This troper has found himself wondering why in free-roaming crime games like GTA and Saints Row the world is always portrayed as very cynical, greedy and generally crapsack. I assumed it was just for comedy, but then it hit me. There is no other way to explain why the protagonist can waltz into a store and walk out with a rocket launcher, get away with killing thousands of cops, soldiers and civilians with nothing more but a fine and a slap on the wrist, and generally get away with anything. In a more balanced and sane realistic world the player would be jailed and probably executed lickity split.
In fact, most Japanese crime sandbox games shows what happens when murder was committed, it is taken quite shockingly by all sides. Hell, cop fighting is not encouraged in Yakuza or Kenka Bancho let alone murdering policemen.
Related to the above, I found the character of Johnny Gat to be boring and flat. A gangster jerkass who loves killing, bo-o-o-oring. Until I realized that he is a satirical version of the Grand Theft Auto III protagonist, made into an NPC.
Well, his name -is- an anagram of GTA.
Gat's supposed death in the very beginning of Saints Row: The Third may actually have a meaning to it, to signify that this time, for once, the series no longer merely follows the leader but has gone completely Off the Rails.
It might be possible that the other ending, though, leads to an alternate storyline, in which the Red Faction plot is only a What Could Have Been speculation on the part of movie producers, as the final mission shows.
There is a diesel tractor in the game called the Peterliner. Obviously, this is a Portmanteau of Peterbilt and Freightliner. Then, remember what a "Peter" is and what would line one. Oh, Volition. You sick freaks.
IV apparently setting up the Boss for a Heroic Sacrifice in the first mission might seem like a cheap way of milking some tears. A Genre Savvy player "knows" that the player can't die in the first mission! Then you recall that the games have been steadily upping the Anyone Can Die stakes, and suddenly it looks a whole lot more plausible. It doesn't actually happen, of course, but the possibility is very convincing.