This review was originally written by Brian K. who is no longer with Everyday Gamers.
If you have played the first Saints Row before then this game will feel very much the same, in fact, save the storyline and some new features, this game looks the same and plays the same as the first. If you were a fan of the first then you will like this game but if you didn’t like the first one then none of the new features will make you a fan.
The storyline in Saints Row 2 continues right off of the first game, however if you haven’t played the first catching on to what is going on isn’t very hard. Your character wakes up in a jail infirmary, bandaged up, just waking up from his coma which happened because of an explosion. This is where you get to create your character. You get to choose your characters race, age, weight and gender. With plenty of sliders to mess around with to scale your character you can make him/her look how you want them to look, then you can choose their voice and some taunts for them as well. Once your character wakes up and escapes from jail they find out that the 3rd Street Saints are no more and 3 other gangs have taken over. Once you have finished the prologue and recruited a new gang you are free to do whatever, especially since the entire city is open from the start.
The main missions are fun, with decent characters and a decent storyline, nothing fantastic but it is good enough to at least stay fun. Most of the missions consist of shooting your way through a bunch of gang members to get to where you want or to who you want. But there is a nice mix of different kinds of missions to keep it from getting too repetitive. For example, in one mission you have to take down a gangs lieutenant by sword dueling him. Also a new feature is the checkpoint system, which is very useful. You can also play any of the side-missions, called diversions. There are a lot of side-missions and all of them are fun. There are some like the “Insurance Fraud Diversion” where you dive in front of cars and try and get as much money as you can, or the “Riot Control Diversion” where you play bodyguard to a celebrity and you have to keep crazed fans away from them by any means necessary. None of the Diversion missions are all that serious or realistic but I think that is why they are so fun. There is also multiplayer with objective-based modes and a death match mode.
Some new features include being able to take a human shield which can come in handy. And you also earn stars for doing certain things like killing a gang member or doing stunts in a car, the harder the kill/stunt is to pull of the better the star rating from 1 bronze star to 3 gold stars. The better the star rating the more respect you earn from it. Also you are able to unlock extra stuff as you play like different taunts or fighting styles, faster health regeneration or better accuracy. Also there is a co-op mode where anybody can join in at any time, I have not used this feature though. You can change it to where anybody can join or just your friends. You can also make it invite only. While I have run into some glitches they were all graphical and didn’t affect gameplay at all. Speaking of which, the graphics aren’t anything special compared to other new games. But all in all this game is good and one of the main reasons I like it is because it isn’t all that serious all the time. If you have played the first Saints Row and liked it you will like this game, if you didn’t like it then this game won’t interest you either. If you haven’t played it but like the Grand Theft Auto games or at least like the idea of an open-world game then I’d say Saints Row 2 is at least worth a rent.