Review by Azrael433
"The REAL DEAL: Saints Row Review!"
Ok folks! This one caught me by surprise big time!
1st things 1st: Yes, it is a GTA clone, if you can't accept that, don't waste your time with it!
The menu is very user friendly, within 5 minutes just browsing around you can pretty much figure out where's what. There's an in-game map which you can set locations in on a gps system to guide you directly to your spot. Overall you'd have to be brain dead to not be able to figure things out.
After creating your character, you're then treated to a cut scene (which uses in-game graphics) on how your story begins. Throughout the game the cut-scenes are very well done an help really bring you into the story. You'll meet various key characters in the game, an the character development with them was really handled well through the cut-scenes an missions, you actually start to see the characters warm up to you over time, an your enemies really start to despise you an your crew. Side quests will start off with a cut-scene, but upon completing all the missions for the side quest, there is no ending scene that wraps it up for you, what can I say? I like closure.
I'll sum it up: it looks like a polished GTA. When driving on the bridge that connects the islands, seeing the city in it's glory is really a wonderful sight an feeling. Weather effects such as rain are very well done, sometimes it'll be a slight drizzle, other times a full blown shower. Transition from night to day also looks very good. Character models are solid but nothing spectacular. Some of the animations become glitched at times (AI getting into a car an becoming stuck is 1 culprit that comes to mind).
So, once again, it's like a polished GTA clone, nothing special considering the system it's on, does a few neat tricks an looks good.
WARNING!!! The F-bomb is dropped waaaaaay too frequently in the game! The sounds are pretty good, from hearing someone cuss you out for almost running them over to the sound of your 12 gauge being unloaded into some poor sap's chest, not much to really complain about in this department. Nothing spectacular. Like in GTA, when driving around you have access to the radio, but unlike GTA, it doesn't have as much variety. What's there is decent though, an they have the commercials (the funniest ones being Freckle *******: "After midnight, I just love for you to come in the back door") a lot of tongue in cheek humour to be heard throughout the game.
I know you're sick of hearing it, but once again it's true: GTA clone. Key difference here is is with the aiming system, unlike GTA, SR does not use a lock-on targeting system, it goes for a more free shoot system that can be found in 50 Cent's: Bullet Proof. Thankfully it doesn't play like that turdfest (Sorry 50, your music I can jam to, but you're gonna have to do more to win me over in the gaming world) Character creation is very in depth through the use of sliders, I've seen people create very good counterparts to characters an celebs. The game holds your hand when you first start out, but it can become mind numbingly frustrating at times.
You have a homie system where you can walk around with a crew, sometimes they really come in handy (at the very least they help take the fire off you) an other times they will get glitched at the most inconvenient times like trying to make a getaway only to have them for some reason not being able to jump in the car, or get stuck behind a wall or some other such situation. Sadly this is an all too regular occurrence in the game. SR keeps the action flowing an intense, plus there are numerous side missions for earning respect to unlock the main storyline missions.
Like GTA also, SR takes a lot of mediocre designs an brings them together to make a decent game. Make no mistake, you've seen this before there's nothing new here, the story an characters are decent enough, but nothing mind-blowing or original (though the ending has a twist ;) ). Glitches are frequent throughout the game an can take away from the experience at times, but it's nowhere near unbearable.
Drug trafficking, Ho-snatchin', Escort driver, car racer, professional hitman, insurance fraud, trouble starter (hehe) & car boosting will keep you more than busy on your way through the game, an hey, if that ain't enough for you- there's always the turf defending that will pop up randomly at times for some extra gun-fighting action. All this in addition to the main missions. SR will keep you busy if you choose to do an see everything the game has to offer.
In the End
If you've had your fill of GTA and are itching for GTA4 an need something to help you, SR is for you. The most solid of all the GTA clones. Is it better than GTA? In your dreams maybe, but it does fairly close an will fulfill your need for these types of games until GTA4. This game is highly violent an has a lot of language, for those that are more conservative an were thinking of trying this out, be prepared, it does not sugarcoat things.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/20/06
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