on 28 October 2008
Having played both past GTA games and the first Saints Row I do not buy into the whole you can only like one or the other.
First of all lets get the comparisons out of the way. GTA IV looks better and for a critic would be well ahead of Saints Row 2. However GTA IV is based on realism, Saints Row 2 is based on fun and that is the main theme of the game fun.
The graphics a bit more cartoonish than GTA IV and the cars handle in a different way (yes GTA IV's cars are more realistic). However I found Saints Row 2 more fun to play.
The story continues five years after the first game ends, you are just waking up from your coma. The city has had some changes but the main layout of the city is similar. There are a few new gangs and some new missions to try out (the respect aspect is the same, gain respect before trying out the next stage). I like this effect as it makes you try some of the sub games. In GTA IV there is no incentive to carry out the sub games but in this you must play some or you can't continue with the mission. The missions themselves have a great feature: if you die or fail in a mission you can 1) restart from the last checkpoint 2)replay the whole mission 3) continue the game. This is great as you don't have to spend half your time driving round the city again and again if you are getting stuck on a mission.
The attention to player detail is amazing. You can customize any part of your body you wish. You also have a wide variety of shops to spend your money on as well as cribs (you have to buy these) and customizing them. Also cars, bikes, jewellry and tatoos can also be purchased. I wish they would bring in an option to create your own tatoo.
Overall I probably agree that it is not as well programmed and written as GTA IV, there are still some glitches but these are minor (eg pressing Y in the car immediately pops you out of it) but I feel that there is too much fun to be had here to put this game down.
All in all a fun title, worth buying, but if you want a realistic game then stay away.
First up, I never played the first Saints Row, so no comparisons from me about that one. Secondly, I have played GTA 4 so I can make the inevitable comparisons.
Before GTA 4 came out, I was so taken in by the immense level of hype surrounding it, and was expecting something that would blow me away (with an RPG). What happened was that it confirmed what we all expected deep-down, that nothing really new or original could be added to the series. The only thing they could add (or try to add), was a sense of realism. This is what, in my opinion, turned GTA from an awesome game into an ok game.
Saints Row 2 changes all that. One word sums this game up from start to finish, fun. Everything about this is about making sure that you, the player, has fun and doesn't have to spend hours driving around the map repeating missions every time you die etc. People have been moaning about the driving/handling in this game, but why? It's arcadey, and matches the game perfectly! If I wanted a realistic driving simulator I'd play Forza/Gran Turismo.
Graphics wise, ok, it's not as good as GTA 4, but again, so what! They're colourful and vibrant, unlike the drab gray-brown that was Liberty City. Glitch-wise, yes this game has glitches, but name one free-roaming game where there aren't any glitches at all. This is easily outweighed by the sheer number of improvements made in this compared to GTA:
When you die you keep your weapons, so no worrying about dying and having to re-stock your arsenal.
Once you put a car in your garage, it will always appear there, no matter where you leave it/what you do with it.
If you die during a mission, it doesn't re-set you back half-way across the game map to have to drive there again.
But without doubt, the highlight of this game is the co-op mode. Anything you can do in single player, missions, side-missions, whatever, can all be done in co-op. It also works extremely well, and runs very smoothly considering everything that's happening on the screen.
Overall, I believe this is the game that GTA should have been, as it shares much the same fun-ness of Vice City and San Andreas. If you want a serious, well-written gaming experience, then look elsewhere, but if you want to have fun and a laugh with your mates on the (frankly awesome) co-op, then this is the game for you.
on 26 May 2010
What I loved so much about Saints Row is that you could not just sail through the main missions without touching side missions, missing out on all the game has to offer in the meantime. Once again with Saints Row 2 you have to earn a certain level of respect before you can do the main story missions, and that respect is earned through the side missions. If that sounds like a chore then believe me it is not because those side missions (or activities as they are called in the game) are immense fun! There are even more zany activities than before too, and as well as committing insurance fraud, delivering stolen cars to chop shops, protecting drug dealers, and stealing prostitutes from their pimps, you will now also be spraying houses with raw sewage to devalue properties for estate agents and taking place in a unique version of the TV program Cops where the intention is to create as much on screen violence as possible. It is possible to spend hours enjoying these activities before realising you haven't done a main story mission!
