E3 2008: Saints Row 2 Hands-On Update

We take another look at the E3 demo of Saints Row 2 and get some new information from Volition along the way.

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Earlier today, while meeting with members of the Volition development team working on Saints Row 2, we were invited to play through the same prologue mission that we checked out last week. Nothing exciting about that, you might think, but this time we were playing in co-op mode, we took a very different route through the prison escape, and we talked about some other features while we played. Some of you might consider this new info to be a spoiler of sorts, so consider yourself warned.

Unsurprisingly, playing through the prison escape mission in co-op mode seemed a lot easier than in our previous single-player experience. There didn't appear to be any additional enemies thrown into the mix to account for the presence of a second player, and it probably didn't hurt that we were playing alongside someone intimately familiar with the game either. We opted to skip the tutorial on this occasion, so we weren't being nudged in any particular direction as we escaped the prison and were free to explore.

We ended up taking a very different route out of the building, bypassing the rooftop encounter with guards and helicopters completely. On our travels we found the prison's weapon storage room, where we were able to add satchel charges and machine guns to our arsenal. As soon as we stepped outside, we found a quad bike that, while not necessarily very useful in this particular scenario, was fun to ride around on for a while. Incidentally, though you'll have an opportunity to get your hands on some really powerful weapons as you play through the prologue missions, we're told that you'll lose almost all of them when the game proper gets underway--otherwise you'd simply be too overpowered early on.

After beating the mission, we got to talking with the Volition reps that we'd been playing with and were given a sneak peek at one of Saints Row 2's previously unannounced features. When you arrive in the city of Stilwater you'll find that the entire map is unlocked but that many of the annotations on it are simply displayed as question marks until you visit them. Among these are a large number (we'd estimate at least 60 or 70) of different stores that you can not only shop at but, once you raise some capital, can actually purchase and enjoy a steady income from. Furthermore, if you purchase all of the stores from a particular chain your character's likeness will start to appear on billboard advertisements all over the city. We didn't get to see any of the stores on this occasion, but we're told that they include vendors for clothing, tattoos, music, liquor, firearms, cars, bikes, and boats, as well as restaurants.

Finally, when we asked if any of the Stilwater locales were recognizable from the first game we were afforded a quick look at one that is--sort of. The church that the Saints called home in the first game wasn't demolished along with the rest of the neighborhood, it seems, and now stands in the middle of a park flanked by skyscrapers. The building has apparently been restored to its former pre-Saints-Row glory, and is considered a historical monument.

So there you have it. Saints Row 2 looks to be absolutely packed with gameplay features and, considering how wildly different our two plays of the first mission in the game were, there shouldn't be any shortage of replay value, either. We look forward to bringing you more information on Saints Row 2 as soon as it becomes available, though we're unlikely to learn anything more at E3 at this point. Three months and counting...

Discussion

109 comments
rocky_balboa_07
rocky_balboa_07

OMG ... how u people can compare it with GTA 4..if GTA is heaven..SR 2 won't get da status of hell also..after starting just da first mission{JAIL BREAK}...it was like yaaaaakkk.....so blokes don't try 2 compare gta4 wid any game of dis time...may be after an year or so...a game will be comparable 2 GTA

DeimosGT
DeimosGT

Who says that this is a GTA killer? Maybe it is a GTA Advance killer...

Sayun
Sayun

Looks like a great game, but GTA killer? Hah! That's a good one!

oobermod
oobermod

i am going to get this game it looks great

ace62394
ace62394

This game's going to be for PC! Can anyone say MODS?!

