Return To Home Page
Click Here To Purchase Item from Games Warehouse
September 23 2008
Saint's Row 2 - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
16/10/2008THQTHQVolition Inc.
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
Click To Enlarge Image
Explosions in Saint's Row 2 are massive!
Click To Enlarge Image
Tattoos in Saint's Row 2 look great.

Click To Enlarge Image
Heading for some Off-road action.
Sadly the first Saint's Row never came to the Playstation 3, and remained a XBox 360 exclusive throughout its life (it didn't even hit the PC either!). That didn't stop the game amassing an impressive 1.95 million sales to date - made even more impressive given that it was released less then a year after the XBox 360 went on sale.

Now, over two years later, the sequel is ready to be released and this time it's hitting all three platforms. Publishers THQ and developers Volition know how big a game of this type need be - you only need to look at Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV for proof. This game though is quite a bit different. It has a lighter tone, with plenty more comedic moments, there seems (From early previews) to be plenty more diversions to keep you amused and seems to have bigger multi-player support - including co-op. Could it be that the years biggest title critically and commercially is going to be outdone by THQ's title? You never know...

Five years have passed since your former Saints crew betrayed you. As you awake from a coma for the first time since that fateful day, you find the Stilwater you once ruled is in disarray. Unfamiliar gangs have laid claim to your territory, rival factions have taken over your rackets, and cash-hungry corporations have laid waste to your once proud 3rd Street home. Abandoned and left scarred with an unrecognizable face, you seek out a plastic surgeon to begin your new life on the streets.

Click To Enlarge Image
Brawling in the bar!
Respect can only be earned in Stilwater, and that requires a lifestyle that reflects your unique personality. Your crib, your crew, and your character define who you are on the streets and how you are perceived. The image you portray is as important as the decisions you make in a city ruled by false bravado and impulsive behavior. The only constant is the need for an identity that reflects your individuality and is backed up by your 12 gauge.

Before you even get into the main game you will need to do some customisation - the first big choice being whether to play as a male or female character! Now that is impressive. Beyond that you can change your appearance including your age and weight, your voice, fighting style and weapon holding, clothing and expressions. You can then change the look of your gang, and the cribs you hang out in. This is certainly an impressive feature of this game - something which few other sandbox titles allow.

As with the original, Saint's Row 2 is third person action adventure game. The world is quite open and it is possible to travel to and from locations, missions, and people whenever you want. When you awaken from your coma you will have to rebuild your respect, and your gang. You will need to earn respect by mugging people, completing tasks and configuring your character to take on rivals. There are so many ways to do this including using any of the numerous weapons such as handguns, mini-guns, katanas, sledge hammers, flame throwers, chainsaws, stun guns, and satchel charges to name a few. It is also possible to use human shields to protect yourself, throw rivals into oncoming traffic and zero-in your nut-shot using Fine Aim controls.

Click To Enlarge Image
Someone is either hurt, or asleep!
While Saint's Row 2 contains 40 story based missions, it is quite possible that you'll spend even more time on the activities and diversions. Some activities such as Crowd Control, Fight Club, FUZZ, Heli Assault, Septic Avenger and Trailblazing can only be entered at certain points in the game but will allow you to earn some unlockable content. Diversions are smaller activities which can be undertaken at any point in the game an can include stunts in vehicles, racing or base jumping to name as a few.

In order to rebuild your empire you have access to all manner of vehicles. These include plenty of cars and motorbikes, but also more exotic rides including monster trucks, Quad bikes, private jets, speedboats, and helicopters or strafe the hood of your rival's monster truck from the comfort of your fighter plane! It is believed that the aircraft will make use of the Sixaxis' tilt sensing.

Stilwater's streets include five main gangs; 3rd St Saints, Ronin (a Japanese gang), Sons of Samedi (from the Caribbean underworld), Brotherhood of Stilwater (outcasts from society) and Ultor Corporation who are a mega-corporation set to clean up he streets of Stilwater. These all play a major role in the game as you try to earn back your respect, and control the rivals. Make no mistake this is an MA15+ game for a reason. There's plenty of swearing, plenty of violence, and plenty of unnecessary harm to others in the game - just the way we like it!

Click To Enlarge Image
More destruction, and death!
Humour plays a massive part in Saint's Row 2. Firstly there's the dialogue. For example when Johnny is in a hospital bed talking to a mate he says, "Doc said I should be up and murdering in couple of days, well, you know, he didn't say murdering, but you get the idea". Classic. It's not just the dialogue that will get the chuckles, but also the weapons (throw a satchel charge onto a person and watch them run around madly before it blows up), and other gameplay elements (what would you do with a truckload of sewerage?).

Unfortunately there hasn't been much seen of the multi-player modes to date, but we do know a few bits. One of the most impressive aspects is that the game will allow you to complete the campaign mode in two player co-op. Beyond that the game includes Gangsta Brawl (Deathmatch) and Team Gangsta Brawl (Team Deathmatch) for up to 12-players. Another mode is Strong Arm in which teams compete to earn money. This money is earnt by killing opponents, but more so by completing a variety of tasks.

Graphically this game certainly looks pretty good, and makes use of an all-new engine developed at Volition. While it doesn't have the realism of some titles, it certainly makes up for that with interesting locations, great explosions and effects. Speaking of effects the game will include variable weather which not only looks great, but affects the gameplay too. As previously mentioned the main character is customizable, while the other characters all look and animate brilliantly. Should the developers throw in some entertaining cut-scenes, keep the frame rate steady and minimise glitches (and I'm not saying there are any major indications of these anyway) then this could be one of the best next-gen titles on the PS3 to date.

Click To Enlarge Image
Check out the wall posters!
Sonically we can expect this game to impress as well. The original game contained 12 radio stations and over 130 tracks and we expect o less from this game. To date only a couple of bands have been confirmed, but it's a good start. Duran Duran, A-Ha, Europe, LCD Soundsystem, Masteodon, Ne-Yo and Run DMC are those confirmed to date. We also expect plenty more classical music again (the first game contained Mozart, Chopin, and Beethoven to name just a few).

We also know the key voice cast that you will hear in the game. Daniel Dae Kim (Lost) voices Johnny Gar, Michael Dorn (Star Trek) voices Maero, Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl) voices Jessica, Neal Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser, M.D.) plays DJ Veteran Child, Michael Rappaport (Boston Public) reprises his role as Troy, and finally Eliza Dushku (True Lies) voices Shaundi. The entire game will include over 60,000 lines of dialogue which is an impressive amount for any game.

I guess you're all asking. Will this game be as good as Grand Theft Auto IV? That's a damn tough question and we can't give you a full verdict until we review this game of course. At this moment, it actually looks like THQ and Volition have the potential to pull off a miracle. Christmas 2008 could very well be one for Saint's Row 2 to claim the throne. Perhaps.