Saints Row 2 Reader Review
The idea of a game where anything is possible is basically the dream of any gamer. This is what Saints Row 2 is claiming to be with its prolonged customization options and endless activities along with many vehicles, weapons and rival gangs to give you a taster. It does sound like a fantastic title, I�m sure the emphasis is that in many aspects people are hoping it differs from the first installment of the game and isn�t just the same pattern of game with updated visuals and more options. Before I get into the gritty details of the game its worth keeping in mind that saints row 2 aims for the fun, comic approach with no amount of realism thrown into the mix. Hopefully it keeps this promise with a game that is a pleasure to play and not a chore to complete. Many people call Saints row 2 a GTA clone, in my opinion this a stupid remark as for one, no one has played the newest instalment in the series and two, just comparing the trailers from each game you get a completely different vibe, GTA aimed for realism and almost the opposite that the previous and upcoming titles of saints row are known for. But in today�s world, people just see the similarities between the two games and see none of the obvious differences, even with all this in mind can Saints Row 2 compete in the fierce battle for top place in the GTA ruled sandbox genre?
You start your battle for the city as the same guy that you left being blown up at the end of the last Saints Row but here he is in the prison hospital and has just woken up from a lengthy coma, this is where the massively in depth customization comes in, your character has plastic surgery and in this process and you can change many different things from the tone of there voice to their eye colour, and yes you can make an obese grandma. After you have chosen the look of your wannabe gangster you do the obvious and bust out of jail with a guy you have never met before and along the way he tells you how your beloved saints have fallen apart. Once you�re out of the jail building its time to get a boat and escape from the island. Once you�re in the boat there is an exhilarating police chase were you man the gun while your new buddy drives and you are chased down a river being persuaded by police helicopters and boats.
Once you�re safely on the mainland you hear about your old friend from the saints Johnny gat, he is half way through a trial with a suspected 350 odd murders (try not to laugh), after hearing this you do the most obvious thing possible and just run in with a gun and rescue him, but its another good mission and has a surprisingly good amount of detail as the court room and all the people there are acting like real life and going about there daily paper work you even see a news crew filming the story this is all just great and something I really didn�t expect from saints row. This is where you mainly get to grips with the weapons and it�s a very good aiming system on the whole. One thing that may get on a few people nerves is the lack of auto aiming; personally I think this is great as it�s just too easy other wise. The melee combat is also good but let down with repeated animations especially when punching, but there really is no need to punch as many objects can be used as weapons from a cash register to a post box. The level of gores in this game this game is not really over the top but high in some aspects, not high in realism terms but high as in blood splatters and moves you can pull of. You can perform manoeuvres with the samurai sword for example and the end result is not as gruesome as you would expect.
All enemies can be used as human shields
With a beginning this brilliant and exciting you do get really interested in the game and want to play more and that�s just a great feeling to get out of a game these days. After this typical but fun as hell beginning the game really opens up with the whole map becoming available to you, and as something that surprised me is that every island is unlocked from the start, free for you roam and cause havoc at your pleasure. Some people may think of this as a bad decision and vice versa but it depends how you like a game to be. After you completed a few side missions, one of them including a mission where you drive around a sewage truck and spray sewage all over houses that are on the market to be sold, this is a really fun mission with a few different difficulty levels to it, for the first one you have to get $50,000 of damage and so on. You may read what I have written and think why cant you just do the main story line well the answer is that to be able to carry on with the gripping main storyline you have to do the hilariously over the top side missions to gain ever important rep and cash, by no means is this bad as the side missions here are some of the best I�ve ever played and on the other hand cash is always nice to have especially at the start of the game when you first visit a clothes shop and dress up your thug. Some of the costume designs here are very imaginative and very funny to see your character wearing. As you play through the game you unlock more and more customization options for your character including new fight styles and costumes.
This game also includes a very strong soundtrack with bands from many different genres, including Avenged sevenfold, kasabain, panic at the disco and LCD sound system. These all appear on various radio stations each focusing on a pacific genre, to be honest I think the radio stations here are actually better than the ones on GTA.
The most important thing in this game is rep, yes I know it sounds all gangster and is used in many games these days but here its used to the full, you mainly gain rep for side missions as I have already stated but you can also pick it up without even thinking about it. Say you pick up a nice motor and go speeding on the wrong side of the road dodging oncoming cars or kill a rival gang member with a slice and dice move with the deadly samurai sword all of this you get rep for, even though its not much its still nice to have an option to be able to get the games most important currency. The further you get into the game the more rep you need to be able to play the main story and as you gain it you fill up a little bar which starts at x1 and so on.
Spraying your tag is another way to increase Rep
There is a massive 46 story missions these not including the side missions your basic goal of these is to take back your city killing of the four other rival gangs as you go. The four gangs are very unique and different in many ways. A gang like ronin can be spotted by there dragon-influenced yellow and black custom leathers, carrying a samurai sword with them. But I think the main gang in this game, (there not really a �gang� as such more a corporation) is the Ultor Corporation they specialize in making Stilwater a better place as they have pumped millions into the crime ridden streets.
There is also a strong multilayer element with you being able to play drop in drop out two player coop online, and with the enjoyment of playing this on your own its just amazing to be able to do all the same stuff with your mates online. It features the classic death match and team death match (just with a more gangster name) with sections of the city unlocked and every weapon and vehicle can be used in these scenarios. Strong-arm is also another one of the modes where you take either the red or blue team and fight to try and control parts of the city, you can also spray your tag on walls to increase your rep.
Don�t think this game is perfect as there is a few glitches and mainly the one�s you�d expect from a open world game, some buildings fade in and out, the same for cars, sometimes you turn a full 360 degrees and the car you have just gotten out of has just vanished. But this didn�t happen very often so it isn�t a major concern. I also noticed a few floating weapons and once I knocked a table over in a clothes shop and the folded up tops just stayed in mid air. On the whole though there is very few glitches here and they don�t happen very often so it won�t ruin your experience in Stilwater. Another draw back is no trophies as they would of really suited Saints Row with its fun style of gameplay, but we can always hope.
The good thing about Saints Row is that it isn�t scared to really make a fun game, it doesn�t hold back in any aspect and makes the most fun sandbox game to date. Ok it doesn�t have as high production values and isn�t as detailed and polished as GTA but this really doesn�t matter at all here as you will be having so much fun you wont care for the slightly bad graphics and repeated animations. Saints Row aims for fun and the most enjoyment possible and it nails it right on the head, if you love sandbox games and want a game that offers so much pure fun, get Saints Row 2 you wont regret it, this game more than stands up to GTA.
Graphics - 7/10 A bit of a let down
Gameplay - 9/10 Most fun I've had for ages
Sound - 9/10 Great, varied soundtrack.
9 / 10