Saints Row 2

2010-08-11 23:52:13

Saint's Row. There's a game I shamelessly enjoyed all too much of. In the original Saint's Row you were just some thug walking down the streets in the row, when 4 gangs go all out in a mass shootout, forced to flee when the good guys in purple show up and usher out the punks. The 3rd Street Saints, out to protect the streets of Saint's Row from their church hideout. They extend a proposition to our now saved ass. Join the cause, and push those other motha fukkas out of town. in the end turns out you end up taking out the mayor of stilwater while getting yourself capped at the height of your career. Enter Saints Row 2, where you've been in a coma the whole time you've been locked up, and all of Stilwater has been rebuilt by a corporation supported by the locals for fear of the gangs and their violent behavior.

Both games use a similar system. there are 3 gangs, you have to dust em all off in order to take ownership of the whole place, afterwards you have to take out the government and assert your own control over the city. Essentially own the city as a whole. you do this by doing side missions which get you respect, get enough respect and you can do missions. In my opinion this is a far more entertaining way to encourage players to commit to side missions than GTA has done in the past, where side missions aren't linked to anything except maybe achievements, and missions are always available in their fairly linear progression.

To avoid having to work at side quests too hard you can multiply your respect reward for doing gangsta activities by wearing your gang color. The thing that always irked me but was probably done for a number of reasons(one of them being game balance) is that the color was purple. The least manly of colors in the spectrum of the game. So you aren't likely to suit up in all purp, and if you are you'll realize just how clownish you appear. 

The game has a great deal of parody in it, on all kinds of things. From the Wendy's knock off "Freckle Bitches" to the gun store Friendly Fire, or the car customizers "Rim Jobs". Everything in the game is adult humor and parody done to the hilt. The 2nd game took the winning mix of the first game, and polished it to a keen edge. You start off escaping jail, getting your crew together and finding a hideout. As time goes on you earn more hideouts as you take over more territory, and the ever famous garage is still in place as well. Steal a car, drive it into your garage, and it's yours forever. You might have to repair it if you frag it up, but it's always there.

I'm suprised more GTA fans haven't given this game a fair spin. It's got the camp factor of Vice City cranked to the hilt, hilarity everywhere, and more features than the competing GTA IV. Sure GTA IV is as gritty realism in a gang game as you can get. But it left behind a lot of great features from its predecessors. Like the garage full of cars(you can only store 2 maybe and if you wreck em or don't bring them back, they're gone.) and the ability to fly planes. In Saint's Row you can fly, drive, and boat, you get multiple hideouts that are always packed with gang bangers, as you progress you even get to whistle at em and they'll join a posse with your character to go do some drive by's or whatever you need them for, they fall down you pour a 40 on em and they're back up. The game has immense fun packed in a small package. Lots of customization to, from being able to fully modify cars(chop top, lower, hydraulics, spinnaz, chrome, paint color, interior, tint, the works) to the type of gang you are. There is no limit.

To give you an idea of the kind of fun I had with Saint's Row 2. Consider that by the end of the game, my character (an Irish boy, Red Hair, Green Eyes and pale skin) ends up sporting a black suit with purple business shirt, a fedora with purple ribbon, shades, a gold chain with a silver grenade(SA Represent!), a silver chain with a gold gun, rings with every gang color he destroyed, and I drove around in a purple humvee with mounted gun, all chromed up with gold trim and spinnaz, nitro, and my crew of NINJAS that rolled with me. That's right, you can make your gang type be ninjas, and once I unlocked that level of customization, I never looked back. Because nothing is more fun than jumping out of a car with 3 ninjas in tow about to beat down some rival gangers.

All in all there's not much to hate about the Row. Some of the jokes get a bit groantastic, it certainly isn't a game to play around your mom or children, but if you want to roll deep on 20's in your own virtual kingdom. you could do worse than hanging with the Saint's. With that, it's time for the breakdown.

Reason Rank
Start 10
Great Variety of Gameplay +5
Are you sure you're playing the sequel? Too Similar to original -4
Challenge curve nosedives at the end of the game -3
Did I mention Gang Customization? NINJAS! +3
Not much replay unless you want to make a totally different style of character each time -2
End Result 9/10

This game is a suprise hit amongst the sandbox games. Go crazy go wild, this game is designed to let you just do whatever comes to your head. So pick it up for when you need to let off some steam, kick back and enjoy.