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Saints Row 2 Preview
developer: Volition, Inc.
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Oct 14, 08 (released)
|» All About Saints Row 2 on ActionTrip|
Back in August 2006, development studio Volition released a game called Saints Row. Now, this was a very good Xbox 360 game. Getting mostly positive reviews, it managed to shift 1 million copies two months after release.
The trouble with Saints Row was that its core gameplay borrowed a lot from Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series. But unlike plenty of other GTA clones, this one kind of had style and soon became a critical and commercial success.
Development studio Volition is now working on a full-fledged sequel, which is heading to both Sony's PS3 console and Microsoft's X360; the original was announced for the PlayStation 3, but the project got dumped to make way for Saints Row 2.
Volition's upcoming sequel takes place a few years following the events in the original. Your character returns to the city of Stilwater, where he'll be focusing on rebuilding the Saints Row gang. This may not be that easy as you'd think. Things aren't what they used to be, since there are three completely new gangs fighting for power within the Stilwater. Each of these new gangs resorts to a unique fighting style and specific car types.
A tight lid remains on the plot, for the time being. We do know though, that some familiar characters will be returning, such as Troy, Aisha and Johnny Gat, which should please fans if nothing else.
There's a great deal the developers are looking to improve. The changes will be obvious right from the start. For one thing, players are now able to choose between a male or female character. The appearance sliders will help you customize the character you want to see and control throughout the game. There are plenty of details on offer, giving players a chance to go for an avatar that looks youthful or older, chubby or slim, etc.
As the game kicks off, your character has to keep on doing most of the things he did in the previous game. In the first game, your character needed to go through various activities like committing insurance fraud, racing, hijacking shipments and so on. Completing these boosts respect, unlocking more and more missions for you to complete. Well, that's the way it was in the original and according to THQ and Volition, the mechanics are pretty much the same in SR 2. Except, of course, there are cool new ways to gain respect and unlock story missions, like dragging someone behind your vehicle, shooting a person in the family jewels, etc.
A sequel wouldn't be a sequel without co-op, naturally. (Wow, talk about twisted logic there. - 2Lions) Yep, players may join each other in completing the main campaign. Also, you may accompany other players who are further into the story than you are and help them complete a particular mission. These missions will remain locked for you in the single-player mode, albeit the game will memorize that you've already played them, so you'll be given a chance to skip them accordingly. A nice touch. Another important moment is that players may revive each other, so it's not a good idea to wander too far away from each other, even though the game does allow you to move around independently.
During the game, you'll have access to a solid arsenal that includes grenade launchers, assault rifles, shotguns, satchel charges and more. As demonstrated in one of the recent trailers, players will be able to have loads of fun with the satchel charges - these little thingies can be attached to almost anyone or anything. Just stick them onto a target, move away and watch the fireworks. Pushing things a bit further, you can attach a number of charges to pedestrians and then keep them in the air by detonating the charges individually... just for kicks.
Improved combat mechanics, additional ways to earn respect, co-op, looks prettier.
A sequel to a GTA clone... not exactly original.
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