THQ's Saints Row series has hit the big time. Whereas the original open-world action game emulated the Grand Theft Auto formula enough to turn its Xbox 360 debut into a commercial hit, it lacked a certain something. This week's release of Saints Row 2 may have captured that je ne sais quoi, because the game not only is meeting with positive reviews, but is also sparking a little GTA-esque pop culture outrage from concerned authorities.
The New York Daily News is reporting that New York police in particular are none too happy with the game's wanton approach to violence.
"These horrible and violent video games desensitize young people to violence while encouraging depravity, immorality while glorifying criminal behavior," NYPD union boss Patrick Lynch told the paper.
Presumably, Lynch would not approve of Saints Row 2's Fuzz minigame, either. In that parody of the TV show Cops, players are paid by a filmmaker to dress up like police and use excessive force to bring down streakers.
The union isn't alone in its distaste for the game. Disbarred attorney Jack Thompson called Saints Row 2 a GTA rip-off, suggesting that it pushes the envelope further than the Take-Two Interactive franchise he spent so long crusading against. National News Service followed up on the story by reporting that Leslie Crocker-Snyder, a candidate in next year's election for Manhattan District Attorney, has also picked up the union's cause.