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"Saints Row 2 PS3/Xbox 360"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Saints Row 2'.
Wed 22/10/08 at 23:43
Regular
"Braaains"
Posts: 439
GAD Winner: 30/10/2008

Could Saints Row 2 be the new Grand Theft Auto? It's entirely possible, because whereas Grand Theft Auto 4 was a more realistic game than its predecessors, Saints Row 2 showcases all the explosions, humour and general silliness that made the Grand Theft Auto series fun. Saints Row 2 takes place six years after the events of the previous game, which saw the game's protagonist apparently killed in an explosion. But as it turns out, they survived the explosion, instead ending up in a coma. They wake up to find that Stillwater, the city where the game takes place, has a changed a lot. A huge corporation, Ultor, has taken over much of the city, and the parts that they don't own are run by three gangs. Unsurpisingly, the protagonist doesn't take too kindly to this, and decides to put things right.

Which is where you come in. Playing as either a male or female character, you have to take back the city, piece by piece, mission by mission, till your gang reigns supreme. Your character isn't exactly an upstanding citizen, but I guess if you'd been betrayed and blown up by your former gang, you'd be a little annoyed too. I should warn you that Saints Row 2 is not for the faint of heart. While much of the violence is over the top and almost cartoon like, there's a few nasty moments. My personal favourite is the moment when one of the gang leaders ends up being tricked into running over his own girlfriend in a monster truck. That's not to say they didn't have it coming, though - many of the characters in this game are such nasty pieces of work, your own character included, that their demises can only make the virtual world of Stillwater a better place.

Like Grand Theft Auto 4, Saints Row 2 is an open world game. You can roam around the city at will, either on foot, or in any number of cars you can 'borrow' from passing drivers. You can go swimming or steal a boat, and take to the air in a helicopter or plane and parachute back down to earth. You can't leave the city as such, but it's such a huge place you really won't want to. In fact there's just so much to do in Saints Row 2 - there are a huge range of activities you can participate in. You can roam around the city devaluing propert with the use of a sewage truck, cause as much destruction as you can, try to make money by faking an accident and generally get up to as much mayhem as you see fit. Okay, you can't take virtual friends bowling, but why would you want to when there's so much more fun stuff to do. And you can spend ages customising your character by buying clothes and other items from the in game stores. There's even a 'zombie uprising' game you can play which pits you against ever increasing waves of the living dead.

Should you eventually get round to undertaking the actual missions, you'll find that they're every bit as much fun as the activities. They're challenging, though you never feel you've hit a brick wall, and can have you doing pretty much anything at all. The stronghold missions from the last game have also been improved - previously, if you wanted to take over an enemy gang's stronghold, you had to go in and kill all the gang members. Which was fun once, but it got pretty tedious when you did it for the tenth time. But this time around, each enemy stronghold also has its own unique mission which, when completed, with give you control of that territory which it turn funnels money into your bank account. There's also a very nifty drop-in drop-out co-op mode which lets someone on another Playstation 3 jump into the game and help you out if you do find yourself getting stuck, which again is a huge improvement from the previous game.

Admittedly, Saints Row 2 doesn't look quite as Grand Theft Auto 4, but it does come close. The city looks fantastic, especially at night, with the various neon signs turned on. The frame rate's pretty respectable too, even when there's a lot going on onscreen. Which is definitely a good thing, since the game is geared towards causing mayhem and having things judder to a halt the when you cause a massive explosion just wouldn't do. Saints Row 2 also excels sonically - the voice overs acting is all top notch, and the game's soundtrack is great too. What's especially surprising is that there are six different voices for your character, three male and three female, meaning the same set of dialogue had to be recorded six times. Saints Row 2 has clearly been a labour of love for its developers.

That's not to say the game isn't without its flaws, however. One minor gripe is that there's no talk radio station in the game. There's plenty of humour in the game as a whole, but the talk radio stations from Grand Theft Auto 4 and Saints Row 1 were always good for a laugh. A more significant complaint is that there are fewer versus multiplayer modes in Saints Row 2 than there were in the previous game. Aside from the co-op mode, there's deathmatch, team deathmatch and a 'Strong Arm' mode where you compete to take over a neighbourhood by completing activities. But the highlight of the previous game's multiplayer mode was 'Blinged Out Ride' which saw you collecting cash in order to pimp out your car and drive it to a particular point in the level without it being destroyed. That mode is absent from the game, though I suppose there is the possibility of it being added later as downloadable content.

