1 March 2012 | sashank_kini-1
It Never Takes Itself Seriously, Thank God
I recently wrote an article concerning Saints Row 2 for Ezine which is in the process of being reviewed by the editors and may be out in a few days if approved. I had hailed the game for staying loyal to its roots and circumscribing to pure wild game play instead of realistic game play. The over-the-top violence and characters give us a game that makes us laugh, curse and grind our teeth till we make our way through swarms of enemies without straining our minds towards the core story. This makes the game a cooler in a time realistic games with great emphasis on story, characters and emotions have come to the forefront, a perfect example of 'mindless fun'.
Saints Row 2 is gigantic in its scope and may take more than 50 hours to get 100% completion. It has plenty of core missions, secret mission, activities and diversions, strongholds that are mostly tongue-in-cheek in tone; so you never feel sorry for executing someone gruesomely, even your close ones in the game. While some may call this insensitive, I say 'why so serious?', as many gamers don't really play games to fall in love with their characters; ask my friends who still play that outdated Counterstrike, rejoicing when they shoot their foes dead! Most of the missions involve heavy shooting and explosive cut scenes that are likably cheesy and humorous. The best part is that the game does not spoon-feed by beginning with simple tasks like drive to destination, drop someone etc. It knows that the gamers buying this have murderous desire to wield their guns at the first person in sight. However, I do find the game to be limited in a way that most missions take place in the city and isn't as diverse as 2005's magnum opus GTA San Andreas that took you from the city to countryside, desert, industrial area and back to the city.
The main character can be customized anytime, and everything about him/her body and physique can be altered. This feature, while making the character malleable according to the gamers' fancy, gives the protagonist no individuality. It sometimes feel that Volition has just thrown the game to us without any lead and has given us the freedom to create someone who just finishes the game rather than seeking redemption, which by the way, is the main aim of the game. I still remember Niko Bellic, because there is only one Niko in the GTA series, and he is the Russian who has come to America, to fulfill his dreams and stay at his cousin Roman's place but Roman made false claims regarding his life in America and therefore Niko has to live in the shabby quarters. The story continues
.. While in Saints Row 2, all I remember is that this main dude/ girl is in the hospital with another patient and they escape and take over the gangs. That's the most I can tell about the protagonist.
But again, when a weak story is compensated with terrific fun, one just forgives the negative aspects of the game. The game is definitely worth the bucks on the console systems but is extremely lagging on the PC. Do not get discouraged by the chintzy cover art on the box, thinking that it's a shadow of GTA 4. It has an independent identity and should be regarded as a great game.
My Rating: 9.2 out of 10