Specialists are a unique class of enemies in Saints Row: The Third.
Specialists are sent to kill the player if they attain a high Notoriety level with any of 3 Syndicate gangs. Specialists are unique for each gang, and boast high health and damage output. Specialists also share the trait of being unable to be used as Human Shields, instead knocking the player away. On the HUD, they appear as hollow red dots to distinguish themselves from ordinary enemies (who are full red dots).
Each of the three gangs in The Syndicate have specialists, as does STAG. Killing them grants the player Respect, and there are certain Challenges tied to killing them. Typical law enforcement (Steelport Police, SWAT, SNG and STAG) also use specialists, but killing them only grants respect, and there are no Challenges associated with them.
Morningstar Specialists are named Norman, and wield a McManus 2015 sniper rifle. The Specialists appear on the ground as part of a roadblock, but are more commonly found being transported into the battleground in the air on an Oppressor helicopter. These Specialists mark their presence more notably than others as their weapon emits a long red beam. Other than that, they are somewhat taller than regular Morningstars, are always bald headed and wear long maroon trenchcoats. This makes them very noticeable and distinguishable even without their sniper rifle.
These Specialists have low health when compared to other Specialists, but are still stronger than Decker Specialists. They often come in pairs (one on either side of a helicopter) and can cause more damage to the player, as well as stunning them when hit.
Deckers Specialists, named Grace, are younger futuristic looking women on rollerskates; they carry a D4TH Blossom in each hand and also come equipped with a Shock Hammer. Unlike other Specialists, they are very fast and agile and have the ability to teleport. They skate around in a pattern – warping from place to place to disorient the player. This makes them a tricky target. While they are equipped with dual SMGs, their more dangerous moves are hitting the player with their Shock Hammers, which are difficult to evade. It can briefly knock the player to the ground and cause a heavy amount of damage. They are extremely distinctive since their outfit consists of short mini-skirts and torn fishnet stockings. This set them apart from other Deckers.
A running melee attack is always successful against a Decker Specialist, even while it appears she is teleporting, once the running melee attack animation beings, the teleport is interrupted.
A simple way to deal with them is to use a Fart in a Jar. This causes them to completely stop, and leave themselves wide open to attack. Setting them on fire makes them dash around in a mad panic, and can easily set the player on fire if they run into the player. However, if one uses caution, fire can easily take them out with little to no trouble, especially if one has Incendiary ammunition. As a bonus, the Specialist can also set her own allies on fire if they happen to be in the way. However, one mustn't rely on that to happen.
They tend to show up riding on the back of Solars or Kayaks, the latter of which can house a pair. However, if one reacts fast enough, they can simply destroy the car before the Specialists can get out, saving the player trouble, especially if there are two Specialists. If a player is unable to destroy the car itself, they can just as easily run to the back of the car when it stops and attack the Specialist(s) hanging on the back, chipping off a part of their health, or downright killing them if the player is fast enough.
Because they are so dependent on their speed and teleporting ability, Decker specialists are the weakest specialists. Setting them on fire usually kills them outright, unlike the other two types.
Luchadores Specialists, named El Jose, are large wrestlers with a unique Mohawk mask and metal shoulder plates, and come equipped with a GL G20. Despite the large weapon, this Specialist has the weakest damage output of all Specialists and can be quickly killed by a competent player. However, their thick body armor prevents them from being easily taken down from conventional ammunition. Because of this, perhaps the best way to take them down is with an Annihilator RPG or an unrelenting pounding with a melee weapon.
If one can spot the Specialist in time, a fight with them can be very short and simple, as they are easily stunned. However, spotting them can be the main issue, particularly, if one doesn't rely on the HUD. When they show up (usually simply riding along inside a vehicle with other enemies), they have the ability to fire from the vehicle they are inside, which can be very dangerous, as they are hard to pick off inside the vehicle without explosives. The grenades they fire deal somewhat low damage, but tend to scatter along the ground to cover a large area, as well as stunning the player, which can be frustrating when one is trying to pick off a different target. These Specialists also have the largest health out of all The Syndicate Specialists, second only to STAG Commandos overall (unless one counts Brutes as well).
The simplest way to deal with these specialists is to set them on fire with incendiary ammunition. Since unlike the Decker specialists, which run around at blinding speed in a panic, setting everything they touch on fire, these specialists reacts very much like regular enemies when set on fire, making them easy targets when they are stunned this way.
STAG has their own kind of Specialist: the Commando. Commandos are unique among other specialists in that they don't appear as hollow red dots on the HUD. They are also the only specialists which cannot be set on fire, although fire-based attacks still damage them. Commandos come equipped with Viper Laser Rifles, and are easily recognizable by their white and bright orange armor as opposed to the white and black armor worn by the majority of STAG. They have much more health than their normal STAG counterparts and can quickly overwhelm players, particularly during "Air Steelport", where the player must fight a large group of them.
Overall, however, Commandos are simply STAG soldiers with highly increased health, and thus can be simple to take down if a player doesn't get overwhelmed. They do not have any unique abilities to them (aside from being impossible to take as a Human Shield), unlike other specialists, as they simply use standard STAG ordinance. However, Commandos do arguably have the highest amount of health out of all the specialists, and thus fights with multiple Commandos can be both long and dangerous. Melee weapons are one of the most effective means of dealing with Commandos, as they can stun them while dealing a large amount of damage. Perhaps the best melee weapon to use would be the Woodsman; being a chainsaw, it can kill almost anybody in one hit, and Commandos are no exception. Explosives also work well against them too.
Aside from Commandos, STAG has other specialist units which consist of snipers wielding McManus 2015s and soldiers using Riot Shields. Snipers can be found at roadblocks, while riot troopers are often transported into combat on Riot N-Forcers. In terms of equipment, they are both identical to other specialist units that carry Riot Shields and sniper rifles.
The other type of specialist are deployed by the SWAT. They carry Riot Shields and come in groups of four. Using a couple armor piercing bullets they are taken care of quite easy. Just like the Morningstar specialist they come in pairs, have low health but can still pack a punch if they get too close as they use their Riot Shield as a weapon. Also, incendiary bullets work just as well since it sets them instantly on fire, making them react like everyone else. This leaves them wide open to be killed by any other regular weapons. These foes are quite weak in firepower since with riot shield on, the only weapon they can use are their handguns.
- One of the moves the Decker Specialists do is hold their submachine guns horizontally straight with their arm outstretched, then fire while slowly rotating. This move is similar to a move that Jill Valentine uses in the game Resident Evil 5.
- There is a Morningstar Specialist on a Morningstar promo poster. They resemble Maximilian Strauss, a character from the game Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, having shaved heads, red round sunglasses and red trenchcoats.
- There is a Deckers Specialist in the "Behind The Deckers" video.
- There is a Luchadores Specialist in "The Walking Apocalypse" trailer.
- A Luchador Specialist, Almonzo, is a target on the Assassination list. Player needs to get a high Notoriety with the Luchadores in order to get him to "pop".
- Specialists were first announced in GamesRadar's Saints Row: The Third preview.
- Decker Specialists do not teleport, it is actually a flash of light when they slow down.[reference?]
- Decker Specialists in the distance look like they are skating on crutches.[image?]
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 YouTube: Saints Row: The Third - "Behind the Deckers" Dev Blog
- ↑ Image:
- ↑ YouTube: Saints Row: The Third - The Walking Apocalypse Trailer
- ↑ GamesRadar: Page 2 of Saints Row: The Third massive hands-on preview