-air skydiving shootout in which you go in and out of the helicopter once again. Once you finally land, you raid a military installation, grab ahold of an AC-130-style gunship and rain down death from above.

The scattershot yet deranged start leads to the usual open-world mayhem fans of ‘Saints Row’ games have come to expect.

As you glide through missions to gain control of the streets for your street gang-turned-corporate sellout money grubbers, you amass an arsenal of every weapon imaginable and unimaginable.

All the while, characters crack penis jokes and tossing out one-liners that beg to be followed by rim shots. Masterpiece Theatre this is not. The grating dialogue is definitely the weak spot of the exuberant caper, starting with that idiotic subtitle that drew its inspiration from Shrek.

Sprawling multiplayer modes nudge the single-player game out for your attention, including the aptly named Whored Mode — a distant, inbred cousin to the ‘Gears of Wars’ games’ Horde Mode — tasks you to use ridiculous weapons against nonsensical enemies in bizarre ways. Expect to deliver beatdowns with vibrator-shaped bats, be required to drill enemies in the ands in order to advance and contend against armies of prostitutes and male S&M sex slaves.

While we dug the game’s gleefully immature, sex-obsessed vibe — mostly because we’re immature and sex-obsessed — it grew just a tad overwhelming. You wouldn’t want a wife or non-understanding girlfriend to catch you playing this and mom is banned from entering your basement cave during gameplay.

‘Saints Row: The Third’ is proud to be a propagator of dumb fun for sinners and saints alike.

RATING: 8.5/10

'Saints Row: The Third' ($60) was developed by Volition, Inc., published by THQ and is available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Rated M. The publisher provided a copy of the game for review.

Read Phil Villarreal’s blog at becauseitoldyouso.com and follow him on Twitter: @philvillarreal

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