Review by thesampleman
"Ranks higher than any other GTA clone before it"
This game is a clone of the GTA series and that is not a bad thing. In fact in this game we finally see a few enhancements over the GTA series in a few key areas, and some major shortcomings as well.
This is the first thing you notice in Saint's Row. The game world is expansive and you can see a long ways away. In fact during missions you can actually see the place you are going to in the distance, which is pretty cool. This, however, is offset with the annoying flaws such as buildings drawing into place and cars disappearing before you. These flaws, no matter how annoying, can be ignored because of other nice things such as cars exploding into bunches of bits when you pipe bomb them. The beautiful sunsets and sunrises,also along with the occasional thunderstorm and pounding rain show off the environmental effects of this game.
This is another part you'll notice almost right away. The voice acting is pretty good and the car music is pretty good as well. The one point that I found to be the profound, is when you stand behind a car and you can hear the music that is playing in it. The music stations are diverse and cover a wide variety of music.
The story in Saint's Row is it's biggest fault. It is just a rehash of previous GTA games. This is not really story driven at all, you can go around and do activities and you get a little blurb why you are doing it, but a little more would have been great, especially when paying activities, such as drug trafficking,etc. The main factions stories have been done already in previous GTA games, which led to a cliched plot that got boring. The main missions story line was easily completable in a short amount of time and with not much challenge from the dumb enemy A.I.
Some of the controls were very good and some were very bad. To start off with the good, shooting enemies is much easier than in GTA, and aiming was a breeze. Another good element was how everything was laid out on the XBox 360's controller. It used the controller to perfection. It did not feel like GTA San Andreas, where things seemed to be tacked onto some out of reach button at the last minute. Now for the downright terrible. The driving controls are horrid. I mean when you back up the camera shifts, and then you find yourself driving into walls or into a cop that's walking on the sidewalk.
This is a fun game that any fan of GTA might want to sink their teeth into. However, there are a few flaws in the design that do not make this the so-called "GTA Killer". It has fun modes that are wildly addicting (insurance fraud), and nice touches that rank it higher than any GTA clone before it. Alas, this game is a buy.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 10/26/06
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