I could go on for ages about Saints Row 2 - but there's way too much to the game for me to cover it all. It's so much fun to play, whether you're customising your car, throwing people into traffic - yes, you can do that - or just running around the streets causing chaos. It's well worth the money and the chances are you'll be playing it for weeks, if not months. Saints Row 2 is the game that Grand Theft Auto 4 should have been, and deserves a place in every gamer's collection.
Thu 23/10/08 at 01:22
Regular
"Mooching around"
Posts: 4,248
I think you're being very harsh towards GTAIV here, but good review on SR2, I'll be picking up a copy this weekend hopefully.
Wed 22/10/08 at 23:43
Regular
"Braaains"
Posts: 439
GAD Winner: 30/10/2008

Could Saints Row 2 be the new Grand Theft Auto? It's entirely possible, because whereas Grand Theft Auto 4 was a more realistic game than its predecessors, Saints Row 2 showcases all the explosions, humour and general silliness that made the Grand Theft Auto series fun. Saints Row 2 takes place six years after the events of the previous game, which saw the game's protagonist apparently killed in an explosion. But as it turns out, they survived the explosion, instead ending up in a coma. They wake up to find that Stillwater, the city where the game takes place, has a changed a lot. A huge corporation, Ultor, has taken over much of the city, and the parts that they don't own are run by three gangs. Unsurpisingly, the protagonist doesn't take too kindly to this, and decides to put things right.

Which is where you come in. Playing as either a male or female character, you have to take back the city, piece by piece, mission by mission, till your gang reigns supreme. Your character isn't exactly an upstanding citizen, but I guess if you'd been betrayed and blown up by your former gang, you'd be a little annoyed too. I should warn you that Saints Row 2 is not for the faint of heart. While much of the violence is over the top and almost cartoon like, there's a few nasty moments. My personal favourite is the moment when one of the gang leaders ends up being tricked into running over his own girlfriend in a monster truck. That's not to say they didn't have it coming, though - many of the characters in this game are such nasty pieces of work, your own character included, that their demises can only make the virtual world of Stillwater a better place.

Like Grand Theft Auto 4, Saints Row 2 is an open world game. You can roam around the city at will, either on foot, or in any number of cars you can 'borrow' from passing drivers. You can go swimming or steal a boat, and take to the air in a helicopter or plane and parachute back down to earth. You can't leave the city as such, but it's such a huge place you really won't want to. In fact there's just so much to do in Saints Row 2 - there are a huge range of activities you can participate in. You can roam around the city devaluing propert with the use of a sewage truck, cause as much destruction as you can, try to make money by faking an accident and generally get up to as much mayhem as you see fit. Okay, you can't take virtual friends bowling, but why would you want to when there's so much more fun stuff to do. And you can spend ages customising your character by buying clothes and other items from the in game stores. There's even a 'zombie uprising' game you can play which pits you against ever increasing waves of the living dead.

Should you eventually get round to undertaking the actual missions, you'll find that they're every bit as much fun as the activities. They're challenging, though you never feel you've hit a brick wall, and can have you doing pretty much anything at all. The stronghold missions from the last game have also been improved - previously, if you wanted to take over an enemy gang's stronghold, you had to go in and kill all the gang members. Which was fun once, but it got pretty tedious when you did it for the tenth time. But this time around, each enemy stronghold also has its own unique mission which, when completed, with give you control of that territory which it turn funnels money into your bank account. There's also a very nifty drop-in drop-out co-op mode which lets someone on another Playstation 3 jump into the game and help you out if you do find yourself getting stuck, which again is a huge improvement from the previous game.

Admittedly, Saints Row 2 doesn't look quite as Grand Theft Auto 4, but it does come close. The city looks fantastic, especially at night, with the various neon signs turned on. The frame rate's pretty respectable too, even when there's a lot going on onscreen. Which is definitely a good thing, since the game is geared towards causing mayhem and having things judder to a halt the when you cause a massive explosion just wouldn't do. Saints Row 2 also excels sonically - the voice overs acting is all top notch, and the game's soundtrack is great too. What's especially surprising is that there are six different voices for your character, three male and three female, meaning the same set of dialogue had to be recorded six times. Saints Row 2 has clearly been a labour of love for its developers.

That's not to say the game isn't without its flaws, however. One minor gripe is that there's no talk radio station in the game. There's plenty of humour in the game as a whole, but the talk radio stations from Grand Theft Auto 4 and Saints Row 1 were always good for a laugh. A more significant complaint is that there are fewer versus multiplayer modes in Saints Row 2 than there were in the previous game. Aside from the co-op mode, there's deathmatch, team deathmatch and a 'Strong Arm' mode where you compete to take over a neighbourhood by completing activities. But the highlight of the previous game's multiplayer mode was 'Blinged Out Ride' which saw you collecting cash in order to pimp out your car and drive it to a particular point in the level without it being destroyed. That mode is absent from the game, though I suppose there is the possibility of it being added later as downloadable content.

I could go on for ages about Saints Row 2 - but there's way too much to the game for me to cover it all. It's so much fun to play, whether you're customising your car, throwing people into traffic - yes, you can do that - or just running around the streets causing chaos. It's well worth the money and the chances are you'll be playing it for weeks, if not months. Saints Row 2 is the game that Grand Theft Auto 4 should have been, and deserves a place in every gamer's collection.

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