Cons: No Jewelry Stores or Customize Crib Options, Not as much depth with customizing as seen in Saints Row 2, Parts of the Story never get explained, & Glitches.
The first things I want to point out is the improvements Saints Row The Third has over Saints Row 2. The shooting mechanics are a lot better in Saints Row the Third. You now press L1 to aim and R1 to shoot. This allows for more strategies to use during shoot outs. In Saints Row 2 you had to tap the Right Stick to aim. This lead to me using a mostly run and gun approach in Saints Row 2. I would tap the right stick to aim at times, but I seemed to do a great job at running and gunning. I still found myself running & gunning in Saints Row the Third, but I'd switch it up and aim my gun more often.
I also love the new quick dive ability added to Saints Row The Third. If you're running and you press jump, your player leaps forward and dives. This move has gotten me out of plenty of sticky situations. If you find yourself in the center of a gunfight, you have a chance of surviving by leaping your way out of it. It also makes getting over obstacles, and going from the 2nd floor to the 1st floor much more convenient. One leap and you're there.
When it comes to customizing things in a videogame, no series does it better than Saints Row. I spent hours inside of clothing stores in Saints Row 2 customizing outfits. In Saints Row The Third I found myself customizing more than just my outfits. I'd customize every car I brought to my Garage. No more having to go to Rim Jobs to customize my cars. I still had to go to Rim Jobs, but I'll explain why later.
One store I frequently visited was Image As Designed. I became obsessed with customizing my characters looks. First he looked too old, then he looked too basic, then he looked too plastic. I eventually worked it out and was satisfied with the final outcome of my player. I love Saints Row because it really allows me to play as the character I want to play as. Ever since the first Saints Row I've played as a Caucasian Male with white hair. I initially chose him to defy the stereotype of being an African American male gangster, which evolved into me loving my older British character. I tried to play as an African American Female for my second playthrough of Saints Row the Third, but I felt the that none of the voices matched the person I was playing as. I also imagine my player in Saints Row 3 to be a guy who acts before he thinks. The older male whose both handsome and clueless fits my view of the leader of the Saints perfectly.
Speaking of things missing in Saints Row The Third, where are the Jewelry stores? Being able to buy necklaces and rings at a clothes store isn't the same. It sucked seeing random characters wearing gold and silver jewelery while I'm stuck choosing choosing cheesy colors for my choker necklace. I was really looking forward to seeing how the gold or silver on my belt buckle would match my other jewelry, but sadly that wasn't the case. I couldn't even buy belts in this game. I like the idea of buying jewelry and clothes at the same place, but please bring back gold and platinum jewelry in the next Saints Row.
One thing that makes a return to Saints Row is side missions and activities. The difference now is the activities only have 3 levels (Easy, Medium, Hard,) and they're not required to advance the story. One side mission I enjoyed was Gang Operations. Instead of advancing the story to take out Gang Operations like before, all you gotta do is explore the city. Gang operations pop up on your map as you explore. Once you get to the location of the fist you must kill all of the gang members there. Once they're all dead you own the territory. Simple and fun.
One thing I have to point out is the small glitches that occurred as I was playing the game. I'm not going to lower the score due to any of them, a patch could easily fix most of them, but I will point them out. One glitch I noticed was during the Vehicle Theft side missions in the Saints Book. There were many instances where I would steal the car I needed, but the game wouldn't acknowledge it. It got frustrating driving all the way to the chop shop for the car to not be accepted. I found the glitch would occur if I managed to steal a car with no notoriety. The boat that's north of that Restricted island comes to mind. Instead of driving through the island I would simply swim to the boat. The game wouldn't acknowledge that I'd stole the boat until I walked on land and received 5 star notoriety.
Saints Row the Third is my official 2011 Game of the Year. It gets this award for reminding me why I love console games. For most of 2011 I would only play my 3DS with thoughts that console games have gone to hell. Saints Row the Third is mindless fun. I haven't been able to zone out and just play. Thank you Volition for making a great game, and I look forward to the next one.