THQ Saints Row 2
Hit the streets in Saints Row 2.
- Fantastic customisation, innovative cooperative play and online multiplayer modes, instant access to entire city
- Derivative design, poorly structured single player game makes side missions mandatory, unpolished graphics
Saint's Row 2 deserves props for its phenomenal customisation and inventive multiplayer modes-including drop in and out cooperative play-but it's derivative design lacks polish and panache. It's entertaining, but it's also outclassed by its competitors.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
When Eminem asked, "Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?" he was slamming musicians for trending toward highly commercialized tunes-his point was that imitation had only served to soften the edges of music. I couldn't help but think about that lyric was I played Saint's Row 2. It ain't the "real Slim Shady" either, borrowing too much from that other free-roaming action game (you know the one) to retain an edge of its own. That doesn't prevent it from being enjoyable but a few inventive features can't cover up derivative design and an inferior style.
Don't Drop the Soap
After breaking out of jail, you return to the streets only to find that the conglomerate Ultor has transformed your turf into a gentrified city centre. Rebuild the ranks of your gang, the Saint's, and ousting rival factions forms the main portion of Saint's Row 2's storyline. Doing so involves confronting gangs head-on in missions, as well as storming their strongholds to seize territory. Of course, there are dozens of side missions and extra activities available to bolster your reputation and strengthen your position of power.
No place is off limits the moment you step foot into the city, which gives Saint's Row 2 enormous appeal. Here's a free-roaming game that lives up to the definition right out of the box. Unfortunately, there's a catch-while you're given the freedom to go wherever you wish, there are hoops you have to jump through. You can't just tackle missions at your leisure; instead, you're forced to accumulate enough respect before the game allows you to start any mission. You garner said respect by completing activities and the variety of missions is impressive-they're almost all entertaining-but I didn't like that they were mandatory. Forcing you to complete activities in order to play through the story is an artificial means of lengthening the game and does nothing to enhance the experience.
There's also little to be seen that hasn't been executed better elsewhere. The few activities or missions that embark on new ideas tend to be lame or utterly trashy, such as the nasty Septic Avenger that has you squirting sewage onto people and property in order to rack up damages. Flinging poo, my friends, is not the next innovative step forward for action gaming.
Saint's Row 2 does impress, however, with extensive customisation options and a wealth of multiplayer features including a fantastic co-op mode; these features are what make Saint's Row 2 compelling. The ability to personalise your character in all aspects is amazing as is the ability to customise the look and feel of your hideouts. You can even tweak the look of your gang members. This bleeds over to the cooperative mode that lets a buddy drop in and out at anytime. Enough can't said of how great teaming up with a pal is in this game-after all, gangbangin' isn't exactly a solo affair. That, of course, also makes the online game so entertaining as well.
Please, Stand Up
These fresh elements prevent Saint's Row 2 from being a derivative mash. The core game, however, doesn't differentiate itself enough nor does it offer an experience that is superior to what is already out there. It's largely unpolished and poorly structured, and only when the game breaks away from imitation -- demonstrating a compelling co-op experience, for one -- does it come close to achieving its true potential. Unfortunately, the customisation options and multiplayer aside, Saint's Row 2 is just imitatin'.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review
- 2 Synology DS216+ Review
- 3 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 4 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 5 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- YouTube Gaming update packs in landscape mode, new chat layout, and other improvements
- Warning: The new Marvel: Ultimate Alliance PC ports are a disastrous mess
- Nintendo's hotly anticipated Pokémon Go Plus wearable delayed until September
- Epic CEO: How Microsoft is plotting to cripple Steam and seize control of PC gaming
- SurveyMonkey: Pokémon Go popularity may have already peaked
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTSocial Media AssistantQLD
- CCSolutions ArchitectQLD
- FTFull stack (back end focus) Java Developer | Defence | NV1ACT
- CCPeopleSoft Consultant (Financial)NSW
- CCData Integration specialistACT
- CCData Entry - TelecommunicationsNSW
- CCNetwork Engineer - NV2 ClearanceVIC
- CCCRM Technical Consultant / DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Security SpecialistNSW
- FTSharePoint DeveloperSA
- CCProject Manager/ Sr PMO Analyst - Consulting BackgroundNSW
- FTEmbedded Software EngineerWA
- FTTechnical LeadWA
- CCSAP FICO Consultant/SAP FICO Stream LeadNSW
- FTServicenow DeveloperVIC
- CCCRM DeveloperACT
- CCService Design AnalystNSW
- FTBusiness Development ManagerVIC
- CCVendor ManagerVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst/ Scrum MasterNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (Java/J2EE/MyEclise) 160721/AP/vmpAsia
- FTGraduate IT supportNSW
- CCEnvironment Support AnalystQLD
- CCBusiness Analyst - Logistic and TransportVIC
- CCTest CoordinatorQLD