I rarely manage to actually complete games, and I never manage to get 100% completion, but Saints Row: The Third is the closest I’ve got, with a whooping 93% completion. I’ve got all the achievements in Skyrim, but you can’t actually get 100% completion in that game, so there. While I wait for the damn game to load after making the mistake of verifying the integrity of the game cache, here’s a bunch of tips for you.
Never use cheats. Cheats have a nasty habit of infecting saves. You use cheats once, that’s it, that save is ruined. Play on that save in coop mode with a friend and they save during this time? That save is ruined too. You can no longer get achievements or anything, and the game no longer autosaves anyway. Great way to lose several hours of missions.
Get the Turbo For All Cars upgrade. You don’t really need any other upgrades for vehicles. Not only do you save a fortune adding turbo to cars you store in your garage, but this upgrade means that, when you smash your newly painted car to bits (and you will), you can leap into any other car and get away nice and fast.
Buy up all the properties early on. Screw the main story missions, get yourself rich by being a landowner. Get weapon shops first as you get discounts on places you own. But make sure you leave some areas controlled by other gangs so you can do the assassination missions. Many of them require that you draw in enemy gangs’ attention to lure out your target, and you can’t do that if you own the entire city. Also, for easy cash and experience, hold a shop you own at gunpoint (using any gun, zoom in but don’t fire at the shop attendant until the alarm rings), then run out then back into the shop, this will immediately remove any police hostility towards you. You’ll have to wait for the alarm to stop though, so you can’t do this with one shop over and over.
Not all cops are as chill as this guy.
Invest in the damage reductions and health upgrades. I’d go 50-50 in health increases and health regeneration, but you want to get bullet resistance, explosive resistance and vehicle resistance pretty early on. The enemies will try and run you over and will quickly call in the explosive experts. While we’re at it, the Revive upgrades (under Abilities) and the bleedout time for homies (under Gang Abilities) are also incredibly useful and worth investing in early on.
The Tornado is the second best helicopter you can get, the VTOL being absolutely terrifying but harder to aim. If you can’t get either, then the Vulture will do. VTOLs are much harder to grab than Tornados, but you’ll get one by completing the main story line. The easiest way to get a Tornado is to unlock the Heli Homie, who will deliver a Tornado to you, and you can take that back to your helipad and store it there. Why is the Tornado so good? Because you can constantly fire homing missiles without any sort of cooldown. The minigun does have a cooldown, but the homing missiles (which lock on by focusing on a target until the lock on box goes green) have no such limit.
Spoiler alert: Arapice Island doesn’t reset after THAT mission, so make sure you finish all things in that area first before completing main storyline missions there. But after THAT mission, you can grab a helicopter and rain death and get easy experience. Other tricks for easy experience include causing giant explosions right outside your base, doing the carnage missions (either Mayhem, Tank Mayhem or Heli Assault) and driving on the wrong side of the road along the highways, which is really easy to do.
Gun-wise it’s all up to you, but I’d recommend avoiding the STAG weapons, apart from the shotgun. The automatic ones overheat really quickly, but you can get a good 10 to 15 shots from the shotgun before having to cool it down. Sniping isn’t the best choice in this game, there’s generally so much flying around, you can rarely get a good shot. But do make use of the infinite ammo items during missions, especially rocket launchers. I’d recommend upgrading the rocket launcher first as it’s great for taking out the many armoured STAG vehicles. I also recommend using the RC Controller to destroy vehicles you can’t shoot, but that needs expensive upgrades first.
Once you have all upgrades, there is still one thing that will always instakill you – being run over by a tank. It will kill you, without fail.
Saints Row: The Third is no Grand Theft Auto, and it’s no Saints Row 2 as well. But it’s still a really good game, and a lot of fun. You don’t even need cheats. The DLCs aren’t really worth getting apart from the Saints in Space mission, which is a lot of fun. Plus it’s always cheap, so it’s worth giving it a go. Good luck!