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Reviews Comments: Grand Theft Auto raises the bar. Saints Row 2 holds that bar to it's crotch and pretends it's a cock. Saints Row 2 game review by tsstevens

In April 2008 the most anticipated game of all time was released in GTAIV. In September a worthy alternative to the more real world crime sim was released in Saints Row 2. The game cuts a lot of the fat from GTA and focuses less on relationship values and more on over the top action, humor and remembering what makes games fun.

It opens with the protagonist last seen being blown up finally waking up in a prison hospital. Even from here we can see the level of detail that went into the game, from numerous references to the first game to allowing multiple voices for your character. The prison escape where you blow up half the city's police force sets the tone for the rest of the game.

The plot revolves around rebuilding the Saints, who you rose to become The Dragon for in the first game. However plot and Character Development are quickly pushed aside for nuts to the wall action, yet still leaves enough space for the odd Player Punch and the like. It clearly takes a different approach to GTAIV, with the story being built around the game rather than the other way around.

Gameplay wise it is very similar to GTA, where you can focus on building your gang and them challenge your rivals, or just forego that and take part in the many side missions or just explore. One aspect of the game lies in building rep to unlock further missions, which you do all the time. Rarely are you railroaded into certain actions to continue the story, and when you are you can drive hookers around, fly helicopters to protect drug dealers, cover the city in human waste, there's all manner of fun things to do.

The developers went out of the way to make this a fan pleasing big budget game. For voice actors we get Faith, Worf, Barney Stinson, Garrus Vakarian and many many more. And the soundtrack kicks the Russian from GTAIV in the nuts. Outside of maybe Rock Band one of the best list of tracks in a game.

The game mechanics are tweaked from the first game and Saints Row 2 is all the better for it. The controls have improved, the guns sound and act better, you can zoom in and take human shields, and you can replay missions. This was one of the biggest complaints about GTA, bringing down an otherwise superb title. Throw in massive amounts of customization and you have a sandbox full to the brim with fun toys. Not as well developed maybe as GTAIV but certainly as much fun.


  • KingNine
  • 26th Jun 12
I agree. I played this directly after GTA IV and this was so much more enjoyable. Faster pacing and hilarious right off the bat. GTA Iv has a cool story and the realism of the graphics is very impressive, but when it comes down to it, Saints Row 2 is simply more fun. I'd rather make my character look like a clown and throw old ladies off of bridges than run another 'go-here, then-kill.' mission in GTAIV.
  • tsstevens
  • 7th Jul 12
If I was to go into a bit more depth about the fun of GTAIV and Saints Row 2, the former is certainly a work of art, and as a work of art it is superior to this game. As a story again GTAIV is superior, it's a dark and meaty tale that has a somewhat positive message that crime doesn't pay (look at the ending to the game and The Lost and Damned, are the characters really better?) However for Saints Row, saying 'screw that' really works in it's favor because as inferior art wise as it may be, GTA seems less fun, and I think that making it a work of art and telling the story they wanted to tell is a part of that.

And like I said, the music is far superior. Instead of Russian that we likely never have heard of we get well known tunes: playing the last Ronin mission, getting a bike and switching on Paramore, good times. And strange as it may seem, hanging out with Faith is somehow more appealing than Little Jacob. Now if Ron Pearlman was in the Grand Theft Auto add on that would be awesome, but I don't think they were trying to appeal to what is cool, they were trying to be artistic. And both games work, no question in what they set out to achieve they both succeed. It's just that it's clear to me Saints Row is meant to be fun, it's meant to be juvenile and it works.

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