Mowing down pedestrians in a taxi is great fun, but it's even better when the room you're playing in suddenly fills with six scantily clad ladies of the night. They weren't real prostitutes of course. I wasn't sure if all six were actually real women, but there were, by my count, five female models dressed in little more than some thongs and corsets. The other, and I apologise if she was of the fairer sex, looked like a skinny man in drag. But that's fine of course, and quite apt given how free players of Saints Row: The Third are to create whatever character they wish.
After a brief intro mission to rob a bank the gamescom demo dumps you outside an image consultancy, which for a fee of $500 will transform your total body look to anything you desire. And I mean anything: from a gigantic hulk of a man to a scrawny gal with shiny silver skin, red hair and a massive royal nose.
After a brief moment of voyeurism messing with the option of a female character I switched back to the male avatar and got sunk into the daunting number of customisation options and tweaks available.
I opted to start with a Caucasian male, but his pale white skin tone wasn't going to impress anyone. Racking my brain for inspiration I came to the conclusion that the Incredible Hulk is pretty menacing. He's green, so my guy was going to be green too. To match the Hulk theme he had to be tall and muscular. For no reason other than lack of an imagination I set his age to match mine at 28.
My green muscular male needed a new face. After about five minutes of moving sliders he ended up with what can only be described as a meat head, with massive pixie ears, a pig nose and an impressive pug-like underbite. I still felt the olive monstrosity was going to blend into the crowd so topped his bonce with a gorgeous yellow beehive.
But I wasn't done there. I couldn't leave the demo without checking the Sex Appeal characteristic and Saints Row: The Third didn't let me down. I'm assuming the slider changes the size of a woman's breasts - I hope it doesn't change the size of anything else! - but as a guy it allowed me to change the size of what was hidden under my guy's pants. Yes, in Saints Row: The Third you can have a massive, average or seemingly non-existent penis. My guy needed to be respected on the streets, and while I'm aware a yellow beehive earns more than enough man points, the only sensible option was to max out the schlong slider.
So that was it; in the space of 20 minutes an average looking man turned into an Incredible Hulk wannabe, with the face of something from Avatar, a hairstyle from the '60s and enough meat in his pants to feed a gathering of German gamers.
Obviously the very next thing to do was equip a massive dildo weapon and slap some people around the face. Saints Row: The Third might not be classy, but it's certainly open-minded.
Saints Row: The Third is due for release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on November 18.