There are more main story missions than before, thankfully as the original was somewhat lacking with about 30 missions. Now there are 40 or so missions, and on top of that about 15 stronghold missions. That may still seem weak when compared to over 80 missions offered in GTA4, but with so much else going on the time you will spend on the game compares favourably to the grand daddy of sandbox itself. Surprisingly, most missions seem to be shooting based with you taking out rival gangs, and whilst the style of missions may be varied the object is generally the same.
Mission checkpoints are a welcome bonus to the game, as is saving your game anywhere without having to return to a crib. Of particular interest though is the option to set the difficulty of the game - I love these games but at times getting stuck on a mission the option to reduce the difficulty level to easy is a very inviting one! The makers of the game really do seem to have thought of everything possible to make the game an enjoyable experience.
One problem with the game is the amount of glitches, and frequency in the game freezing. I thought it was my copy initially, but I bought another and had the same problem. It can be annoying having to constantly switch off the console particularly mid mission, but the game is ambitiously big and was bound to have some problems.
Inevitably the game is going to be compared to GTA, and hence my own comparisons in the review. It lacks the involved story line, but is intended to be tongue in cheek and the characters, graphics, and missions all reflect this. So it is certainly a very similar game to GTA, but at the same time manages to be a totally different experience. In terms of longevity playing through to completion you are looking at 40 hours. Those who look to complete every element can double that time easily.
A very worthwhile purchase.
on 25 April 2009
Obviously this game will be directly compared with GTA IV. This is the first Saints Row game i've played so there can be no comparison with the first of the series.
The character creation is ok, withoug being overly elaborate. You can be either male or female, young, old, asian, african, european, skinny, fat or anywhere inbetween. Add to that the clothes and outfits you can wear, plus jewellery & tattoos and you have a lot of looks you can pull off. The vehicles themselves can also be upgraded with various mods which again adds a bit of personal customisation.
The driving controls took a little getting used to, but after a while they feel quite normal. The ability to put the vehicle under cruise control might be useful to some but i prefer not to use it as i then feel more in control.
The game itself is addictive, a lot of fun but at times can be a little frustrating. For example some of the 'diversions' include levels which increase in difficulty as you progress, but then the last level of some diversions is sooo much more difficult than the previous one. One saving grace is that you can retry from the level start, or come back to it again later.
One thing that needs sorting out in any sequel is the problem of vehicles hitting some kerbs which stops them moving forward instantly. Surely the vehicle would just slow down and still make it over. Also in a mission my vehicle, which was being driven by a computer controlled character has got stuck in a position whereby there is no way out, and no way of me taking control; only option to restart from a save point. Apart from these two problems i've not encountered any real play issues.
One of the most surpising things about Saints Row 2 is with the story. Not the actual storyline itself, which is good enough, but with the voice acting/animation. The vignettes throughout the story are littered with moments of humour, and touches which just add a whole lot to the feel of the game. Plus you have a character voiced by Eliza Dushku, who in her usual style, just oozes sex appeal.
One completely unexpected touch, which makes me smile just thinking about it, occurred whilst driving along. SPOILER The in-car radio was on, and then i heard what sounded like someone trying to sing along. Then i realised that my character was attempting to sing along with Tears for Fears. It seems the more that tune is on, the better the character sings along. It's little touches like this that makes games worth playing, imo.
SR2 is more than good enough to stand on its own merit and should be considered as a worthy rival to the GTA series. Hopefully this added rivalry will make both camps up their games for the next installments for their next sequels. Very definitely recommended.
on 3 March 2009
Bought this game as I found GTA IV to be a disappointing, frustrating game to play with no humour. If you are reading this and think "Hey that's what I think" I recommend you go for SR2. If you, like me are a GTA veteran and wish you had a game that mirrored the fun factor of GTA Vice City and GTA SA on your 360, now you can. SR2 is all GTAIV is not. The game itself is the very definition of fun. There is just so much to do and all of it is fun. Graphics I disagree that they are well below par, I think they are excellent, especially the water- it's so well done. Stillwater is a much more cheery place to explore that Liberty City.
