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Treasure Chest: Saint's Row 2

Developer: Rare
Publisher: THQ
Release Date: October 14, 2008
Genre: Sandbox / Third-person
Rating: M

Once again, we open the treasure chest to reveal a classic game that you can more than likely find on the cheap somewhere. This time we consider Saints Row 2, one of my favorite games of the current generation of consoles and a hell of a fun co-op game. The news of Saints Row 3 has me extremely excited, especially that they are concentrating on the co-op portion of the game. I may be in the minority, but I didn’t even attempt the multiplayer modes of Saints Row or Saints Row 2, but I played Saints Row 2 online co-op to death.

Saints Row 2 is such and eccentric game, it was impossible for me to not feature it in the Treasure Chest, it has been promoted by both Gary Busey and Tera Patrick and is filled to the brim with glitchy, gaming goodness. How could we not feature a game in our Treasure Chest series that employs the oral talents of of the great Tera Patrick?

I am sure I have said it before, and I will probably say it again, but in my opinion, Saints Row 2 is one of the least appreciated games in the sandbox genre of GTA knock-offs. The original Saints Row, in my opinion tried a little too hard to be GTA with some heavy-handed gang-related story lines. Saints Row 2 took itself a little less seriously and concentrated on fun more so than dark, gritty, serious atmosphere a la GTAIV. While GTAIV is a gem in many ways, Saints Row 2 outshined it in completely in my book with one simple feature: full campaign online co-op. This feature knocked it out of the park. It is exactly the way I had always wanted to play GTA: with a friend. Comparing how many cops we could simultaneously destroy, fucking each other up during critical mission moments, sticking satchel charges onto the unsuspecting player’s car and waiting until they were half-way down the road to detonate it, destroying the masterpiece they had just crafted in the garage. The replayablity for this game is through the roof if you have a willing buddy to suffer through the glitchy connections and game-freezes.

As a solo game, this is still an improvement over the first. Some side-missions from the first make their way back to this game with improved fun factor and reduced frustration levels (insurance fraud is always fun) plus a few new side-games. The storyline is just as ridiculous as in the first game, but by now we’ve come to the conclusion Saints Row is in no way trying to compete with GTA in the voice acting / storytelling department.

New vehicle types which control much better than the GTAIV vehicles make their way into this game. The helicopters have a steep learning curve, but part of the fun of playing co-op is getting into a helicopter and putting your life in the hands of your partner who is piloting, only to watch him inexplicably flip the helicopter over directly on the launchpad. All in all, this game is too much fun to pass up especially if you have a buddy willing to play through the campaign with.

My biggest gripe may be that in playing co-op, you can’t sync the car radio with your online partner so that you can irritate the shit out of each other singing to the awesome 80’s soundtrack. Hall and Oates, baby.

Pros:

  • Full campaign online co-op
  • Out-GTA’s the GTA series
  • Boobs
  • Controls improved
  • Porn Star: Tera Patrick
  • Hall and Oates
Cons:

  • Glitchy
  • DLC too short
  • Too much fun
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One Comment

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