I've never played any other Saint's Row game, but the idea of a sandbox driving game was offered to me and I decided to check this one out.
Although this game is technically a sandbox, there are missions for you to complete in order to finish the game. You don't have to do these until you want to, but they really add something to the game that it needs. Because I haven't played the other Saint's games, I can't really draw a comparison with them and this one, but I've been told that the side-quests used to be a lot less spread out.
What I can do is compare SR3 with other driving games or sandbox games such as GTA, Gran Turismo and (a favorite of mine) Driv3r. This game has beautiful cars which, in my opinion, are customisable in all the right places- nitrous is fun, especially when driving a pastel blue ambulance down the wrong side of an American road (I'm British, I have to drive on the left!) One thing that I do feel is missing is the ability to change your hood ornament... You're in a gang, surely that should mean all your cars have hood ornaments!
Overall, the missions are nicely paced and relatively well spaced out. The difficulty curve matches quite well with the level of guns etc you have throughout the missions and I can't really see anything wrong with them.
These play a big part in SR3, as they kinda help when it comes to completing missions. They tend to be your basic 'melee, rifle, shotgun, pistol...' setup, but the penetrator (a baseball bat in the shape of a giant dildo) helps it get mixed up a bit. You gain new weapons as needed, and some of them are really fun!
One of the big things in this game is the street cred you gain from clothes. You have to change and buy new clothes to gain respect within the game, which then leads to you unlocking character upgrades such as the nitrous bonus which gives all cars you drive a tank of nitrous- pretty nifty if you ask me. One of my favourite shops is Nobody loves me because that's where you can buy Steampunk clothing.
Cars and other vehicles
Cars are the main way to travel in SR3, as well as improving the ever-important respect meter. You start off with one customisable car and gain more later- either through stealing them and then customising them or through gang missions (I think that's how I got some any way). You can also have helicopters, boats and planes- my favourite helicopter is the VTOL, if you play the game it's easy to see why!
I really love this game, having sat and played it for more than 9 hours straight without even realising that amount of time had passed. It has a quirky style and awesome game play- what more could you want?