Saints Row The Third Demo Available to All… Sorta

If you’re on top of your gaming news, you know the demo for Saints Row: The Third, called “Initiation Station,” came out on November 1.  However, it was only available on the 360 to Gold members.  And being that I have a limited income, I don’t have a Gold account, so I couldn’t download it.  However, when I was checking XBLA this evening before playing more Alice: Madness Returns, I noticed that I could actually download it.  Now I’m not sure if this was a glitch or if the developers decided to let everyone get a taste of the demo before the game comes out next week, but I couldn’t pass it by.

The demo is basically just the character creation screen, but it allows players to upload their creations to THQ’s boards for others to view & download.  This feature was not available in my demo, stating that I needed a Gold membership.  I was a little bummed that I couldn’t save my character, because I thought I made a pretty bad ass Playa, but at least I got a feel for it when I get the game Christmas.

Assuming the character creation for the actual game is the same, it has some impressive additions.  A lot of new customization features have been added to give you even more control of what type of character you want.  Of course you start out with the standard gender & race options.  The body type feature is a triangular board where you move the slider between Skinny, Strong & Fat.  The creator also has a “Sex Appeal” bar, which makes your character more well-endowed.  To be honest, I think THQ made this feature for female characters, but couldn’t justify including it only for them.  For women it makes their breasts larger, while for men it increases the… bulge in their trousers.  Although I’m sure my opinion won’t stop people (i.e. guys) from doing it, putting the slider all that way at 100% looks a bit strange.  It either looks like the woman has water balloons in her bra or the man has taken too much Viagra.

Once you have your body type decided, you can continue customization with skin tone, hair, makeup, etc.  There are a lot of new hairstyles to choose from, which are available to both genders.  So you can create a woman with cornrolls or a guy with the Cheerleader ponytail.  Thanks to the inclusion of the Anime hairstyle, you can even make a replica of Cloud.  There are more eye color options, including giving your character evil eyes (solid white or black).  There are also more facial sliders to give you complete control of your character’s face.  I liked the inclusion of a Face Feature screen that lets you add scars, freckles, warts & other features.  The makeup options still seem a bit limited, but you get more color options, & you can even add nail polish.

You know, now that I think about it, doesn’t this make men who’re creating female characters feel a bit odd?  I mean, yeah, I get that you like creating your dream girl, setting the sliders to the max & watching her jiggle around the screen.  But I’d love to be in the room with one of you while you tried to choose eyeshadow & nail polish.  Just saying…

Anyway, as with the last game you can also customize some of your character’s personality.  Each gender has three voice choices, one white, black & Hispanic.  Of course, you can give your male character a female voice if you want.  You can also pick a compliment & taunt, all of which were different from the second game.  Sadly, there’s no walk option, so now crazy, spastic walking.

After finishing the Playa’s body appearance you can pick their clothes.  This is new from Saints Row 2, since you were starting from scratch in that game after being in jail.  But in the third game, the Saints rule the city.  They’re rich & famous.  And I have to say, this game appears to have a much larger selection of clothes.  And I don’t mean just in number.  I remember most of the clothes from the second game looked basically the same.  In the demo, you can actually create a style, be it professional, goth, or whatever.

You can also give your character tattoos & piercings.  I found the tattoo selection rather limited, but they were different from the second game with a few exceptions (some of the Saint tattoos are back).

As I said before, I wish I could’ve saved my character.  But the creator was still impressive & has me looking forward to the full game’s release on the 15th.  Too bad for me I’ll have to wait until Christmas.

– GamerDame

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