A blatent s upgrade from the first, but PC version has serious technical issues
McMo0 wrote this review on .
I enjoyed my play through of GTA IV. But to be honest thats all i did, played it through, occasionally some side missions along the way, but once i finished the story, i was finished with the game. San andreas kept me playing through and generall continuing my reign of terror for years.
Saints row 2 gameplay wise is exceptional. Its quite simply a large bag of fun. Whether coating people in sewage is your idea of fun, or running up to the cops completly naked wielding a rocket launcher, or seeing exactly how much propety damage you can cause in an area. This game gives you free roaming fun, and irrelivant missions built simply with fun in mind.
(This next paragraph is anti GTA IV babble so feel free to ignore it)
Generally the missions in GTA IV for me were quite generic. Drive, shoot, beat someone up, drive. Walk for a while. Buy some clothes (though choices were few), rage at the fact someone wanted to play pool with me (and for the record that was a weak mini game). Overall i completed GTA IV feeling... unfufilled. I wanted his brother to die so very badly, mostly because he spends the entire game blaming me for his situation, situations that could've been avoided if he wasn't an idiot. Two he never stops calling you. I mean i know you could turn the irrelivant phone calls off, but then the game loses that sense of reality.
Stupid thing was, i thought it was a good game till saints row 2 came out. Yes GTA IV was pretty, but it lacked so much of what san andreas brought to the series, it felt like they'd exchanged the gameplay features, for graphical prowess.
Saints row 2 in comporaison was visually meh. No drastic improvements that i can see, but severe frame rate issues for the PC version, even with a mighty machine. Spider senses say that a patch will fix this eventually, but my spider senses are usually wrong. Dropping a couple of the more taxing settings brought about a steady game and i was away. Firstly you have a highly customable character, which is awesome. I did some bits but i just wanted to get the game under way, and so my insane hippy cockney gangster just simply had to do. The breakout mission was good. Strange to have an intense mission, that wasn't really challenging. Then it was onto rebuilding the saints. To start off i had to get out of prison gear, so i did, and completed my fresh from festival look. Then promptly went and bust... whatever his name is from the first one. After that i went straight onto activities, so i flung some sewage at some buildings and cops, Blew up the vast majority of a few areas, imitated the cops, and gave police brutality a new meaning.
So far, not played many missions. I know it seems stupid to go and review a game before i've finished it, but its just that good. In this modern age of technilogical wonders, it really feels like most games take graphics and physics as primary features. Saints row 2 took gameplay first and worked up from there.
Technical issues as stated before are quite severe. Sound quality is poor. If thats because i have onboard sound then something is seriously wrong because the sound quality in this is simply terrible. Most of the tracks sound like their low quality MP3's. This occasionally slips into vocals, and there seems to be no sense of atmosphere. Graphically the game isn't great, and the doesn't show from the frame rate you get with max settings. Some features turned off increase the frame rate a fair bit, but thats nothing to worrying. The main concern from me is sound, as i have got some excellent speakers, and ok i only have onboard, but that card has produced high quality from games like crysis, F.E.A.R 2 demo, the half life 2 series etc.
In summary this game should have only come out for the consoles, as i'm sure that the framerate and sound issues are non-existant on the console. Theres no way of reffering to Saints row 2 without thinking of GTA. This game essentially goes in the opposite direction from GTA IV. It shuns realism, removes modern day graphics, but gives you something far greater. Fun. The day games stop being fun is the day they stop being games, and become sports. Saints row reminded me what a good sandbox game is. FUN!