Saint’s Row Review

September 8, 2006 at 1:06 am (Video Games)

saintsrow.jpgWow!  I thought Grand Theft Auto 4 wasn’t supposed to be released until next fall!  Nevertheless, I’m always ready to do some more random carjacking and pedestrian killing!  But what’s with the name change though?  And where is the Rockstar logo?All kidding aside, Saint’s Row certainly isn’t gonna win any awards for originality.  However, we should be thankful that someone decided to copy GTA instead of something like ‘True Crime’ or ’25 to Life’ for once.  It attempts to set itself apart from the leigon of similary themed games by addressing some of the biggest issues that people have with Rockstar’s cash cow,  the aiming system in particular.  Instead of a fusturating lock on that would have you aiming at civilians during a gunfight, you now have a free aim, similar to Max Payne.  Although it could benefit from an optional lock-on button, combat is a lot less tedious here than in GTA.  Also worth mentioning is the game’s Havok physics system, which makes things like kicking dead bodies and sending civilain’s bodies flying through the air.  This comes in to play during one of the game’s many activities, which I will eloborate on in a minute.
You start as a random no-name character (that you create yourself using a character creator that surprasses Fight Night Round 3 and Oblivion in terms of complexity) who has recently been recruited into the 3rd-street Saints.  Of course, it will be up to you to help the gang take over the city.  However, instead of simply going over to the next mission, you have to earn respect in order to even access them.  You do this by changing your wardrobe, taking over gang strongholds, or doing the game’s many activities (similar to the random crimes in Spider-man 2, only a lot more fun).  These range from Snatch (recruit more hoes for the brothel by gunning down thier abusive pimps) to good old fashioned mayhem  (cause as much property damage as you can in a short amount of time) to Insurance fraud (hurl yourself into traffic as much as you can to earn money for the lawyer).  These activities are fun to do, and you are free to do them as much or as little as you want to earn respect or cash.

The game also places a big focus on customization, moreso than even GTA.  As I mentioned earlier, you start the game by creating your own personalized character.  You can also go to a tuner place and customize any car you ‘acquire’.  By storing them in your garage, you can access them later simply by selecting them.  Also, should they get destroyed, you can even buy a new one from the dealer, complete with whatever cool paint job you did to it.  You can also set up your own playlist for in-game music by purchasing tracks at any of the game’s music stores.  Although you can’t work out like in San Andreas, you can buy clothes at the game’s different shops.  The shops in the game operate on the hours schedule though, so you won’t be able to stop by late at night.  Sometimes however, they even have %15 – %30 off specials you can take advantage of.

Another major area where Saint’s row differs from GTA is the presence of online multiplayer.  You have your standard deathmatch and team deathmatch modes (called Gangsta brawl) as well as more unique modes such as “Big ass chains” (kill your opponent and fence his chains for points), “Protect the pimp” (self explanatory), and  “Blinged out ride” (earn money as fast as you can to pimp your ride).  There are only 3 battlegrounds, but they are huge and easy to set up strategies.  Unfortunantely there is a lot of lag during some matches along with some serious glitches, but hopefully we will see a patch soon.  The customization aspect of the game also figures into here as well, as you earn money during ranked matches to buy clothes and tattoos for your avatar.
The humor is at times forced, to an even greater degree than GTA.  It should be intresting to note that there is a lot of diversity in the game.  Gangs are made up of several different ethnic groups and an equal amount of both genders.  It’s not uncommon to see gangs made up of  white, asian, hispanic, and  black members.  So that’s a somewhat positive thing to see in a game, even with this kind of subject matter.

For those of you looking for something more original, you may wish to look elsewhere.  However those who don’t mind a more ‘inspired’ gaming expierence can’t go wrong with this game.  With GTA a year off, this game is a good source for teh open-world criminal action you crave.

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4 Comments

  1. Rasheeb said,

    qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmmnbvcxzlkjhgfdsapoiuytrewq aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb cccccccccccccccccc ddddddddddddddddd dont kno i dgdfgdgfhfhgjh girls man

  2. Rasheeb Wallis said,

    Saints Row is a good game I kno it I want dis game and a XBOX 360
    i never played dis game or touched it before

  3. Wazaaaaa! said,

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