Vasot
Vasot

Can this game be a GTA4 killer ?? Lets see...

diggyman
diggyman

Why is 'Lego Batman' considered a related game to this one. lol

j15reed
j15reed

I wanna know how the online play is gonna be because gta's energy system online was garbage thats y i traded the game in

skaterman19951
skaterman19951

i played saits row 1 and i liked it i am looking foward to the new one i have seen some videos and it looks good but i want to now if you can play 2 payer co op

Sharvie
Sharvie

Looks good. I never really liked the first.

afoman
afoman

Lookin Sweeeeeeet!!!!! : D

denaz
denaz

This game is going to be great, really can't wait!

gangsterjc
gangsterjc

going to be good no gta but GOOD!even awsome : P

shaun_mcwayne
shaun_mcwayne

i only played the demo for sr1, didnt like it much but ive been hearing good things about 2 so if the reviews are good the i might just get this one.

scorch-62
scorch-62

They're making a sequel? :lol:

Blank2k2
Blank2k2

Saints Row 1 was pretty good, though GTA SA gave me alot more sandbox fun when the game was complete. GTA Vice was the best GTA so far, solid story & buying of property etc. + it ripped off scarface movie, so cant gone wrong there. GTA 4, lacked to say the least, still a good solid game but it hardly did GTA Vice & GTA SA any justice at all. Saints Row 2 looks like what GTA IV should of been, though, its missing the "GTA IV" sticker & GTA's graphics engine. Still, ill deffo be buying it.

mikees1
mikees1

Ok, just put it this way- photo realism or cartoon like? As close to realisitic as possible or far out total fantasy? If you like the later in both questions go for SR2 if your into the first then stick wiv GTA til the downloads come. Saints row 1 bored me in two weeks, iv completed Gta but i still dip in now and again to have a little spin here and there.

Warghost2k
Warghost2k

Joseph_mach, this is the same Volition that was responsible for the greatest space combat sim, Freespace. I wish someone would make another Wing Commander/Freespace game, but everyone is afraid of spending money on something that's not a guaranteed winner. Those games were amazing, and it's sad that no developers are willing to bring it back, except the European companies that make lackluster space games.

Edgemaster666
Edgemaster666

I think x360-games-wiz meant he bought the game on release day and since that time has beat it through 4 times. At least I hope that's what he meant for his sake.

MrHeint
MrHeint

GTA 4 is boring. After beating the game and witnessing to two paths it's over. There's nothing to do, no rewarding gameplay, little replay value. The game seemed to promise a lot of innovative features but in fact there is absolutely nothing new except the physics and engine. Maybe some good DL's will help out but as GTA iv stands now it's an over hyped, over rated let down. SR2 has a long list of features that will add to the gameplay. Tons of interiors and building that we can interact with, much better multiplayer, and an over-the-top gameplay that will make SR2 much more fun. I still like GTA but I'm not going to kiss Rockstars @ss like most people do.

mercypoo
mercypoo

x360-games-wiz...you're full of it. That's for sure. It's not possible to beat GTA4's main story in six hours...you likely just got to a point that you thought was the end and restarted your game...thus the reason you thought the story was boring and short. You're a moron. Saint's Row 2 hadn't really excited me much. I played through the first game and pretty much stayed addicted to it for the next few weeks, but I cannot doubt that GTA 4 really up'd the anty. However, the story line looks very promising for SR2, and while the gameplay will likely not match that of GTA, it still looks just as fun as it was in the first installment. I'll buy it when in comes out, though I definitely won't be in a rush for it like I was for GTA.

mikees1
mikees1

x360 games wiz, your full of sh*t!! you completed gta 4 not once, not twice oh and not even three time. But four times on release4 day?!? I dont think so pal. Gta had an acheivment for completion in under thirty hours, but i doubt it could be done in alot under that and the last time i checked there was 24 hours in a day. Your in dream world (maybe the days are longer there!) because it isnt possible. On to the game in question though saints row two, i did own the first one but only because there wasnt a gta yet available and i thought it was empty, not challenging and unworthy of a next gen release. I cant see the second installment having any graphical or story advancements enough to succeed and as it is i think il still be playing gta long after saints row 2 has gone back to the video shop! Too those who are slating Gta, i think you need to go and check the reveiws, they speak for themselves. How on earth you can say this didnt live up to next gen il never know. But if you dont like it dont play it sit back and wait for its inferior clone (ie saints row) to come out. I in the mean time will wait for the DLC to come outjust so i can squeeze as much as i can out of it coz i really dont want it to end. Oh and when that comes out x360 games wiz can finish 8 times in one of his dreamland days!!!!

