Saints Row 2 Review for PS3

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You're never short of things to do in Saints Row 2
You're never short of things to do in Saints Row 2

You're never short of things to do in Saints Row 2

One area of GTA 4 that didn't go down well with long-time fans is the driving model. Rockstar ditched the arcade style handling of previous games in favour of a more realistic, heavier driving model. Saints Row feels a lot like older GTAs, with cars able to corner at high speeds and powerslide like you're a stunt car driver. This won't be for everyone, but it fits well within the world Volition has created. A handy cruise control button even allows you to move your thumb from the accelerator and onto the right analogue stick - ideal for drive by shootings.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that Saints Row 2 is in fact a better game than GTA 4, but slapstick fun can only take a game so far. The plot and storytelling in Saints Row 2 comes nowhere near to the brilliance of Rockstar's game, coming across as rather juvenile in comparison. We're almost certain that this is what Volition wanted to achieve, but that doesn't change the fact that GTA 4 had far more believable characters, a richer storyline and real emotion. Saints Row 2 is arguably the better game to mess about in, but we're unlikely to look back and remember the great moments as we already do with GTA 4.

We don't want to bleat on about GTA 4 versus Saints Row 2, but comparing the two games from a production values point of view is inevitable. GTA 4 took the open world genre to new heights, whereas Saints Row 2 is happy to be serviceable. It's by no means an ugly game, and at times can look rather impressive, but detail in the city is quite minimal, the frame rate is often poor and there are none of the finer details that GTA 4 packed in to strengthen the experience. Streets look barren, characters bland and the city just doesn't feel as alive. Within a few hours with GTA 4 Liberty City felt like home, whereas many of Stilwater's streets blend into one.

We can't really comment on the voice work of the main character with any negativity (we played as a woman with a man's voice), but we can talk about the many NPCs in the game. The key characters are voiced well and fit in with the tone of the game. Lesser characters aren't voiced so well, but you'll probably be too busy dressing your gang as ninjas to notice. The soundtrack, dished out over numerous themed radio stations, is also well put together - our personal favourite being the 80s station. You can't beat going on a murderous rampage to Karma Chameleon.

The character customisation is brilliant and you can even customise your gang's appearance.

The character customisation is brilliant and you can even customise your gang's appearance.

Saints Row 2's final trick is its multiplayer functionality. The entire game can be played co-operatively with a single friend, either online or via system link. The game adjusts enemy health accordingly, and the whole thing is a lot of fun. Perhaps an even bigger surprise is how much fun the territory controlling multiplayer game Strong Arm is. Two teams of four go against each other across seven maps, completing activities and killing opponents to earn money. This money is then used to buy out the neighbourhood. Less original, but equally fun, is the deathmatch mode Gangsta Brawl - playable solo or as teams of up to six players across another set of maps. We reckon strong sales of Saints Row 2 will see a decent community of players playing the game online, especially Strong Arm.

Should you buy Saints Row 2? It's down to what kind of gamer you are really. We loved it, but if you're someone who takes games very seriously and are looking for a nigh-on carbon copy of GTA 4 this won't be for you. If the idea of childishly laughing every time your character speaks in a completely inappropriate voice sounds fun, or you just want a game that positively encourages you to mess around, we can't recommend Saints Row 2 enough. It's more than a little rough around the edges, but don't let that stop you from playing what is a hugely entertaining, often hilarious action game.

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User Comments

PussyCat's Avatar

PussyCat

i love how u can like hav sex in som of the strip clubs . the graphics r good for fighting as well..
Posted 13:31 on 27 December 2009
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ray

sackatoomi
Posted 19:24 on 28 February 2009
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DJLenz

I have been a big GTA fan since i bought the original top down game on the ps1, every version that came out seemed to get better and better with more features added with each release, the pinnacle of which was San Andreas which had the most features of any GTA game to date! After San Andreas though, the franchise seemed to go downhill with liberty city stories and vice city stories just being a re-hash of their previous counterparts. i expected gta4 to be so great, especially with the power of the new gen consoles, but was greatly dissapointed by the fact they sacrificed gamplay for crisp graphics. SR2 on the other hand, didnt just concentrate on this, they made the game look great AND play well with all the added features and replay value of a GTA game, something that Rockstar missed out on! On finishing both GTA4 and Saints row 2, i have to admit that SR2 was far more entertainig than GTA4. SR2 was rather close to being San Andreas for the next gen consoles, and if rockstar want to impress with the next GTA, they are going to need to get San Andreas and make it better!
Posted 19:52 on 06 February 2009
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dale220395

saints row 2 is 1 ov tha best bames out 4 tha xbox add dale220395 on the xbox
Posted 03:33 on 28 December 2008
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ray

im gettin sr2and1 for xmas SAINTS ROW 4 LYF INNIT
Posted 17:53 on 15 December 2008
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dammu

gonna get dis 1 dats for sure i enjoyed reading teh review it was nice change from
GTA IV
Posted 09:54 on 12 December 2008
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Anonymous

gives me everything that i wanted from SR2. to be as crude and violent as i can and screw around unlike gta4 which is everything this game isn't
Posted 06:31 on 10 December 2008
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Xy

Playing SR2, was just like playing GTA:SA, only better, reminds me of ScarFace too for some reason, love it.

Got called a gay n***** because a guy i used to play GTA with didn't like the fact i had SR2 lol.

PSN: XyNLRyd
Posted 17:43 on 04 December 2008
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bill

is it just me or does anyone else notice that you cant control the boats or aircrafts... is it just me?
Posted 13:01 on 01 December 2008
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ray aswell

wha is the diff between sr1 an sr2
Posted 20:10 on 30 November 2008
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ray

wickid stunts in saints row 2 aswell
Posted 20:09 on 30 November 2008
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Anonymous

sr2 4 lyf
Posted 20:08 on 30 November 2008
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Jason

Sain't Row 2 has every aspect that gta fails. GTA is not even a comparison to the greatness that is Saint's Row!
Posted 06:02 on 15 November 2008
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Raquiss

i want to know if there is a strip club so i can watch girls that are nude
Posted 10:35 on 27 October 2008
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tony

how do you fly helicopters on the playstation 3
Posted 20:09 on 20 October 2008

Game Stats

8
Out of 10
Saints Row 2
  • Loads to do
  • Rewarded for messing about
  • Great multiplayer
  • Rough visuals
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 17/10/2008
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC
Developer: Volition
Publisher: THQ
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1 + Online
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 3,377 351
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