The game starts you off in Stillwater Prison, before anything you have to create your character. I found this to be a stroke of genius over GTAIV. You can customize nearly everything you can think of about your character. For me the best part was picking my taunt and compliment (Make sure no children are present - well the game is 18 after all!)
Once on the main island you have to complete activities and diversions to raise your respect level enough to take part in the story missions. The activities/diversions are a game in themselves. They are so diverse; fight club, races, insurance fraud, hitman, protect the celebrity are but a few of the past times you can while away the time. That's not including the taxi, ambulance and fire engine side missions you can take part in. All activities/diversions will earn you cash as well as respect.
After completing the initial missions, I decided I would unlock all the shops/outlets first (So I know where to go if I need anything during the missions) and then I unlocked all the activities/diversions. This way it gave me the opportunity to get to grips with the many vehicles on offer.( I found the control of the vehicles to be much tighter than in GTAIV). Plus it gave me an opportunity to explore all areas of Stillwater - it's a vast city! (I like the fact that you can explore the entire city off the bat, instead of being locked out until later like in GTAIV). I'm having a blast and I haven't really started the story missions yet..
I paid full price for this on pre-order as I was a huge fan of the first game, so a little annoyed at how low it is now :-( Been playing for some time now, and wow! It has all the great points of the first game, and seems to have ironed out a lot of the bad points like having to replay a whole mission with no checkpoints. Other improvements are autosave and much improved graphics and character customization. If you have never played the first, it's basically GTA with attitude! You return as your 'hero' from the first game, busting out of jail to find a world that has changed massively whilst you have been away. One small problem, it has frozen on me a couple of times, but not sure if that's my 360 or the game. 5 stars at this price!
on 28 October 2008
This game is heavily inspired by GTA and with SR3 announced to be in development, it looks like these two series will be rivals for the long-term. After completing the campaign in co-op, Saints Row 2 in my opinion must be considered the market leader in this genre.
Co-op: its a seamless well designed experience. you can play by yourself, invite a friend to your world, and carry on whilst they join. nearly all of the missions and activities are structured so you both can contribute, with one driving and other other shooting, or doing different tasks..playing with a friend is an absolute blast and really takes this game to a new level.
Story: i played saints row 1 recently and the story carries on from it well, and has the excitement that GTAIV so lacked - each section feels much more like a proper campaign than a series of disjointed missions. The frequent videos are often laugh out loud funny.
Fun/Ease of Play: the whole game is designed for fun, rather than realism. not everyone will like that, but for me a major factor. when fail a mission, you start from a checkpoint or the beginning of the mission, so no more having to restock ammo and drive to the mission. it reduces realism but makes it so much better to play.
Breadth of the Game: campaign mode is long and doesnt get boring, with a excellent range of different missions to do, and with excellent side activities. youve actually got something to do with your money in this game - buy jewelry, clothes, tattoos, cribs, boats, shops - and is well connected so as you increase your style get more respect points to unlock missions. your character can be anything you want he or she to be, with the best customization model ive seen in a game.
Driving: i cannot understand the review which criticises the driving in this game. its fantastic. theres a wide range of cars and bikes, good handling, points for near-misses crashes etc which provides another element to simply driving around.
Lack of originality: although SR2 does it extraordinarily well, there isnt a great deal in this game which hasnt been done before. many of the cars have simply been copied from SR1.
Graphics: they arent as good as GTAIV, but then they arent the same repetetive grainy realistic surroundings than that game. i found the environment a much more pleasant experience to be in than Liberty City.
Conclusion: most fans of the genre will probably accept, once they have played the co-op with a friend, that this is the new leader of the genre. i highly recommend it.
on 15 February 2009
Saints row 2 is amazing - as stated in the title it is the best game I own at the moment - even comparing it to GTA, Call of duty world at war and other top games.
