So I just finished the game on Xmas day, and spent time to actually do all the activities to get 100% control of the city. At first, the game feels just like the previous games, but a nice and relatively big new setting. But I also got the sense that the game is definitely taking itself even less serious this time around, at least from what I remember from the previous two games in the series. The first Saints Row was one of the first games I got for my Xbox360. Having been a huge fan of the GTA series, it was my only next gen option for a sandbox game. The graphics were ok for the time, but there was a lot more focus on the 'fun' factor of sandbox games. Controls were not as tight as GTA, but the fun factor really made you forget about it, and once again, it does the job here in Saints Row the Third.
Now that I've completed the game, it is time to take a look back. At first, I only played the main story missions, and left all the activities till after the story was complete. Going through some of the activities, they do offer a bit more story which would have been nice if I was somewhat forced to do some of it as the main story, and once you get the VTOL plane, a lot of the gang operations were a peice of cake.
A bit more interaction between all the new characters would've been nice. Also, the story definitely felt rushed on its own, so having to do one or two more activities would've been nice filler. At the same time, I wish there were more story based missions. A more system-matic way of taking down each of the three factions would have been welcome. According to my game save, it took me just under 12 hours to complete the story, and take over the city. Things got a lot easier when you get some of the special weapons that you earn from the story line. Then its just a matter of grinding out the activities to gain 100% control.
Also, I felt like there werent enough activities to do. The mayhem ones are simple once you find enough fences to destroy, and the game show distraction was starting to get fun with the different map layouts, but a bit more could have been added to it to make it last longer.
Co-op mode was added in, but it wasn't really anything special. It was just the single player story, but with a second person. They really had a chance to make some co-op specific missions which would have been nice, rather than have to play the EXACT same single player story. The story itself was not that hard for a single player, so with two players, its just too easy. Especially if one of the players has most of their weapons unlocked already, then its just a chore for that person. There is a "whored" mode, which is a play on the endless wave gameplay that most other shooter games have. I have yet to put any time in it, but personally, there really is not that much appeal to it for me at least. I can see how it could be fun for a bit, but nothing that will last. Although I'm probably just nit picking at this point.
Overall, the game is fun, and I say its a must play for any fan of sandbox games like GTA. You get to do a lot of fun stuff, but like most games, there is a lack of depth in the story line. Idealy, I would have liked to get about 18-20 hours of gameplay from the story mode. Its a fun game, I just wish there was more of it.