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 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Tannenberg expands Verdun's World War I horrors to the Eastern front
- MSI Wins Computex Best Choice Award 2017 for a Record-Breaking 5 Products
- Destiny 2: The 5 key things PC gamers need to know
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
- Microsoft's Phantom Dust remaster brings the cult Xbox classic to PCs, for free
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTProject CoordinatorVIC
- FTSenior SharePoint Administrator. Location -ACTACT
- FTAppian DeveloperQLD
- FTUrgent -Java Developer (Programmer). 3 different positionsACT
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTL&D Manager, Transformation Program in Finance ServicesNSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager IT Software & Primary HealthcareQLD
- FTSystem Support Analyst, ERPNSW
- CCSenior PMO AnalystNSW
- TPTrim Helpdesk AnalystVIC
- FTTIBCO Support AnalystVIC
- FTApplication Support EngineerNSW
- CCPHP DeveloperNSW
- CCProject ManagerVIC
- FTSr Infrastructure Automation EngineerACT
- FTNodeJS and AngularJS DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior PHP Developer - SymfonyQLD
- FTIT Systems Specialists - Collaboration SystemsNSW
- CCICT Project CoordinatorNSW
- FTProcurement OfficerACT
- FTPeopleSoft Campus Solution ConsultantNSW
- FTSenior Business Analyst, Regulatory Reforms, FinanceNSW
- FTManager - Information ManagementNSW
- TPProject Manager - Change ManagementQLD