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  • Game Review: Saints Row 2 (Xbox 360)

    Developer: Volition
    Publisher: THQ
    Genre: Action
    Price: $59.99
    Players: Players: 1-2 (off-line) Players: 2-12 (on-line)

    Blood and Gore
    Intense Violence
    Sexual Content
    Strong Language
    Use of Drugs

    *Reviewed on an xbox360 console*

    Overview:Some say that Saints Row 2 is not as good as GTA4 and that is the reason they won't buy it, but it really isn't trying to be GTA4, though it may seem like it at first glance, this game actually exceeds GTA4 in some ways.

    Gameplay: There is alot of things to talk about this game, so let me break it down this way:

    When you start out, you will only have one crib, and little money, you can do missions to earn money and respect which will allow you to buy more cribs in which you can do a number of activities, such as watch previous cutscenes, change your clothes, weapon, and even collect any money your gang has gathered up, you can get money daily by buying food places, and such once you have owned the hood they are in. While you are in your crib, an interesting thing you can do is play a separate game called "Zombie Uprising" where you and a small group of other people are trapped in a small area, and you fight wave after wave of zombies until you beat the game, at the beginning you ARE supplied with weapons such as a chainsaw which when used, the camera closes up on you so you can see the zombie being ripped apart even better, just like in gears of war, this is a great addition to to Saints Row and only adds more value as well.
    Other ways of getting money include doing missions, stealing a taxi and driving people around, stealing cars and selling them, and even stealing a car and taking the people inside of it hostage, this leads up to a sort of mini game in which you have to avoid the cops for a certain amount of time, if you stop or drive too slowly, then the hostage will get off the car. Missions in Saints Row 2 are very varied, you will find your self doing the regular racing and killing activities, but then you will also find yourself in a truck throwing human waste at buildings, or pretending to be a police man and trying to break up a gang fight between pirates and ninjas.

    The character customization deserves a good look at, here, you can tweak and change things large as how fat you are, down to jaw placement, which is simply amazing, let say you for example choose to be an old person, the older you are, the more your skin will start to sag, and lets say you choose to be a man, what is stopping you from walking like a woman? or talking like one? not Saints Row 2's character creator, you are even free to get breast implants, this is actually more fun then making a mii, there I said it! the guy I made actually looks like me! Once you are done making a character, you can go to multiple stores to buy different clothing, this is a more limited selection, but still doesn't cut short from any other game out there that lets you customize your character, the wardrobe is large enough to satisfy your basic needs of looking fly, this will earn you more respect after completing each mission.

    Unlike in GTA4, money in Saints Row 2 is actually helpful, you can use it to buy clothes, ammo, weapons, buildings, businesses, upgrades for your cribs, and for your cars, and feel free to upgrade away, unlike in the GTA series, upgrading a car can be frustrating, as you will find yourself driving slowly seance can easily crash and dent it, or in worst case scenario, blow it up, in Saints Row, you can leave it anywhere you want, and it will magically be stored in your garage, blew it up? no problem, it will magically show back up in your garage, except you will be charged a fine to fix it up, so go ahead and install those spikes at the side of your wheels so you can pop the tires out of other cars if they get too close, they aren't going anywhere.

    Aside from the clothing options, the character customization in this game is the best I have seen in a video game so far.

    There are many weapons in this game, ranging from my handy dandy taser gun, to a target seeking missile launcher, the variety is great to have, too bad you will feel like you mostly won't need them due to the fact that bullets do little damage to you, making this game a little less challenging then it needs to be in some areas, you can literally walk up to a cop while he is shooting at you and then throw him with your bare hands, this process can be repeated multiple times at once without dying, this only gets worse as you level up your character to take less damage from bullets, regenerate faster, and inflict more damage per punch. You can level up your character by doing certain missions, on the down side, this does not carry over to online component of this game, due to the fact that you have to make a new character to play online, this is both good and bad in the seance that who wouldn't wanna have the chance of having TWO customizable characters, I myself chose to make mine look like an alien, something I couldn't do in carrier mode without ruining my experience.

    The controls are fine, but if you are used to driving cars in GTA4 like myself, then you may have to spend a few minutes getting used to the way things handle on Saints Row, you accelerate with "A" and fire with the right trigger, you can press the left bumper at any time to make your car go at the same speed without having to press the gas pedal, this gives you freedom to do a 180 and shoot at any hazards behind you, though this works best on straight roads so keep an eye on the map.
    The fighting system is also simple, but fun, you can grab people and use them as meat shields or throw them, and the two trigger buttons are used for left and right punches, chaining these in any form will result in a small take down move where the camera zooms in on you, and you hit them to the ground.

    In Saints Row 2 you will find some sweet rides from pee-wee scooters to deadly copters, you can steal most of these, but some will require you to buy them, or you can just type in some cheat codes. You can customize some of the vehicles you have but don't hold your breath, the options are not very variant, you can for example give your car a turbo, and that is where it ends, no stronger or ultra turbo which is kind of disappointing.

    I funna go pimp ma hoes with dis ride (click here for more information on "funna")

    Now, not everything is rainbows and butterflies in this game, there are constant glitches and frame drops to be seen, a car even disappeared on me once, enemies often don't notice you and you can easily walk up to them and shoot them, and even after that, they occasionally don't respond making the game at times, easier then it was meant to be. At least the online component of this game makes up for it, if you are really looking for a challenge, you can always get over to a multiplayer match where you can get your bottom handed to you in many different ways as there is a variety of modes to be played.

    Graphics: The player models are all right, but now that the bar has been raised, it couldn't hurt them to have made them a bit better, still, this doesn't mean they aren't pretty every now and then. Animations could also use some work, when the player walks it instantly faces the direction in which you are going, there is no smooth transition, but in the long run, this brings a more responsive control rather then other games which require you to go around a circle in order to make a 180. And the small cinematic moves at the end of combos also bring up some eye candy, specially when they change depending on what fighting style you choose.

    Sound: Voice overs are great, the track list on the radio could be bigger but what is there works and you can buy some more songs from cd stores, also, the radio hosts will make you smile every now and then, and sometimes maybe even laugh, and overall sound effects are just there, except for the sound of the UFO which can get very annoying quickly. Your character will trash talk every now and then, but there is a large enough variety of things he/she will say to not make it too repetitive, you have to keep in mind that different lines were recorded for different voices that you can choose from which is a big plus.

    Replay Value: There is full online co-op, and multiplayer mayhem support which is great, this game also has many different missions and activities to do, and once you are done with that, you can always walk up to people, tase them and watch them twitch in the ground, overall, i found that free roaming in this game alot funner then free roaming in GTA4, as this one is not as realistic, jumping out of planes and robbing stores don't bring much consequence.

    Achievements: Most of the achievements in Saints Row 2 only require you to finish all levels of certain activities which is pretty easy for the most part, they are not all fun, but at least they are easy to get if you are looking for some extra points, they just take some time.

    Conclusion: Just because this is not GTA4 doesn't mean it is just another wanna be, in fact, there are many elements of this game you won't find anywhere else, this game feels like a combination between GTA4, Postal, and Dead Rising, as you can pick up or destroy most of the things you see and ether hit others with it, or throw it at them. I recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of free roamers, crazy dialogue and missions, and overall crazy fun.

    While car surfing may not be very fun, it sure beats walking.

    Gameplay: 4.5/5
    Graphics: 4/5
    Sound: 4/5
    Replay Value: 4.5/5

    Overall Score:

    .: GREAT GAME!:.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Game Review: Saints Row 2 (Xbox 360) started by fg-54 View original post
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