Saints Row 2
Saints Row 2 is a 2008 open world action-adventure video game developed by Volition and published by THQ. It was released in October 2008 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with ports for Microsoft Windows and Linux following in 2009 and 2016 respectively. A mobile tie-in version was developed by G5 Entertainment and released the same month. The game is the second title and first cross-platform release in the Saints Row series, following 2006's Saints Row. It is succeeded by 2011's Saints Row: The Third and 2013's Saints Row IV.
Why It Rocks
- Stillwater is an even more living and breathing city as you can now find many pedestrians doing their own thing (fishing, reading a newspaper, committing armed robbery).
- Because of its expanded size, you can now access areas that you couldn't in the first game like the Airport or Shopping Mall.
- Tons of customization. You can make your own character with the detailed character editor and dress them up with many different clothing options. Your cribs and cars are customizable too.
- Awesome story that is easily the best in the entire franchise.
- Perfect tone. While the first game was considered dark and the later games were considered light-hearted, this game has a combination of the two and manages to make it not feel inconsistent.
- By extension, it's also by far the darkest game in the franchise.
- The cutscenes are much more cinematic and are filled with tons of over-the-top and emotional moments.
- Lots of new side activities (for example, in "FUZZ", you can disguise as a police officer and take part in a violent COPS-style reality show).
- Unlike the previous game, the entire game can now be played in co-op.
- Tons of vehicles to drive. This is also the first game in the series that allows you to ride Bikes and fly Helicopters and Planes.
- Awesome soundtrack, ranging from 90's rap hits to classical music. There's also now a pause music that's great to listen to.
- Many new shops to visit. On top of that, you can now buy properties that help to build up your Respect and give you massive discounts on the shops you've purchased.
- You have access to more cribs this time (of course you'll have to purchase their property rights as well).
- You can now perform stunts that are spread across Stillwater, which range from Land to Air stunts.
- Gunplay is improved as you can now zoom in whilst aiming, giving much more accuracy than before.
- A huge amount of weaponry, easily the biggest amount in the entire franchise as you get new weapons like Japanese Swords, Machetes, Sledgehammers, Light-Machine Guns, Mini-Guns and more.
- You can now pick up any type of item on the street and use it in combat like poles, landposts or fire hydrants.
- Lots of new character features:
- The Player Character is now a fully-voiced protagonist, giving them much more involvement within the Story Arcs.
- You can now perform gestures that allow you to express the character to NPCs.
- You can now customize your combat style and borrow fighting moves from The Ronin, The Brotherhood, and The Sons of Samedi.
- The 3rd Street Saints also have new features:
- You can now accessorize their gang style of clothing like having them dressed up as 80s fashion or Hos & Pimps.
- You can select what type of vehicles they can drive.
- New additional Homies you can call with the inclusion of Vehicle Delivery, that allows Homies to delivery whatever vehicle you ask for.
- Tons of likable characters with returning ones like Johnny Gat and Aisha with new ones like Shaundi, Pierce and Carlos.
- There is a secret bonus mission to the game that gives you closure to Julius in the renovated church from the first game.
- The PC port is an absolute mess.
- Numerous bugs and glitches that can be game-breaking like freezes or characters glitching out.
- The driving mechanics aren't too good as vehicles feel very jaggy when they turn and drift. However, Bikes don't have this issue.
- Bad AI, both enemy and friendly.
- Gangs and police will often attempt to run over the player at higher notoriety levels.
- Enemy Tornado attack helicopters spam their homing rockets, eating up at least half of the player's health, if not outright killing them.
- Friendly AI can have poor pathfinding as they can often get stuck on walls or just stop for no reason.
- Co-op actually makes the AI even more aggressive and nonsensical. This is especially bad in the DLC missions.
- You can't access train anymore, despite having trains all over Stillwater!
- Characters models look slightly inferior to the previous game's as their facial expressions come off as bizarre and funny looking.
- The day-and-night cycles doesn't look the way it's meant to be (though it can be explained by the brownish color scheme used in the game).
- Some missions and later levels of side activities can be very difficult, especially when dealing the above-mentioned bad AI.
- Some activities including Escort, Snatch, Drug Trafficking and the Tow Truck Diversion are really bad and frustrating.
- Speaking of which, The Tow Truck Diversion is by far the worst activity in the entire game. It's bad enough with the tow truck's clunky controls but add in the aggressive Police AI and the facts that you can't switch to a different tow truck, can't repair your tow truck and can't use Forgive and Forget makes this activity almost unbeatable! And since it's a diversion activity there's no checkpoints meaning that if you die you have to start all over again!
- Once you've done a lot of activities, your Respect meter feels up to infinite, which renders doing activities almost pointless to do afterwards.
- The fight against Dane Vogel was utterly pathetic since he only carries a pistol for protection. Keep in mind that he's the same person who had the money to rebuild Stillwater and is the head of Ultor, yet he barely has any heavily weaponry, like rifles or shotguns, around his main office!
- The online multiplayer is a bit of a downgrade compared to the previous game as there's a lot less modes or new modes added in.
- It didn't get as much recognition at the time due to releasing the same year as Grand Theft Auto IV.