The first time I played the game I was like WTF and thought I had somehow accidently put in Saints row 1 - the part of the map I was in was exactly the same. But then I roamed around a bit and realised the map is a much bigger and better version of Saints row 1 and it was good for me because I was familiar with it so go used 2 playing Saints row 2 very quickly.
The graphics are very good - and I dont know why people keep saying the driving and handling is bad?? I found it amazing and even when driving down a long boring road very fun - you can put the car into cruise control and shoot things with your pistol/SMG. Also take your car down to the mechanic and you can get yourself some nitrous, hydrolics etc. and the car is automatically saved into your garage, and will always be there no matter where you leave it.
The cribs are really good on Saints row 2. Instead of unlocking them, they are there for you to buy, at around $50,000 each whenever you want to buy them. This is great because you get to choose which ones you want for instance a student apartment or a penthouse with a helipad.
After about 10 minutes of playing Saints row 2, I took a little trip down to the airport. Here I came accross a helicopter, and some planes. I went for a spin in the helicopter and it's great fun! You can be mid-air and jump out - then open your parachute whenever you feel like it and even start base jumping (where you must land in a certain area for extra respect).
Guns are really great on Saints row 2. At the moment I have a pimp cane which is also a shotgun =] and also you can unlock unlimited ammo by completing certain activites - and also earn yourself many many achievements. You also unlock special guns. These vary from a mini-gun, anhilator RPG (like a homing missile) and a flamethrower!
Finally co-op on Saints row 2 is amazing! You can be playing your game by yourself, and need some help in a mission or activity and invite your friend where they can help you and even get the achievements and guns etc. themselves. I went round the mall with my friend on 2 quad bikes - he was wearing a hot-dog suit and me in a pirate costume - very very fun as I'm sure you can imagine!
Overall Saints row 2 for me is a massive success. I love the game and everything about it. The great thing is that if you get stuck or get bored (which is a VERY rare occasion on Saints row 2) you can invite a friend to come join you and help you out. I definatly reccomend Saints row 2 to anyone out there wanting a fun and exciting game that you won't get bored of!
on 12 October 2009
Saints Row 2 is probably them most, stupid, gliched, But funnest game, I've ever played, Now I'm a gamer but never in all my years of playing some of the best and most Atmospheric games ever such as, Bioshock, Fallout 3, Grand theft Auto 4, All the Call of Duty Games and most of the Medal of honour Games, Have I came across something which blew me away with such a variety of Stupidly fun missions and activities, and Such an epic Character customisation suite Much better than in any of the Sims Games. There is Many Activites to do once or even before you complete the story missions. My Personal Favorite being 'FUZZ' The No.1 Hit TV show in Stilwater. When you dress up like one of stilwaters finest officers and try to keep peace on the streets. . . through any means necesarry, Chainsaws - included.
The Character customisation is Vrilliant, Being able to Recreate yourself possibly, also the ability to create a ladyman, haha
Possibly becuase of the many glitches, such as getting pulled across a whole highway by a boat? and By getting into a car only to find it crashes into. . .nothing
most of these glitches are very funny though
on 12 April 2009
As a GTA fan since the first ever GTA game on PS1, I approached this game thinking it would be an inferior copy. Plus I hated and slated the first Saints Row which I couldn't wait to trade in. Well I was pleasantly surprised. For me, like many other reviewers, GTA 4 just got too serious and lost some of the fun in the earlier GTA's like Vice City. Well Saints Row 2 is fun aplenty. However the game has now frozen 3 times on me and i've had to turn my 360 off and start the missions again. It seems this has happened quite a bit with other people. Nevertheless bugs aside this beats GTA 4 hands down. Only room for improvement would be fix the bugs and maybe rethink the 'respect' business. Before you're given missions you have to earn enough 'respect,' you get this from diversion tasks. I find this a bit of a nuisance, for example you just spring your gang boss from court facing death row and fight your way past police and deliver him to safety and you have to mess about picking hookers up before your given a proper mission?