A saint of the open world game.
Saints Row 2 continues Volition's tradition of over-the-top mayhem, and the sequel doesn't disappoint. Following the main character's rise from the morgue, as he/she/both attempts to recruit gang members and retake the Row from three rival gangs, Saints Row 2 tells a solid, enjoyable story that doesn't take itself seriously. Polished cut-scenes, good writing and funny characters sum up the game's solid presentation. The map is great, allowing to easily navigate and find stores, activities and mission indicators, and is reliable and never glitches.
The visual design isn't as strong as its predecessors, though this isn't a big problem when it comes to Saints Row. The animations are good and cars look detailed, though environments appear washed out. The audio design is fantastic, though, and contains a superb soundtrack with various decades of pop, rock, classical and rap music, amidst the solid voice work. The world feels alive and sound alive, too.
Saints Row 2 is a hugely entertaining game. Based on the successes of the original, Volition ups the ante with great weapons like chainsaws, miniguns, katanas and instant-kill foam hands, and runs with them. The vehicles are cool and the customization is incredible. Anything from rims, colours, spoilers and even nitrous can be tampered with to your hearts content. The character customization is excellent, as literally anyone you idealize that can be created. You can even dial the gender meter and go "both", resulting in the wacky humour the series is now known for. The driving and shooting feel strong, and the activities are giddy fun. With memorable highlights like Insurance Fraud to new and enjoyable ones like Trail Blazing (driving a flamed-ATV while racking up time through pedestrians and vehicle destruction), Crowd Control (protecting a celebrity while disposing of hostile individuals), Saints Row 2 delivers the true meaning of "fun". The missions can be tackled at any time, and each gang is distinct. Whether it's wielding a katana from a superbike, vehicle surfing atop an ice cream truck or running around streets while nude, Saints Row 2 is awesome from start to finish.
The limitless customization yields multiple playthroughs, and there are hidden trinkets available for the explorers. Online co-op works well and is a total blast, though isn't required for maximum pleasure. Competitive multiplayer works well, too, and is just as fun. Saints Row 2 also allows players to save multiple files, so you can have multiple games as a male, female and "both".
Overall – 9/10