What sets the Saints Row franchise apart from the Grand Theft Auto series, and most other open-world games too, is two key elements: it doesn't take itself seriously and the character creation and customization. The latter of the two is one of the reasons why Saints Row will always be an equal to RockStar's Grand Theft Auto series. I am yet to see a game that has this much character customization. My first day of playing it was spent entirely customizing my character, and after many, many attempts I finally decided to make a female character... that's not too far over the top.
Once you've actually made your character you will most likely spend hours on finding the right outfit. Heck. It took me several attempts to look this good. The first few times other characters would insult my fashion sense by saying stuff like, "Oh.. my.. gosh! Those shoes totally don't match your dress". I've literally spent several thousand on clothes now just to finally be appreciated for my style. And they actually do like me now. Wow. I am starting to understand women a little more now. It's not easy being a woman.
Above is a developers diary where they discuss the depths of the character creation system. They barely scratch the surface!
Saints Row IV will hit stores on August 29th for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, so save your money!