Review by kdavey1000

"It feels like I did all this before... but who cares?"

Saint's Row may as well be GTA 3.9 but I don't really see how this matters, it borrows a lot from GTA but adds it's own little innovative features that totally make the game. Why should borrowing from one of the greatest video game series ever matter anyway?

The Story: 7/10
Nothing new here, faceless, nameless, characterless person becomes a member of a gang and works his way up slowly but surely, while becoming closer and closer to the big players of his city. There is, however, a twist in the story, in Saint's Row it isn't all about crime for money. The gang you find yourself part of (3rd Street Saints) isn't in it totally for the money, they are trying to clean up the streets of Stilwater, by killing lots of people and swearing a lot of course.

The Gameplay: 10/10
Better than GTA, is how I would describe the gameplay in Saint's Row, it takes the guilty pleasures of carjacking and making a stand against the cops and improves upon it. The shooting in particular is better as you don't lock on to enemies as in GTA:SA, in SR there is always a targeting reticle in the centre of the screen, even when you are driving, so you can just let rip whenever. The missions are slightly disappointing as they are quite samey, they are OK however as they provide the cheap thrills that people playing a crime sim are going to be looking for. The true cream of the gameplay comes from the activities littered around the city. They are similar to pastimes in GTA but I feel they are much better, while GTA had you tediously wondering around searching for hidden packages, SR offers some much more entertaining side missions. An example is the ingenious Insurance Fraud missions which have you diving in front of cars and intentionally causing accidents to claim on the insurance, great fun. There is also an intense character creation and customisation feature in SR, at the start of the game you will be required to completely design your character from scratch, while not as detailed as Oblivion it is similar. Also in game you can buy clothes and jewellery for your character so even after you have finished all the missions and activities you can still find something to do. The final aspect of the gameplay I am going to mention is the garage, it works on a similar principle to GTA whereas your safehouse(s) have a garage which will store your cars (obviously). Only in SR your garages can store a great number of cars, if you take one out and leave it elsewhere it will be back in your garage when you return and if you destroy a car from your garage you can have it repaired back to new for a small fee. This small gameplay mechanic makes such a difference, Rockstar should definitely be paying attention to this.

Sounds and Visuals: 8/10
When in a car you can choose a radio station with each one offering a different type of music or chat. Each cutscene is fully voiced and voiced pretty well, not many massive names (David Carradine makes an appearance and for fellow Lost fans, Daniel Dae Kim is in there too) but the voicing is adequate and there isn't much to complain about. The visuals are nice but there is better on the 360, still they are good to look at which is what counts and the explosions are the best I have seen in any game, they are simply superb.

Life and Replay Value: 8/10
Saint's Row will last you a fairly long time if you intend to see all the sights of Stilwater, the story campaign isn't that long but the other activities of the game will take you well past 30 hours (I have 51% complete and I have just over 20 Hours on the clock). There isn't much replay value as once you have done everything in the game I doubt you will want to do it over, it does however serve as a good sandbox/pick-up-and-play game, if you ever feel like causing some senseless havoc then Saint's Row will do the job.

The Story: 7/10
The Gameplay: 10/10
Sounds and Visuals: 8/10
Life and Replay Value: 8/10
Total: 33/40

Overall: 8/10
Rent or Buy?: I would say buy this game as it is insanely fun and well worth the money, if you have major, major, major doubts however, rent it.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/25/06


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