X360-Games-Wiz
X360-Games-Wiz

I was really hopeing GTA 4 would be really good. But I was very wrong. GtTA 4 in my mind is the WORST game of the year so far. It had far to much hype and didnt life up to expectations. On the first day I got GTA 4 I already completed it 4 times!!!!! The story line is boring, the graphics are not really "Next-Gen" and the game altogether is very short and boring. Hopefully and I say that truly. This game will life up to my expectations.

00Terry00
00Terry00

Nah.......GTA 4 Sucks but not entirely. GTA: San Andreas is better and I think is the best of them all. XD

king_bobo
king_bobo

I think it's great how different this game is going to be to GTA IV. That way the games won't be compared, but will be seen for their own individual and brilliant features.

leofiregod
leofiregod

@chadurwalla: the good part of games like this playing through the story and finding everything. Evidently you aren't a gamer.

chadurwalla
chadurwalla

Looks good but i'm getting tired of all these games where you have to work to get all the good stuff (the weapons) i.e. the game will start off sucky and then gets better as you unlock the good stuff, i hope they have cheats like GTA so i can get straight to the fun

endofwourld
endofwourld

yo volition keep up the great work dont bother listening to these gta players. hell buying stores and custimizing your crib and crews clothes thats something GTA would never think of..... keep up the great work playar

BioShockOwnz
BioShockOwnz

Meh, I'll stick with GTA IV, Saint's Row was awful.

sponge94
sponge94

This game is shaping up nicely

joseph_mach
joseph_mach

Pass. And someone correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't Volition responsible for the insanely incredible Freespace 1 and 2? If they were, they need to get back along and hurry up with Freespace 3. If they weren't, then I'm still passing on this one.

Temple-C
Temple-C

GTA IV is fun, and I loved Saints Row, although your dude didnt talk much, except for the occasional groan, and the end of a chapter. This one will be fun, and you can be a chick, thats totally sweet. Co-op seems fun. The extremely basic GTA San Andreas two-player mode seemed like they put it in at the last minute. On SR2, you can run away from your mate, but you have to revive him.

Lemonsquare
Lemonsquare

Looks great, I'll definitely be buying SR 2. I'm getting a little bored of GTA IV after beating it for the third time.

HolteEnder4Life
HolteEnder4Life

this is good cuz im bored of GTA, didnt have the longievity of the previous ones, i bet the multiplayer will be better in this cuz SR1's mp was better then GTA's

gavin_1873
gavin_1873

if they get rid of the daft walk from the first one ill consider it

tawagivercetti
tawagivercetti

Sweet I pre-ordered the limited edition of this at Game and will get the new Destroy all humans for free! Easily the Bargain of 2008, the Bargain of 2007 was definetely the OrangeBox. I love 360

ChudWarrior
ChudWarrior

Man, this just keeps sounding better and better. With any luck, it will come out without any more delays.

TehFuneral
TehFuneral

This game is SweeeeeeT, if you like GTA you will prolly like this one too.

Bl00dShot22
Bl00dShot22

I have been waiting for Saint's Row 2 for while now it is always good hear good news. **** if they delay this game I am going to be pissed.

ryo_strife24
ryo_strife24

I can't wait for this game. I loved GTA IV don't get me wrong, but I long to make a character I can call my own. My own character, my own gang, my own style of the gang, my own car. Freedom is a good thing and most people like that. *Clicks the pre-order button*

sivasiva
sivasiva

Hey u idiot ratik, how many times must you post the same thing!!!

Rhatik
Rhatik

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Rhatik
Rhatik

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Rhatik
Rhatik

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