3 is way better than 2.
Is Saints Row: The Third better or worse than Saints Row 2?
TL;DR-Version: SR3 is technology-wise more refined (and thus more fun in DIRECT comparison); Story and atmosphere of the two games are almost polar opposites to me (where I prefer the SR3 style).
I played Saints Row the Third first and bought 2 immediately afterwards, currently playing it and being well into two of the quest series. Honestly, I couldn't even quite believe, that they are supposed to be part of the same series.
Technologically, Saints Row 3 is better in any way I can think of. Controls are much more refined, activities don't get forced down your throat continously, etc. In SR3 I sometimes drove around the city, buying shops, just for the fun of driving, in SR2 I find it tedious because of the awkward camera handling while driving (particularily in sharp turns). Likewise customization was fun to me in SR3, but felt cheap in SR2. Where SR3 has a few console-porting issues regarding controls SR2 has countless of them. Honestly though, thats simply the difference in age...
Story and characterwise I doubt that one can even properly compare the games. SR3 has an over-the-top humor all way through, SR2 is pretty cruel and dark. Where SR3 has oddball anti-heroes and charicature-like villains, SR2 simply has brutal criminals on all sides.
Personally I prefer the light style of SR3 and find the cruelty of SR2 sometimes hard to stomache. I can imagine though, that people who bought SR3 because they liked SR2 feel let down by the radical change of style.
Its a double edge sword for me as i like how saint row 3 realizes it can be different from GTA by just being fun at all times and giving freedom to the player but i felt the story and characters toke a big backseat aside from being funny. Saint row 2 felt more of a bigger game with mission feeling more detailed and the story and characters were far more interesting in that fun b movie gang war kind of way.
I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but until I bought Saints Row 3 two months ago, I had never played either Saints Row 1 and 2, so I'm just going to judge this game as an over-the-top sandbox action game.
And you know what? I absolutely loved Saints Row 3. I loved how over-the-top and ridiculous it was, and it's the type of game you play just for fun. Plus, it seemed to have completely unlimited character customization, even more than the Mass Effect games.
I plan to play it again this summer, and see if I can 100% it. I played it for just over 30 hours, and I had barely scratched the surface.
I prefered SR2 more, probably because of the time when I played it. I had just gotten burned by GTAIV (seriously fuck you Rockstar and your shitty ass checkpoint system that made me never finish your game) and was really surprised at how much I loved the game. So then when SR3 came around I knew what to expect and then the bombcast hyped it up so much that I thought it was going to be the greatest game ever when it turned out to be exactly what I was expecting from a sequel to SR2.
I really liked SR2 (13 hours played) Pretty sure i beat it and thanks to the gentlemen of the row mod didn't hate every second of it (PC version was busssssstted). pretty sure the only parts i didn't like were the forced side missions to continue the story line.
SR3 (40 hours played) beat it and almost 100% + the DLC. unlike SR2 i kept going back after i finished to do the side stuff from time to time. when you are essentially unkillable some of the more annoying ones are easier.
overall i would re-install SR3 if i wanted to wander a city and cause mayhem but not SR2.
I would say they are about even..SR 3 is much more colorful, better animated, and much crazier. But it loses a lot of the side missions that made SR2 fun( like Fuzz) and the Saint's book isn't a much fun to pursue as it was, because the city is less interesting. There are less customization options for your character and the clothing system no longer has layers, so it's more limited and slightly more of a hassle. I also don't like the omission of optional strongholds, they were my favorite part of 2.
But SR2 had more variety in the gameplay, a better designed city that just felt larger and more fun to explore. The story was also more engrossing, but at the same time less polished. The customization option in 2 are for more extensive, going as for as having multiple fighting styles and walk animations.
So I think the changes kind of cancel each other out...
I personally thought that Saints Row: The Third was better because to me it seemed more free ranged and like I had more of a say in the missions even if that wasn't really the case. The end was also a total mind-game because they prelude to it in the beginning but by the time the end comes you have forgotten that that was even the story line.
As much as I like the story, the activities and Stillwater with its Nolan North voiced citizens, I'm still going to have to go with The Third. All of the things I mentioned along with the more expansive character customization in Saints Row 2, do very little to change the fact that it just doesn't play well, and also a lot of the missions are just badly designed. Also, I've played 140 hours of Saints Row The Third, so I just might not be right in the head.
After finishing SR3, then SR2 and now SR3's story DLCs, I have to revise some of my points.
- SR2's controls are not HUGELY inferior to SR3. Only big downside is the fine-aim keybinding, which they improved in SR3. Reconfiguring it to right-mouse-button sadly screws up weapon controls in a helicoptor.
- SR2 is pretty funny too and I must have had a bad day to react THAT strongly to the cruel scenes.
Also I just got a face-slap from SR3 when I found out that you cannot replay missions. Not without replaying all before too.
Then there is that invulnerability, no-reload and infinite-ammunition thing at Level 50 in SR3. For playing the DLCs I "cheated away" a whole list of upgrades, that had trivialized gameplay, such has invulnerability, not being ragdolled by explosions, infinite ammo with all weapons and "no-reloading", all of which basically removed tactics from the gameplay step-by-step.
Also while I DID like the upgrade system, the later upgrades were way too strong, while the early ones were too weak. Even if you exclude the "invicibility" upgrade.
I think SR3 is better. I think a lot of people who perfer SR2 forget how bad its plays. The shooting, driving, etc.in SR3 is just better than it is in SR2. On the other hand, there's just a lot more content in SR2. There's a ridiculous amount of customization you can do. There's also a lot more missions in SR2 than in SR3. I beat SR3 in like 11 hours. That's honestly pretty pathetic for an open world game. SR2 took me about 40 or so. So I think SR3 is slightly better mainly because I don't have to fight the controls to play it like in SR2 but I think SR2 has a lot more content.
I think you basically nailed everything I wanted to say.
@Milkman said:Saints Row The Third is better than Saints Row 2 in every conceivable way.
Weird bump, but anywhoo that is factually incorrect. Saints Row 2 has more customisation options than SRTT for both your character and your vehicle EDIT: Oh, and your cribs. Plus there's significantly more side stuff.
I played SR2 so long ago that I can't really remember how it was, but I think SR3 was a little short and repetitive for me. I remember loving the original when I was still in school, and I would play that demo over and over, just robbing the stores and tossing pipe bombs.
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