Review by Cenceless_777
"Gets more out of less."
Saints Row 2, there are no words to describe how fun this game is especially with it's unique story telling and outstanding ability to make the best out of a game whose focus is not completely grounded in realism. The sequel to a game that successfully created a unique game to an already common genre capitalizes on it's own uniqueness to separate itself from the others and keep it fun even after the story.
The gameplay is similar to most free roam 3rd person shooters with the focus is on having a weapon to kill targets or driving a vehicle to go somewhere. What makes this game different gameplay-wise is the huge amounts of customization available, from things found in your first game such as your character (who can now be created as a woman) to pimping your rides to all new options in the sequel that includes fixing up your crib to all new activities that will keep you playing. All the customizing is just plain fun to do especially with your vehicles and the way you can make them look cooler than when you initially take them from the streets. The fighting is awesome in the fact that after unleashing some attacks you can give enemies a nice finisher attack which looks fun, and the shooting remains the same with the exception of two new things being able to use human shields makes some enemies hesitate to shoot there own gang member or officer that it gives you a freeshot at them and all new to the saints is dual-wield which basically is just more fun to use as it will let you fire your handguns or submachine guns faster. The flaws of this game are present but some have redeeming aspects, the first problems I felt was the game had too much in-game glitches which might bother some gamers who prefer a completely continuous game without slowing down. The next problem I have to address is the character customization, yes it can be very enjoyable with its vast choices but eventually you'd wish there were more as you play along and the fact that pedestrians can't tell if your a man or a woman. The last problem to me was the driving which was sometimes a little bit too responsive to my controls resulting in unnecessary turns to a wall but cruise control makes up for it especially if your the type who gets irritated at certain parts where you have to press A and aim with the right stick at the same time.
The Story is simply amazing. The fact that this game gave almost every character with a name a very detailed if not well presented development. The story throws you in different emotional stages wherein one scene could make you angry, another sad, and another happy and so on. The story takes place after the first game which I see as a good way to tell a story in the concept of it being one big story branched together instead of constantly changing stories and characters to fit the setting. This game presents a story well varied and well written and the way some parts will make you watch in awe as you find out about this and that. All the characters are likable or just plain menacing either way every character gives of an interesting feel to the story.
Graphics / Sound
The graphics are the downfall of this game, showing little to no difference in improvement making some people assume that the sequel was either slightly worst or slightly better, but the saving grace graphically is the explosions which has to be one of the best explosions in any free roam game to date. The sound in this game is good it's environment sounds just what a city should sound like, the vehicles sound perfect as seen when you drive a car that you probably crashed more than necessary you actually hear the engine the way it should sound if placed in that situation in real life. The gunfire, the voice acting, the ocean all sound right. The radio station has become more diverse and does not completely dedicate itself to having better hip-hop than others but the fusing of rap and r&b stations was kind of a downer since both genre's could offer more. Overall the graphics are bland but the sounds are great.
This game will make you play for hours with all the activities along with the main story especially if your gunning for 100%, but even after that this game is still fun to play through again be it online or offline this game is just too fun to just play once.
If you have GTA4 then this is a must buy. Why? well so that you'll be able to escape all the realism and discover a game with similar traits yet original all on it's own. If you do not have GTA4 then you should still buy this game. Why? because it encompasses what games can be, an escape from the real word wherein you allow yourself to be somebody your not and do the impossible because this game as I've pointed out makes the less used realism to make a great fun game.
Final Score 8/10
It would have been perfect but the graphics and glitches are what put this awesome game down.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/24/08
Game Release: Saints Row 2 (US, 10/14/08)
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