Saints Row 2 officially unveiled

Online co-op, darker story, yo.

THQ has officially de-cloaked gangster sequel Saints Row 2.

It's due on PS3 and 360 in 2008, and brings with it significant improvements on the 2006 free-roaming original.

Chief among these are co-operative online gang-banging for you and a chum, plus lots more customisation options like gender, age, voice, crib and gang bits and bobs.

The world has also swollen to include lots more locations, and you will be able to enjoy riding around in things like boats, helicopters, planes and the all important m070rb1k3s. We love them, the way they have two wheels and go very fast. Ooh, pretty motorbikes.

Saints Row 2 will also look better thanks to a beefed up engine from developer Volition, with the environments looking not too dissimilar to Crackdown's. You should find there's much more depth of choice across the board, too, intertwined into a much darker and more sinister storyline - albeit underpinned with a sense of humour.

"The team at Volition is leveraging invaluable experience gained on Saints Row to build Saints Row 2 into a game that sets the standard for combat, player freedom, customization, vehicle game-play, team-based co-op and the most compelling online open world experience to date," boasted Scott Guthrie, marketing boss at THQ.

Saints Row was released in 2006 and was surprisingly good - especially given it was Volition's first open-world effort, as you can see for yourself in our review.

However, it launched in a period without any real competition, and filled a GTA-style gap for many of us. Next year, of course, it will go head-to-head with the mega franchise itself.

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