Saints Row 2 is a fun, action-packed game about gangs and it has great online co-op! This is a must-buy for some gamers.
When you finish your character, you have to make your way out of jail and back to Stilwater, the city where all of the game takes place. This jailbreak at the start of SR2 also serves as a tutorial, so when you're out in the city, you know everything you should know about the game's controls. The first few missions after the jailbreak are for starting a new gang... yes the Saints have fallen apart and you have to start all over again... but this time, you're the leader and also, your character actually talks just as much as the other characters! Once you are finished setting up your hideout and getting new gang members, the story is then splint into three main storylines, each focusing on gradually crippling and eventually destroying one of the three opposing gangs of the city.
The story of Saints Row 2 is surprisingly good. It takes some unexpected twists and turns here and there and the missions are nearly always action-packed, like raiding a gang's hideout and killing everyone there or throwing boxes full of fireworks out the back of a truck, onto hostile gang vehicles trying to stop you from finishing the main mission objective. You must be wondering if you will have to play the first Saints Row game to know what's going on in this one. Well, you don't but it would significantly improve your knowledge of the story and a lot of the things in the game will not be confusing. So I recommend playing Saints Row first, to get the best experience on the story part but it's up to you. If you buy SR2 without playing the first game, you're going to have to do some research if you want to fully understand what's going. So this is one of the things that this game doesn't do very well at all – introduce new fans to the series.
Once you are out in the open streets of Stilwater, it's all up to you. You can hijack a car and then take it to 'Rim Jobs' and choose between many, many, many customization options for your vehicle. If you're up for something more challenging but also more exciting, then maybe steal a plane, a helicopter, rob a bank, cause some chaos on the streets of the city and stuff like that. Or if you would rather find out how the 3rd Street Saints plan on taking back Stilwater, you could complete the missions, which give you a just as (if not even more) thrilling and action-packed experience including interesting, sometime funny and sometimes brutal cut-scenes at the start and end of every mission. If you feel a bit lonely, maybe ask a friend to join. Side by side, you can kill some cops, go shopping for vehicles or clothes and then help each other with missions. Everything can be done offline in singleplayer, or with a buddy in fully online co-op.
But that just isn't good enough for you, is it? Because you want to hijack cars, kill cops, rob shops, fly planes and cause chaos on the streets in style, right? Well you can. With the countless customization options that Saints Row 2 offers you with hundreds of clothing items, many tattoo options, full clothing and vehicle customization, from colour to shape (cars) and wear options (clothing). You'd think that small details like wearing a cap sideways or having your shirt tucked in/hanging out would be left out? Well they're not. All this gives you the possibility of creating an amazingly unique type of character, rarely ever seen in video games. You can even change the voice of your character, the walking animation and later on, when you unlock them, you can choose between various fighting styles.
This bring up another topic. The unlockables. There is a lot of unlockables to discover in Saints Row 2. Most of them are more powerful and overall better types of weapons, some are clothing items, some vehicles and others are special bonuses and abilities like additional weapon or melee damage or police notoriety falling at a faster rate. Some of these can be gained by completing the main missions, but most are unlocked by completing side missions called activities. These activities vary greatly, whether it's fighting in MMA, protecting drug dealers from enemies, riding around on a quad bike wearing a fire-proof suit and being set on fire, covering buildings and vehicles in waste using a septic truck, killing zombies in a video game at one of your many cribs, killing law breakers in brutal ways for a TV show dressed up as a cop or even protecting famous porn starts, actors or athletes by beating up any crazed fans. There are also diversions. When you hijack a taxi, you can get the taxi driver diversion in which you have to pick people up and drive them to places for money. When you hijack a cop car, you can start the police diversion and arrest criminals. There's many different types of diversions and activities, but all of them are avoidable and even though they can take some time to complete, they are really fun and I'd recommend playing at least some of the activities.
Compared to the PC version of Saints Row 2, the Playstation 3 version of this game is much better. There is less technical issues, bugs and glitches, the frame-rate is fantastic and gameplay feels a lot smoother, including online play. Just like on the PC version, there is the fantastic online co-op gameplay and the not-as-good-at-all competitive multiplayer option. Saints Row 2 is just so fun to play! But, unfortunately this version of the game, just like the X-Box 360 version, isn't completely free of bugs and while it is definitely better, it still suffers from some minor and fortunately, only very rarely, major gameplay bugs.
Another bad thing about Saints Row 2 is that it will NOT suit everyone's taste and it isn't a game for everyone, however I still believe that most modern gamers will be interested in playing SR2. But it won't suit everyone's tastes because it has a lot swearing, sexual references, use of drugs, stealing things and violence, and there's enough of it to put some people off. But if you don't mind all that, then this is a game for you. You will play the hell out of it but sadly, only until you complete the main missions. While the activities give you many interesting bonuses and unlock some really cool features, they are not as useful after completing the main missions and they won't keep you playing for long after you are done with the missions.
Many people will argue that this is just a rip-off of the Grand Theft Auto game series, but it isn't. It was obviously greatly inspired by the GTA series, but it had a quite good story in the first game and with Saints Row 2, the story goes even more in-depth and original. Some people will also argue that GTA IV is much more fun to play (GTA fans), but they're wrong. While Saints Row 2 is quite realistic, it is not near as realistic as the newest Grand Theft Auto game, therefore, it is a lot more fun to play because it is harder to die, driving is easier and the whole game is less realistic. GTA IV focuses on realism and story while Saints Row 2 focuses on fun.
If you are looking for a more challenging, but also sometimes annoying game, with very realistic graphics and gameplay and a slightly better story, then it is Grand Theft Auto IV you need to buy. But if you are looking for more of a game that you can just sit down and relax while playing, which is much more fun but has a worse story and is much less realistic, then Saints Row 2 is the game you should choose. Both of these games are great in my opinion and both of them have memorable characters. I'd say GTA IV has a better story but SR2 is just much more fun to play. However this doesn't mean that it is better. Whatever suits you best.